I work with individuals to cultivate freedom of movement through yoga. With clients I explore the emergent patterns of movement in the body and thought structures that contribute to pain and suffering.

My clients often report being calmer and more relaxed, their pain has diminished, they no longer lose sleep and have more energy to do what they love. In fact, one of them put it this way, “Before long, I was standing taller, walking longer and even breathing became easier.”

I started practicing yoga in my teens to address physical discomfort from scoliosis, which has greatly improved with the regular practice. While it has by no means cured me, yoga has given me a tool for addressing the challenges life has brought my way. I was drawn to the Iyengar method for its emphasis and focus on precise alignment in the postures. I was so inspired by the method that I enrolled in a 500 hour teacher training program at the Iyengar Yoga Institute of San Francisco. I graduated in 1999 and in 2001 moved to Pittsburgh to attend a Master of Fine Arts program at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), one of the top-ranked graduate programs in the country.

The program promotes an experimental approach to art making as a vital social, critical, and intellectual pursuit. My work as an artist has brought a unique collaboration through which I have developed the ability to communicate effectively with  many different types of people and knowledge bases. I have developed a strong research-based approach and critical problem-solving skill set that is vital to my work as a yoga therapist and, more currently, biotechnology student. During my time at CMU I fell in love with Pittsburgh and, as the city supported me with a career in yoga therapy, I decided to stay after graduating from Carnegie Mellon.

By 2006 I had been working professionally as a yoga therapist for a handful of years and felt ready to open my first clinic, Pratique Therapeutic Yoga. I am often asked what the difference between a yoga teacher and a yoga therapist is. I say that a yoga teacher teaches how to do yoga poses and a yoga therapist helps use yoga for various aliments and conditions. My slogan and motto at the clinic was “Yoga Is My Health Insurance.” It was a phrase I had heard repeatedly from students who believed in participating in the process of health care, rather than solely relying on doctors for sick care. One of my clients put it this way: “Before long, I was standing taller, walking longer and even breathing became easier.” That is the essence of Yoga Is My Health Insurance.

Working as a yoga therapist in private practice over the last decade brought hundreds of people through my door. I knew yoga therapy worked, as I saw first-hand the way in which it addressed the whole person on a profoundly complex level. Clients make dramatic changes on a bio-pscho-social-spiritual basis that helps them alleviate pain and have the energy and resilience to do the things they love.

Over the course of my career I started integrating knowledge from different traditional medicine ontologies. From 2012-2017 I acted as my former husband’s research assistant looking at Chinese medicine through the lens of Medical Anthropology. Over the course of the field work I traveled extensively throughout Europe and Asia while pregnant. Receiving prenatal care in seven different countries profoundly changed the way I understood the social and cultural factors that affect human health, the spread of disease and the treatment of illness.

When I returned to the States I knew I wanted to go back to school and participate in biomedical sciences. As I started my studies, I began looking into chronic pain and personalized medicine. Biotechnology was where I landed. It offers new possibilities for alleviating  suffering. I am devoted to the possibility of integrating biomedical science with ancient traditions such as yoga and Chinese medicine. These traditions have long pointed to health not being something static but something that is in flux. The biomedical sciences are just starting to engage this as they grasp the human microbiome and the complex way in which epigenetics plays out in DNA.