I came to the practice of yoga during a transitional period of my life- I was 18 and spending a gap year living with my aunt in Hawaii, who introduced me to meditation and shortly thereafter took me to my first yoga class. After years of competitive figure skating, the physical aspects of the asanas came relatively natural to me. It was the quiet awareness of meditation and pranayama that both intrigued and humbled me. After practicing yin, Ashtanga, and Jivamukti yoga for about seven years, I enrolled in a 200-hour teaching training. Yoga has been such a beautiful part of my life and I wanted to learn more about this practice, as I genuinely find all aspects of yoga to be incredibly fascinating- the history, the language, the philosophy, the postures, the anatomy, all of it! For me, the most important approach to yoga is this idea that yoga can look so many different ways—you don’t have to practice two hours of asana and an hour of meditation and pranayama every morning to be a ‘good’ yogi and live a lifestyle that is rooted in compassion, non-harming, and self-care. Yoga can be what you need it to be and that may [and probably will!] look quite different as you go through different times during your life, and even from day to day. We are all so busy and it can be really challenging to take time to take care of our bodies, but through yoga I developed this ability to start listening to my body and noticing what my body needs to feel really good. We all deserve that—feeling safe, loved, and nourished in our bodies. I hope to share that passion with my students at Yoga NW. My goal as a teacher is to empower my students with the tools to develop a lifelong, sustainable yoga practice that is rooted in the principles of self-care and listening to what your body needs in that moment, to provide a space for students that is driven by a sense of community and belonging, and to encourage students to practice gratitude for their bodies and all that they are capable of.