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#ODDLight: ODDMama Jess

Per tradition, we are kicking off the near year by shedding the #ODDLight on the one and only Jessica Rosen. In case you’ve been living under a rock, she’s the founder and CEO of One Down Dog (aka the one you might see dancing in the lobby of the Silverlake Studio and waving around raffle tickets) . This year we are celebrating 5 AMAZING YEARS of existence for this lovely yoga community so we thought we’d check in with the ODDMama herself to see what’s up to, extract some of her wisdom, and learn what she has in store for this year.

And if this post is not enough Jessica for you, don’t fret. She’ll be kicking off her annual Make Awesome Happen workshop next Wednesday, January 31. Check out the website for all the details. It’s going to be 5-weeks of life-changing, goal-setting, fear-fighting AWESOMENESS.

Real Quick. Tell us the ODD origin story. 
ODD exists because after moving from Detroit to LA, I was looking for a yoga home – a space with a wide variety of classes and a strong sense of community where I felt like I belonged. When I couldn’t find what I was looking for in my neighborhood, I explored creating it on my own because I knew I couldn’t be alone in my search. I was told I couldn’t do it alone – that I’d need investors, bank loans, a business partner… but here we are almost 5 years later with a third location on the way, a solid team of over 30 staff/teachers and a student body that reaches all over the world. And ya know what? I did, indeed, do it on my own – with the help and support of the most amazing team, family and all of you! To this day, we remain a female owned small business and that is pretty freaking awesome! The journey has been a whirlwind, but damn has it been fulfilling and it is only made possible because of you – thank you!

If you could have any super power what would it be?
telepathic email responding. Basically I read an email and think about my response and it just sends without me having to type.
email is the bane of my existence.

What was the last book you read?
oh crap! potty training – gotta get my kid out of diapers for reals!

What brings you joy?
creative problem solving, an empty inbox, teaching yoga, hanging out with friends and family, being outside, french fries.

Do you dream? Lucid dream?
yes and no.

Who or What is your spirit animal?
Patrick Bateman. Duh.
my dog is my spirit animal. I put it on a tote bag. you can buy it at ODD:)

 

If YOU were a color, what color would you be?
ODD blue.

What’s your current BHAG (big, hairy, audacious goal)?
I’m living it baby:)
but for my future it’s to open a boxing gym, own a home with a lot of land, spend more time camping.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned recently?
when someone shows you who they are, believe them.

Any advice on somebody doing something they’ve never done before?
take the leap, the net will appear. it’s true what they say: the bigger the risk, the bigger the reward and nothing is a failure it’s just a lesson.
that’s a whole lot of inspirational quotes for ya, but I’ve found it to be 100% true in my life experience.

Have any anecdotes/funny stories of an awesome you were trying to make happen that flopped? 
Totes. Not a total flop, but a challenge for sure! I signed the lease on our Echo Park studio in November of 2016. It’s Jan11, 2018 and we’re still not fucking open! It’s happening though…it’s happening! And soon! It’s been a year of tons of lessons in patience, communication and standing my ground. I’ve had to pull up my big girl pants and handle some shit over there – major growth year for me.

What is your favorite tool to help you make awesome happen?
small, sustainable steps towards big scary goals. trying to do it all, all at once blows up real quick. no bueno.

Share some wise thoughts on community.
Making awesome happen takes a team. trying to do everything, and be everything for everyone will land you in the luny bin. There is no way I would be where I am without the love, support, encouragement and actions of my community. Having a community of humans that are doing the work together is the best! ODD is always working to be that community and we start each year off with a weekly course to be that fam for one another. Join me on this years journey starting Jan 31st!

#ODDlight: January Student Features

Hey there yogis!

Have you ever been practicing next to another human and thought, “wow, that person seems cool, I wonder what color they would be if they were a color?” Well! Today is your lucky day because we’re learning all about four AWESOME ODD members in this post. You’ll probably recognize some their faces from hanging out at the studio and now that you know everything about them, be sure to spark up a conversation the next time you see them.

Name: Peter G.

