When I was a little girl growing up in a small town in Moldova (former USSR), I saw a local artist doing some interesting exercises on a bank of the Dniester river. My mom told me he was practicing yoga and that a student of hers knew some yoga exercises and her father was practicing some mysterious nasal cleansing procedure with a cord.
I was mesmerized. It stayed with me for years, but there were no books about it or studios to go to for me to learn more.
Years passed, and in 1996 I moved to the US to go to college in Wisconsin where I almost took a class... almost.
Since apparently my schedule was always an issue, I bought a book on yoga, which had pictures of asanas, no directions and no logical order on how the poses were listed.
I tried following the order of poses, but it made no sense, so I Xeroxed the entire book and arranged copies in order that made more sense to me: standing, seated, backbends, twists (little did I know that asanas are broken into families).
I practiced at home with my new book, but quickly realized that my body was far from flexible!!!
Backbends were out of question, my legs wouldn't straiten, and my upper back was in a perpetual dome shape. I couldn't grasp philosophical points and neither could I give up garlic and onions as the yogic diet suggested. (Years later, when my body was cleansed and transformed with practice, it stopped agreeing with garlic and onions as non-sattvic foods and I was ready for these changes). There seemed to be no progress which made me frustrated but even more incentivized to achieve what I saw in the book.
In 2001 I switched jobs and a month after I had started, my boss told me there was a new yoga studio across the street from her condo, would I like to check it out?
After all these years of wondering what yoga was all about, I was ready, and I didn't want to disappoint my boss.
We went to Milwaukee Yoga Center run by Susan Goulet, certified Iyengar yoga instructor.
It was love from the first class.
I loved how I felt, my mind was calm and clear and there was a since of quiet euphoria that stayed with me for days after class. As I was leaving the studio that night, I wanted other people to feel the way I felt. And what would be the best way to do it but teach yoga.
In early 2003, I started taking Teacher Training workshops with Chris Saudek, a senior Iyengar Yoga instructor in WI and in fall my teacher Susan started mentoring me. I must have done well with teacher trainings and mentorship program that in May of 2004 I started teaching my first Intro to Iyengar Yoga class.
It didn't take me long to realize that working with people and helping them heal was my true calling. I however, my knowledge of human biology and biomechanics was limited that I wasn't able to understand certain intricacies of asanas in my own practice. Let alone teaching my students intelligent movement and actions in the pose.
I quit my corporate job and went to school for massage therapy. My training allowed me to better understand my students’ abilities and needs and improved my teaching based on their individual needs. I assisted my teacher, Susan, in and taught Yoga for Parkinson’s Disease and Yoga for Women Health classes.
During one of Yoga for Women's Health classes, as I was fetching props and adjusting our students, I felt most profound honor and grace to be a yoga teacher, a student, a giver and a receiver of yoga's healing power. What a feeling of blessedness and contentment it was!
Over the years, I have attended numerous teacher trainings and workshops with many senior Iyengar Yoga teachers. In 2009, my family and I moved to New Hampshire and I started studying with my beloved teacher and mentor, Patricia Walden, one of BKS Iyengar’s most talented and senior students. My weekly class with Patricia lead me to her 2-year teacher training program from which I graduated in 2018. I earned my Level 1 Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher in 2019.
My classes are a blend of serious philosophical discussion, precise asana instructions, compassionate observation, adjustments and humor. I encourage my students to develop a home practice to reach a deeper understanding and appreciation of Yoga as philosophy, science and art.
Book your class or massage with me to explore how to connect and feel great!