Hi! Thanks for stopping by.
My name is Michelle and I'm so glad you're here.
My personal story is below, but I'll start with some practice details in case such things matter to you.
I have been practicing Yoga since the mid-90s and teaching for almost 20 years.
I have extensive training in anatomy, somatic movement, meditation, ayurveda, nutrition and grief support.
My teaching reflects my belief that everything, including asana, is about each moment along the way. There is no "there." My classes tend to challenge students - mentally if not physically - to stay with what's happening.
I've been registered as an E-RYT 500 since 2009 and have run a dozen teacher trainings, countless workshops and classes.
Please read on for more about how I got here and check out the writings page for practice and life resources.
Maybe like you, the way I treat and relate to my body has changed a lot over the years, and that includes the way I think about and practice Yoga.
I was introduced to Yoga as a fitness activity in the early 90s and instantly loved it -- a slow building intensity, nothing too harsh or crazy, lots of stretching. It was just my pace.
Soon I'd "drunk the Koolaid" and things quickly ramped up to heated rooms, chanting in exotic languages and lots of groaning. It was a new world and I was enchanted. I also felt stronger, more limber and more "at home" in my body than ever before.
But it wasn't always a practice of kindness. I mean, I was in my early 20s, and kindness wasn't really on my list of things to do. I pushed and clenched and strived with the best of them.
Thankfully in 2005 I met the woman who would teach me that there's another way to approach practice...and life. The subtleties of breath, the power of ease, the vulnerability of just being who we are.
Not that I regret those early years. I have a wide range of experience and exposure to types of practice. But we are changing by the moment and the seasons of our lives request different things from us.
In the past 10 years, my love of anatomy and healthy movement has refined (or has it expanded?) my ideas and teaching of asana. There's no "right" or "one" way to do anything that works for everyone. (This is foundational principle number 1.)
My approach to Yoga is a practice (or a method) of knowing myself and my place in the world more deeply. The study of timeless texts, poetry, writing, my teaching practice and every single relationship I'm in (with bonus points for my beloved guy) are all a part of that learning.
These days my practice looks like rolling on a Ma Roller (yes, you need one; no, I don't have any affiliation with the company), daily seated meditation, taking the time to prepare good food, the occasional group fitness class, daily dog walks and looking at the moon.
A lot has changed since my first yoga class, as happens in a life:
And by design, in the mercy of these joys and challenges, I learned a lot about kindness. The Dalia Lama says that we can become embittered or ennobled by life. It is a choice. Certainly not in the fire of these experiences, but over time, with a widening perspective, I see how these events have reassembled me with more compassion, kindness, strength and awe toward life.
I'm deeply grateful for the generous teachings of my first yoga teacher, Mary Beth, my spiritual mama, Mary Paffard, as well as Richard Rosen, Amy Matthews, Leslie Kaminoff, Nikki Costello and Carrie Owerko. I am a better person and a millions times more skillful teacher because of you.
We can be together in person in Sacramento, California where I teach weekly, in New York City (my heart home) where I travel often, for 200 and 300 hour Teacher Trainings, and for retreats and workshops at various locations. I also offer consultations and private sessions. Find out more about all of that.
And let's keep the conversation going! Tell me about you.