How can I be of service?

 

When I found yoga in college, it changed everything for me. Committing to a daily practice helped me manage my depression, find balance and make lasting change in my life but it took time and work. While in college in Boston, I discovered Back Bay Yoga and Ame Wren and fell in love with yoga - the only thing at the time that could make me happy. In the winter of 2011, at a breaking point and wanting to find more joy in life than the 60-90 minutes I spent doing yoga every day, I dropped out of school and followed my heart to San Francisco. I didn't have much of a plan except to do the only thing that made me happy as much as possible until I figured something out.

In San Francisco, I stumbled upon Urban Flow and Stephanie Snyder and fell in love all over again. By the fall of 2012, I was in Stephanie's 200 hour teacher training. The training was transformational in every way people say they are but at the time I was 22, working as a barista, still depressed and unsure of how to pursue a full time teaching career. I began to teach periodically but decided to sign up for Stephanie's 300 hour training in the summer of 2013 in order to gain more knowledge and confidence to start teaching more. Stephanie taught me to ask "How can I be of service?"

San Francisco is, of course, a home for many amazing yoga teachers and before long I stumbled into an Annie Carpenter class. Annie is strong and direct and has taught me a lot about my own body and how to read the bodies of others. In 2014, I did a couple more trainings with Annie and also made the transition from teaching part time, to full time. I felt then that I had found my voice as a teacher and the ability to balance the questions I was taught by my teachers to ask. "How can I be of service?" and "How does it feel?"

While teaching and transitioning through my 20s, I still struggled with depression and anxiety and started to look at how own body and past was a source of some of my struggle. I began learning more about my own cycle, women's health and the health of all the women in my family.

 

This was uncomfortable and not something I took on with much interest at first.

For a good portion of my life connecting and befriending women was not something I enjoyed nor did naturally. When I started teaching and getting immersed in teacher trainings, I started a (reluctant) journey to opening up more to other women around me. I actually began to see the power and beauty of being a woman.

I began learning about my birth story and the birth stories of those around me - each one is so unique! I started learning about reproductive justice and how birth practices have changed drastically from when my grandma was born, to when I was born, to now.

I completed my prenatal yoga training with Jane Austin in Fall 2017 and immediately started looking into becoming a doula - I wanted to know more about the vast birth world. 

Being a doula means I get to see birthing persons be fierce, strong and beautiful, provide the support and compassion I have learned to give as a teacher and continue to explore the world of reproductive justice. In the role of the doula, I continue to ask myself the same questions, "How can I be of service?" and "How does it feel?". I believe these two questions give me the perspective and insight to meet people where they are at and to provide the support they truly need in that moment. 

When I am not teaching or working as a doula, I spend as much time as possible outside rock climbing, hiking and swimming in alpine lakes and the ocean.