Hometown: Oklahoma City

Favorite Place: Sunday AM Hollywood Farmer’s Market. No! One Down Dog. Maybe underwater?

Fun Fact most wouldn’t know about you? My first car was a 1996 violet Dodge Grand Caravan, handed down to me very generously from my Mom. Oh, and I spent three years as my high school mascot. TWO fun facts for you. High School was a blast. 😛

Share a story or anecdote with us, memorable yoga moment – something magical, changing, funny, or adventurous. Something that you love to tell. When I get to my mat, I have one rule. Don’t forget to breathe. I try to take that with me always. My practice changes every day because I change every day. So I’m really grateful for the presence that my practice brings me. It’s just that, a practice. To me that quality is a lesson in itself, one I hope to be mindful of as long as I’m breathing.

How did you first hear about One Down Dog? Driving Sunset Blvd., I saw the funky decorations on the 2nd story balcony. I googled the studio and knew right away I wanted to try it out.

What has kept you around the ODDfam? All the amazing people! It feels like home to me. I don’t feel judged by what I can or cannot do on my mat. That kind of acceptance is really important to me. Plus, I really like getting to know the staff and teachers. Everyone I’ve met is totally unique and inspiring in their own way. I hope to be like that too.

Would you more likely tell your boss they had food in their teeth or let it slide? Oh jeez. I’d definitely say something. Mostly because if it happened to me and no one said anything, I’d be horrified. Do unto others, right?

If you could have any superpower what would it be? The power to reverse Climate-Change and Global Warming. Or time travel. It’s kind of a toss-up these days.

What was the last book you read? The Last Colony, by John Scalzi. *sci-fi fan*

Do you dream? Lucid dream? Yes! I dream. Do people not? I find I dream most often when I’ve also done my daily journaling. (TMI?) I don’t have lucid control though. That would be really cool. Can we do a workshop on that?

If YOU were a color what color would you be? Violet, definitely violet.

Are there any links, @names, and #hashtags you would you like us to use in promoting you and your happenings? @peter_thelle But it’s totally random-preachy-banal-stream-of-conscious. Which I guess, describes me pretty well.

 

 

Name: Haley Potiker

Hometown: Villa Park, CA

Favorite Place: One Down Dog of course! But also Sedona, AZ.

Fun Fact most wouldn’t know about you? In addition to doing communications for political causes and nonprofits, I also run a small record label called POW Recordings. 

Share a story or anecdote with us, memorable yoga moment – something magical, changing, funny, or adventurous. Something that you love to tell. My boyfriend and I went to a yoga festival in Whistler during the fires in Western Canada. We were expecting to spend our time hiking in the mountains and paddle boarding in the lake. Instead, all outdoor activities were cancelled or moved into hotel conference rooms! At first we were frustrated, but as we explored meditation, restorative, and yin yoga I began to embrace slowing down my practice and taking time to look inward. Now yin is my favorite style of asana.

How did you first hear about One Down Dog? I had just moved to Silver Lake and was trying out all the studios in the area when I landed at ODD’s old shared space down the street. It immediately felt like home to me, and i’ve been coming ever since! (I can’t believe it’s already been 5 years!)

What has kept you around the ODDfam? ODD is like the Cheers of yoga. It’s not just the friendliness of the front desk staff or the teachers — it’s also the other students, who embody that same attitude. All my shyness and anxiety melts away when I walk through the door.

Would you more likely tell your boss they had food in their teeth or let it slide? I always tell people when they have food in their teeth!!! Do unto others, right? I think I told my boss she had lipstick on her teeth my first week on the job. (Please tell me if my yoga pants are see-through.)

If you could have any super power what would it be? The ability to locate lost objects. 

What was the last book you read? A Time To Be Born by Dawn Powell. She’s amazing.

If YOU were a color what color would you be? I’m blue (if I were green I would die)

Are there any links, @names, and #hashtags you would you like us to use in promoting you and your happenings?

