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When did you start practicing yoga?
April 2007.

When did you go to teacher training?
I went to the Yoga Factory Teacher Training in summer 2016.

Have you ever competed before?
Yes, in 2015.

Why did you decide to compete?
I was inspired by the people I had seen compete in the previous years; I saw people get up on stage with a wide variety of experience levels, confidence levels, and body shapes/sizes, and every single one thrilled me with their demonstration – they all looked so strong and impressive. I was also going through a phase where I was actively trying to do things that scared me. Competing was a perfect fit!

What’s your favorite part of the competition?
I love how you can feel everyone in the audience – including (and perhaps especially!) other athletes – rooting for the person on stage to do their best. It’s palpable and beautiful and makes me feel so lucky to be part of this yoga community.

What’s your biggest takeaway from competing?
Just because something seems scary doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. In fact, a certain kind of “scary” actually means that you’re stepping into a juicy and profound learning experience.

Describe your experience in one word.
Life-affirming.

Why did you decide to coach?
Because I wanted to help other people have this same experience of themselves as brave and strong and beautiful.

What have you learned from coaching?
Coaching has reinforced my belief that while it’s true that all you can do is the best you can with the brain, body, and moment you have, “the best you can” is usually way more powerful, centered, and awesome than you might at first think. It’s okay to claim your strength and power and beauty, and in fact, the whole community gets better when you do.

How does this apply to your practice?
Your teaching? In both my practice and my teaching, I have high standards for focus, effort, and accepting the reality of the quality of that day’s practice. I don’t rag on myself for being tired or falling out of poses or even sitting out, and I also absolutely bask in the moments when I look in the mirror and connect with my own strength and presence. I try to help students be open to those moments too, with joy and without apology.

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