My next writing / yoga / mindfulness workshop will be in April of 2016. To read about my most recent workshop (October 2015), click here.
A lifelong lover of dance, I grew up studying South Indian Classical Dance, and took classes in ballet and modern dance, including Garth Fagan technique. My love of movement also drew me to yoga and contemplative dance in my mid-twenties. In 2009, I earned my 200-hour RYT certification in Iyengar-influenced yoga at Open Sky Yoga under Francois Raoult. I later studied with Judith Hanson Lasater, and completed her Relax & Renew Restorative Yoga teacher training.
I lived in New York City for much of my thirties. I had a tenure track position as a professor of creative writing– something I had worked toward for a long time. However, I struggled; I longed for a more embodied, balanced existence beyond running to and from teaching, committee meetings, grading, and conference-attending. I was always stressed out.
One Sunday morning in 2010 I found myself at the Joffrey Ballet Studio in the West Village, at the recommendation of an old friend. There, I took my first class in Gabrielle Roth’s 5Rhythms — an improvisational movement meditation. This movement practice reconnected me to my earlier, dancing self and my (our) innate creativity. I was hooked.
I studied 5Rhythms in weekly classes in NYC and later in an immersive, month-long work study program with Lucia Horan at The Esalen Institute. I also studied Vipassana Meditation and sat three 10-day silent courses. Writing is a physical act and these experiences and practices fundamentally altered my approach to writing and teaching.
When I moved back to Rochester in 2012, I collaborated with Marijana Ababovic, whom I met during teacher training at Open Sky, and we created and co-taught our first Writing & Yoga workshop–an alternating sequence of yoga asanas and guided writing exercises. We offered this retreat again in 2013, in celebration of the Summer Solstice. In the fall of 2013, I taught my third Writing & Yoga retreat with yoga teacher Mary Aman. My 2014 retreat, called “Relax Into Writing,” was held at Writers & Books’ Gell Center in Naples, NY.
In addition to teaching dedicated Writing & Yoga and Writing & Mindfulness workshops, I often incorporate mindfulness practices into my creative writing classes.