About  Ry

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I must admit that I didn’t go to my first yoga class to seek inner peace.  In fact, it was quite the opposite.  I had heard that it was really hard, a good way to get more flexible, and most importantly a great workout.  Being the gym junkie that I was at the time I took this information as a challenge to conquer something new. 

The classes that I attended were just as hard as people said and I was “not that good” at it.  I am by nature or nurture not very flexible.  I never have been.  That being said, the yoga classes that I attended were extremely challenging for me.  Downdog was absolutely not a resting pose like most instructors said!  It was a lot of work just like every other pose they told us to relax in, yet I was determined to “get good” at it.  I rarely back down from a physical challenge so I stuck with it for the first few weeks with the sole intention of getting in better ‘yoga shape’.    

When I heard that there was a more popular place to hone my skills I left my gym class for a Power Yoga studio.  This place was great.  It was really hard, it was really sweaty, and there were gorgeous girls everywhere!  What better place to be inspired to get into better shape? 

I continued my practice at this new studio and indeed I got into better shape, however something started to shift for me along the way.   I couldn’t tell you why but I started to focus on what the instructor was saying in class instead of my own physical experience.  When I did this, I realized that intermixed with all his shtick about yoga philosophy, he talked an awful lot about breathing.  I remember him saying that if we could focus on our breathing for the whole class that we would leave stoned.  Oh really?  I had never been much of a stoner however this was a little intriguing to me because working out had always made me feel good however I could never truly say that it made me ‘high’.  So I thought it was worth a shot.  

Focusing on my breath for an entire class was a much harder proposition than I thought.  I could focus on my breathing for 3 breaths or so, then my mind would wander off like a little unleashed puppy.  Encouraged my the challenge of it I kept at the practice of focusing back on my breathing every time my mind wandered even if it happened a thousand times in one class.  Thank God the practice got easier.  Soon I was fairly focused for 5 breaths, then 10, etc.  I can’t say that my mind ever stopped wondering however the process of bringing my attention back to my breathing got much easier.    


There was one class in particular that I remember promising myself that I would breathe steadily through the whole class no matter what.  After savasana I left the class in a trance.  I walked outside and looked around Santa Monica.  Everything looked different.  The colors were brighter, the sounds were crisper but not disturbing, and people seemed truly beautiful at their core despite their outward appearance.  What had happened to me? 

As I crossed the street to go home, a car cut across my path and honked while flipping me the bird.  The guy inside the car was really pissed even though I had the right of way.  My reaction or lack thereof was what surprised me the most.  I wasn’t angry, nor was I oblivious to this guy in front of me...  I actually had compassion for him.  As I looked at his red crinkled face I wondered what was going on in his life that was making him feel so angry because I knew it had nothing to do with me.  He was suffering and I was very clear about it.  This was highly unusual to me.  I didn’t feel like myself yet at the same time I felt more  peaceful and more at home than I had felt in a long time.  In that moment as I witnessed myself as if I was watching from a distance I realized that practicing yoga was very special and more essential to me than any form of self-care that I had experienced before. It had changed my perception of the world around me, even if just for an instant during a minor traffic altercation.  I was different for a moment... I felt more like I should... more like I really am. 

And so I continue, class after class, breath after breath, peeling back the layers of who I think I am, revealing my true nature...  that which has always been there and always will be.



Practicing yoga since: 

My Yoga Teachers:
Darren Main
Max Strom
Saul David Raye
Jai Uttal

Formal EduCation: 

M.A. Spiritual Psychology Graduated in 2012 from USM

Certified Yoga Instructor  Yoga Alliance E-RYT -200

Certified Personal Trainer  NSCA - since 2002

 Trained in Stott Pilates TM 

Favorite Studio: 
Bhakti Yoga Shala 
-Santa Monica, CA

Favorite Mantra:
“Thank you”

Favorite Quote: 
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” 
- Neale Donald Walsch

Contact me anytime:

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