Twitter: @haleyp

Instagram: @haley___p

powrecordings.net

 

Name: Santiago Pazos

Hometown: I have two, that’s how international I am! : La Coruna ( Galicia – Spain) and Los Angeles

Favorite Place: Yosemite.

Fun Fact most wouldn’t know about you? I am a hardcore GAYmer and plenty of people don’t know this, but I am a PR and work in the worlds of art & entertainment. And one day I want to do yoga with a kilt on! See picture

Share a story or anecdote with us, memorable yoga moment – something magical, changing, funny, or adventurous. Something that you love to tell. I think one of my most magical experiences in life was walking down Grand Canyon, walk from 5 miles, and reach the Havasupai Waterfalls – part of a Indian Reservation. It is just magical and one of the most unique experiences in my life. A huge elk welcomed us on our way there ( the sun was between his horns by that time from our angle), we saw two wild horses ( a mama and her son) being reunited… and our backpacks being bitten by hungry squirrels. It was just surreal… and those waterfall! Wow. 

How did you first hear about One Down Dog? Two friends! One of them is still a student I believe!

What has kept you around the ODDfam? The entire crew plus of course the fact the studio is right across my office

Would you more likely tell your boss they had food in their teeth or let it slide? I am my own boss so I would say: bitch! You better clean yourself honey 

If you could have any super power what would it be? Flying, for sure

What was the last book you read? INSTALLATION ART 

Do you dream? Lucid dream? I dream but most of the times I don’t remember. Suddenly a flash might come during the day and I say: oooh ok, I dreamt about that. I dreamt so so many times about me flying though. And also what’s dreamy is my boyfriend 

If YOU were a color what color would you be? Absolutely blue 

Are there any links, @names, and #hashtags you would you like us to use in promoting you and your happenings? PazosMedia and #Europamerican #PazosMedia

Name: tiLLie

Hometown: Atlanta, GA

Favorite Place: LA, duh!

Fun Fact most wouldn’t know about you? I can whistle 3 different ways!

Share a story or anecdote with us, memorable yoga moment – something magical, changing, funny, or adventurous. Something that you love to tell. – My absolute favorite yoga story is when I had a teacher force the whole class to do a dance circle at 9am. I was absolutely TERRIFIED to dance in front of a bunch of strangers.. as I’m sure were the rest of the totally sober students. In a panic, after years hiding in retirement, I busted out the worm and surprisingly didn’t break my face. It was the most liberating and empowering moment – which to me, is the very essence of how yoga has impacted my life.

How did you first hear about One Down Dog? – groupon! when i first moved to la I used groupon to try out different studios before making the plunge.

What has kept you around the ODDfam? i LOVE how down-to-earth and playful the classes are. They don’t make you feel like you’re participating in some pretentious competition. The teachers and staff are so warm and friendly, and as a musician with a rather transient lifestyle, it’s so nice having that sense of community.

Would you more likely tell your boss they had food in their teeth or let it slide? – Tell them for sure! A little bit of embarrassment right away is better than agonizing over how long it’d had been there.

If you could have any super power what would it be? Being able to (anonymously) give the gift of self-love. 

What was the last book you read? women who run with the wolves!

Do you dream? Lucid dream? NON-STOP! I have about 10 books I want to write just based off the dreams I have. Sometimes I wake up exhausted from having dreamt the whole night away haha!

If YOU were a color what color would you be? Gold! 

Are there any links, @names, and #hashtags you would you like us to use in promoting you and your happenings? @whoistiLLie #theglittergang

 

 

Name: Ginée Nicole Arreguin

Hometown: Healdsburg, Ca

Favorite Place: my grandparents cabin in the woods up North. Some of my favorite childhood memories were made there, running around barefoot and free. Whenever my my mind feels especially loud, I imagine myself there and just like that it’s quite. Pure bliss.

Share a story or anecdote with us, memorable yoga moment – something magical, changing, funny, or adventurous. Something that you love to tell.  

