I first started Practicing Yoga and Meditation in my early 30s when I felt that I needed a fresh perspective on my life. At the time, I had a tendency to overthink that stalled many of my endeavors, and reading about solving these issues didn't give me the answers I was looking for. I tried different jobs as I was looking for external solutions to my dissatisfaction. I then realized that I needed a hard reset, which now in retrospect was about practicing kindness towards myself so I can gain perspective and get a fresh start mentally, emotionally, and physically. Once I started, I hated my first classes :) They were so hard, and it seemed like I couldn't do most of it. It required me to slow down and examine my habits, which made me very uncomfortable and angry at myself for failing. I was then fortunate enough to run into a few great and generous teachers who were sensitive enough to see my predicament and helped me find my way. I knew that there was ones thing they couldn't help me with,

which was showing up and doing the work. I decided to practice almost daily, and it was so tough. It was draining, I was fighting myself over the need to change or stay the same. With all the difficulty, I knew that on days that I won, days when I showed up, did the work, and moved on, I felt satisfaction that I took one more step forward. Thousands of steps, day by day, falling and getting up and keeping on. I eventually started feeling that I was making some progress when It became clear to me that the space I was creating allowed me to change my own narrative, seeing myself for who I am and what I'm capable of. I'm still on this journey today but with a lot more experience under my belt, and tools that help me continuously optimize my thoughts, my actions, and my practice. Over time as a teacher I understood there is a great need in people all around me for the sort of clarity and understanding that I found, and that the world depends on enlightened people to make sure compassion, benevolence, and the greater good becomes the status quo. This led me to found Ometa, a corporate meditation and yoga company that now helps enlighten and transform other people, and I bring it right to the office. Ometa has done amazing work with people, and my goal is to continue bringing yoga and mediation to people for years to come.

What yogas did you practice when you started and how was it?

My first class I ever went to was a beginner Ashtanga class, and it felt that it required the sort of strength and flexibility I didn't have, so I tried my best, and though the teacher was great, he didn't communicate enough about the process for me to understand the journey ahead. This was difficult because I didn't know what to expect and what I could measure my progress by. Even though I liked the practice a lot, I had a hard time bonding with other students because the studio didn't have a community culture, and I needed new friends in the Yoga world. One day a friend asked me if i'd like to go to a different kind of yoga, and I agreed to try it. This was my first experience with Bikram Yoga. The most memorable thing from the first class was that was so hot and so hard, I forgot about anything and everything else that was bothering me about my life at the

time. When class was over and I was on my way home, I felt as if a weight lifted off my shoulders, just having that two hour window free from worries and doubts gave me space to breath, and I wanted more. As soon as I came back for my second class, I applied to work at the studio. This was such a great deal, I worked a shift every week, one afternoon, and got all my yoga for free! Working at the studio required checking people in, keeping the place organized and clean, doing laundry and making sure It all runs well. After a while, when it was obvious that I was passionate about the practice, at the time I was there almost every day, and it was SOOOOO hard to practice at first. It was really hot, I kept drinking water thinking it would make me feel better, and it only made me full :) I looked around and saw all these amazing yogis doing amazing postures and I decided I was going to become great no matter what it took! Eventually, I became good enough to consider going to become a teacher. Teachers were revered, they had such an amazing practice, and I wanted to share with other students my journey, it would be my way of giving back. And so I quit my Job, enrolled in training, sublet my apartment, and I was off!I went to become a teacher, the first certification I ever did. Little did I know that the hard part was all ahead of me.

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