Please tell us a little about yourself.
I grew up in Iowa and after graduating from college, I joined AmeriCorps to work in inner city high schools in Denver, Colorado. Inspired by my students and colleagues, I joined Teach for America, an organization that sends teachers to low-income, high-need schools. I was placed in San Antonio and began working at KIPP Aspire Academy in 2009, where I’ve been teaching ever since. Last summer, I married the love of my life, Nathan. He is literally the best human being on this planet and I’m the luckiest person in the world to spend my days with him. A few months ago, we became the proud new parents of our little rescue puppy, Blanca. She’s the best!
What specific physical issues, if any, did you have before taking you first class?
After years of long-distance running, I was very inflexible and suffered from low-back pain. I threw my back out numerous times and when the X-Ray technician started to recognize me as “the girl with the bad back”, I knew I was in trouble!
How has this practice changed your health and life? Any emotional or other benefits?
What is your favorite part of the yoga?
Practicing yoga and CrossFit have helped me learn to take better care of myself, both physically and emotionally. I am a healthier and stronger person than I was three years ago and haven’t had a single back injury since starting a consistent yoga practice. From trying the Paleo diet this winter, to completing a 60 day challenge last June, to climbing up the rope at CrossFit a few weeks ago, I’m able to take on new challenges without feeling burnt out or discouraged.
Teaching traditionally underserved children often makes me feel like there is never enough of me to best help and support all of my students. Before coming to yoga, work completely consumed me. While I still struggle to find a work-life balance, yoga is helping me move in the right direction. It’s a place where I have one job to just take care of myself. Making that time to concentrate and breathe has helped me become a less frantic and stressed individual.
My favorite part of yoga and CrossFit are the incredible teachers, coaches, and fellow practitioners. I’m so grateful to Liz, Steve, Carlos, David, Taylor, Kate, Russ and many others for their unwavering support and endless expertise. There is never a day that I’m not inspired by the strength and determination of those around me. There’s an Irish blessing that makes me think of the Union when I hear it- “When I count my blessings, I count you twice!”