When I moved to Los Angeles from New York in 1993 to get away from the cold, live at the beach
and work in the film industry I would have never imagined that I would end up with a career as a
Yoga Therapist. After 10 fun-filled, amazing years in television and film production at Fox Studios,
ABC Studios, Rhythm & Hues, Digital Magic and various other post and visual effects houses, I
decided to start my own photography business. I specialized in lifestyle, candid portraits of children
and families at the beach, playground or their homes. I loved my new career even more than the first
one as this job enabled flexibility in my schedule and the ability to visit my sister and her children
frequently. I built a photography business not only in LA but in several cities on the east coast & in
the mid-west as well. Along the way I added another passion of mine and became a children’s soccer
coach, which led me to my next discovery children’s yoga. I began my personal yoga practice in
2000 as I discovered it helped me with many emotional life challenges. I had no idea how it worked
but I knew that I felt better when I practiced. I participated in a few children’s yoga teacher trainings as I found that as much as I LOVED teaching soccer to preschoolers,
I was feeling worn out & felt that it was time for change. In 2008, I experienced the loss of my brother, Jeffrey, which moved my practice to a deeper level. In response
to this loss, I felt an inner calling to spend as much time as possible teaching yoga to children. He loved children and I felt by working with children and teaching them
self-confidence and body awareness in a fun, nurturing non-competitive environment that I was more connected to him. I also thought how amazing it would have been
I had learned yoga as a child rather than in my 30’s. So I set out to teach as many children as I could. Then I began to teach “parent & me” classes I would get asked by the parents what to do for their injuries. I had not completed a 200-hour teacher training certification as I NEVER planned to teach adults but realized perhaps it was time to enroll in deeper studies to help these parents as well as my own practice. I had the fortunate opportunity to study with Michelle Mazur in her yurt with five other incredible women. This intimate group allowed for an in-depth teacher training experience, which emphasized yoga therapy. It was at the end of the 8-month training in March that life as I knew it would be never be the same. On Tuesday March 15, 2011 at 1:15pm I received a call that would forever change my life. About a month earlier I found a lump below my armpit and since I was sick at the time assumed it was an enlarged lymph node. My doctor sent me for an ultrasound, which turned into a biopsy and a week later I received “the call”. All of a sudden my life moved into slow motion and stayed that way for what seemed like a lifetime. Cancer in MY body..? How could that be?
I was one of the healthiest people I knew. I exercised, ate healthy, no alcohol, smoking, etc. I was a kids’ yoga instructor for God’s sake! Through journaling I found moments of peace knowing deeply that there must be a reason and that if I was patient enough it would be revealed. In April 2011, I had a lumpectomy and found out that it was Stage 1 and a slow growing tumor that would best be treated by radiation and Tamoxifen. I realized that I needed some other healing modalities so I googled “yoga and breast cancer” and came across a yoga retreat for Women Cancer Survivors that has since given my life new meaning & purpose. I attended the retreat one month after my surgery and although I was still in shock and disbelief about my cancer I somehow came
up with the idea that perhaps teaching survivors/thrivers was the next step in my life.
I found out that the teacher, Tari Prinster and 10-year survivor, held trainings on the east coast.
In addition to completing the yoga for cancer training, I returned to school and received my
Yoga Therapy 800 hour certification from Loyola Marymount University over the next 3 years.
None of this was ever in my game plan but neither was cancer. I am a Yoga Therapist, currently
teaching survivors in small group classes as well as privately on a weekly basis throughout
Los Angeles. I am also now one of the teachers for The Foundation for Living Beauty, the
organization that provided me with an amazing retreat when I needed it. They offer free
retreats and a variety of yoga and other classes for women going through cancer. On one of
their retreats I discovered a healing modality called TRE ® (Tension/Trauma Releasing Exercises)
and decided to enroll in that certification program as well and am now TRE® Provider. This
modality is a wonderful compliment to yoga therapy, as it empowers individuals to discover their own healing abilities. I have never found my life to be so fulfilled and rewarding. I am grateful that I was open to the possibility that there was a reason for my diagnosis and that I was able to find it quickly. So grateful for each day that I wake-up and continue to heal and keep my body, mind, spirit healthy & that I am able share the healing gifts that were given to me with those who come into my life.
Yoga Therapist & TRE® Provider