I have had the privilege of being part of the Yoga and Beyond community all my life. I readily admit I have been privileged to have learned and practiced with Ning (my mother), and with yoga master Ana Forrest, founder of Forrest Yoga. I have literally grown up in a yoga studio. Today I am so grateful for having had the opportunity to share, and now to teach you, in the style and manner of Ning, Ana Forrest, and in the style and manner of my own interests, Sculpt Yoga (body building and fitness yoga).

We are all a product of our experiences, and I am no exception. I immigrated to Canada at age 6 with my mother, we moved many times. Ours was a strained relationship while struggling to make ends meet and to build a foundation in a new country, with limited resources and limited skills. To create a better connection with me, Ning would buy me gym memberships year after year. I took an interest, started to go to the gym, I would watch YouTube videos on lifting. I started watching other people, and in time I eventually acquired the necessary skills to train and lift properly. That opened a door for an opportunity I cannot describe. Suffice to say it changed, and it shaped my life. Seventeen years later, I still spend 2 to 3 hours a day in the gym, live a healthy lifestyle, no alcohol, and focus on fitness and personal achievement.

At about age 13, my mother took me to my first yoga class. It didn’t overwhelm me. I experienced an on-again off-again relationship with yoga for many years. Working in the studio since age 19 didn’t change that much. I took my first yoga training at age 21 and HATED it, although in fairness my nightlife-oriented lifestyle may have conflicted with rising at 6 am for practice and meditation. I took my second training at age 26 after a break-up and losing two dogs to an ex. In coming to terms with that loss, I was at last prepared to learn, and more important, to listen. The training was, at first, a distraction, filled with good energy and good people. But that training, unknown to me at the time, helped me more than I can express. What patience and kindness my instructor Sarah showed, shout out Sarah much love to you.

Fresh out of training I was shy. But I’ve never been comfortable in front of people. At first teaching was very hard, confusing, and complicated. Fortunately, and incredibly, Ana Forrest was in our studio for an advanced teacher training, and the timing was right for me to enroll. That was the catalyst and transition for me. Not just that it was my 3rd training, it was Ana Forrest’s amazing knowledge, passion, love, and patience that at last catapulted me to another place. I found my voice. I found myself. I found my confidence. And an extra special unexpected gift; I found time with my mother; in an opportunity few will ever get to spend with a parent.

Movement has always been a very large part of my life. Swimming, wrestling, football, BJJ, powerlifting, life after injury workouts, and yoga. I am glad I was taught and raised by strong women.