I call myself a Holistic Yoga + Wellness Educator because I am so much more than simply a ‘Yoga Teacher.’ When I started out in the yoga + wellness industry 25 years ago I sensed that something was missing. I observed yogis practicing in huge classes without enough individual attention, going through sequences on auto-pilot and not really honoring what their bodies truly needed. I saw students showing up for their weekly yoga practice but ignoring other essential wellness practices like nutrition and rest.
I wanted to provide a more holistic approach, so I began teaching wellness-themed yoga courses. My offerings evolved over the years to include wellness retreats, self-care courses and even perimenopause guidance. Because I know that wellness is multi-faceted, my work focuses on five pillars that help my clients transform their lives:
My passion for each of these areas is a reflection of being both a life-long learner and someone who has done my own inner work. My livelihood is not just what I do; it is a reflection of who I am.
My own wellness journey started with Yoga. After earning a degree in International Business Administration from Alma College in the '90s and beginning a career in the automotive industry, I soon realized I was meant for something more. Determined to change my reality, I took a leap of faith, quit my job, and spent the next two years working and studying to become an Interdisciplinary Yoga Instructor at the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies in New York. Upon returning to Michigan in the late '90s, I was the ﬁrst (yes, really!) teacher to introduce Vinyasa yoga to the Ann Arbor community. I was the weird instructor who taught classes out of my basement--but students flocked to that basement, and I built a successful yoga career there from (below) the ground up. I completed a second Yoga Teacher Training at the Center for Yoga in Michigan in 2002 and a Wellness Educator Training in 2020, and continue to accrue hundreds of hours of training with leading yoga instructors, yoga therapists, healthcare professionals and other educators from around the country to this day. Drawing upon my own personal experiences with physical therapy and dance, as well as my love of Pilates and anatomy, I create unique wellness-themed yoga classes which enrich all areas of my clients' lives and help them practice safely and sustainably.
Among my areas of expertise is Yoga for Aging Gracefully. Aging brings with it a whole set of challenges like (peri)menopause, loss of muscle mass and balance, osteoporosis, arthritis and hypertension. Yoga is a wonderful tool to help us age well, as long as the practice is tailored to each individual’s specific needs. That is why much of my work is done one-on-one with clients, helping them create yoga practices that are sustainable and supportive--no matter their age.
A yoga practice is about so much more than the postures we do on a mat though. It is the way we live our lives: what we eat, how we take care of ourselves, and how we live on this planet. As an advocate for sustainability and planetary health, I have been eating a whole-foods, plant-based diet for decades, and I can help you eat healthier too. You’ll find nourishment in the plant-based recipe resources on my Wellness Blog, as well as connection and support in my Vegan Dinner Club.
Through my own life experiences with chronic stress and perimenopause (which I share about in more detail in my Online Wellness Courses) I learned how to take better care of myself, and am now a firm believer in daily self-care, setting healthy boundaries and self-compassion. If you need support in these areas (and who doesn’t?) you’ll find lots of self-care tips on my Wellness Blog, as well as opportunities to learn from me personally on my Yoga + Self-Care Weekends and Mini-Retreats throughout the year.
Finally, discovering that I had the trait of Sensory Processing Sensitivity (also known as being a Highly Sensitive Person or HSP) and learning tools to reduce anxiety and overwhelm taught me the undeniable impact this has on wellbeing—something we all need, whether you’re an HSP or not (take this quiz to find out). I am committed to helping fellow HSPs move from surviving to thriving by hosting my HSP Empowerment Group and sharing many helpful HSP resources on my Wellness Blog. Even if you’re not an HSP, I know you will benefit from these resources if you need support slowing down, unplugging, becoming more present and savoring life. As an HSP, it is my superpower to help you do just that!
In the summer of 2016, I relocated my private yoga studio, The Yoga Room, from it's original basement location to a charming cottage studio located behind my home in Ann Arbor, MI. This intimate, poolside sanctuary overlooks sprawling gardens and features a cork floor, meditation loft, high ceilings, lots of natural wood and a peaceful, spa-like setting. I intentionally create a warm, intimate environment where students can feel safe to be themselves and receive the personal attention they deserve. In addition to private + semi-private yoga sessions, I host Mini Wellness Retreats throughout the year, and the pool is open for Aqua Yoga sessions during the warm weather months. I am honored that The Yoga Room has twice been voted Best Yoga Studio in Ann Arbor.
If you’re looking for someone with experience, who listens to you, someone who offers a completely unique approach to yoga + wellness than anything you've encountered before, you're in the right place. I invite you to join me on a journey to optimal health and well-being by contacting me or subscribing to my newsletter today!