I spent St. Patrick’s day in Ireland a few years back and as my friend and I were leaving one pub to go to another, she grabs my arm and stops abruptly. Then she proceeds to run into a tiny pizza shop, dragging we in with her. That’s when I hear it. Our favorite song( I love it, by Icon Pop) was playing and we proceeded to dance our tutu wearing hearts out. The guy behind the counter was about to kick us out when a whole crowd of people came in and joined us. It felt like what I would imagine being the first person to start a slow clap and the end of a Rom-Com would feel like. To this day, I hear that song and I have to dance. 

How did you first hear about One Down Dog? when I first moved into the neighborhood I google searched the nearest studios.

What has kept you around the ODDfam?From the first day I walked in, to the class I took today, I’ve felt not only welcome but like I had finally come home. The community that ODD is, is like no other. People really see you here, they want to get to know you and for you to get to know them. It’s an infectious and magical place that I just can’t get enough of. 

Would you more likely tell your boss they had food in their teeth or let it slide? I’m pretty close with my boss, so I would definitely consider telling her;)

If you could have any super power what would it be? To be able to fly, is there even another?! Think yogi Wonder Woman. 

What was the last book you read? Healing Mantras, by Thomas Ashley-Farrand 

If YOU were a color what color would you be? All of them. I would be all of the colors.

Are there any links, @names, and #hashtags you would you like us to use in promoting you and your happenings?

@mamagmoneyy on instagram for more on my life, which is mostly cats and yoga. 

 

 

We weren’t able to get an interview with Angela and Victor Ganata as they JUST HAD THEIR BABY! But you’ve definitely met these two on the mat. We featured them last year for their dedication to trying and sticking with yoga last year and it’s proved through this year and their entire pregnancy. They’ve got a very exciting new journey ahead. Cant wait to see them in BABY & ME next!

   

#ODDlight Feature: Ayurvedic Clinician Eleni Tsikrikas

Every month One Down Dog finds an #ODDlight feature for you all to learn about. Meet Eleni Tsikrikas – your local Ayurvedic Clinician who teaches our teachers, consults us privately, and opens the doors to self care in the form of yoga’s sister science. The natural medicine of Ayurveda.

Intro to Ayurveda and making teas starts October 20th & 27th!

Part 2: November 3rd & 10th

 

Name: Eleni
Hometown: Los Angeles and Sydney Australia

Favorite color: Blue
What’s your sign?: Pisces
Most embarrassing moment? 
Recently I was in Athens, Greece, feeling very relaxed and happy. Went to dinner with my husband as usual we ordered too much food, so we took the rest in a doggy bag. On the way home, we decided to give the food away. I approached a man I thought was homeless and offered him the food. The man became angry and told me he was not homeless and how dare I assume…….. I was sooooo embarrassed and felt so stupid and ……………..remembered an old saying…….Never assume, it makes an ass out of you and me
Most empowering moment? When I finally got it that life doesnt happen to me, its an inside job……“life emanates from me”
Fun Fact most wouldn’t know about you?
I love to knit and do needle point
Fun Fact most wouldn’t know about you?
I love reading other worldly books.  Outlander, Harry Potter series

Fun Fact most wouldn’t know about you?
Love to laugh, right now rewatching  “Will and Grace” series

Share a story or anecdote with us – something magical, changing, funny, or adventurous. Something that you love to tell.
I had the most magical experience last Month in Greece. I was in a small town of Koroni, sight seeing with some friends.   I lost my purse ( with cash, credit cards, drivers license and green card) yikes!!!! Reported it to the local police, looked around, cancelled my credit cards, called the embassy……it was a mess
and it meant that we had to cut the holiday short and get to the US Embassy in Athens to sort me out for reentry into the US.
A few hours later, I was sipping tea on our balcony going through my emails. I received a message from Chris, a Greek man, living in New York, whose Mom lived in Koroni ( the town I lost my wallet. She found my purse on the steps of her store, when he happened to call her from the US.  You still with me.
He asked her to go through my wallet, he got my name, found me on line, emailed me in Greece…. I called him in New York, he told me his mum had my wallet at her store in Koroni. I drove back to the town, found his mom and my wallet with everything intact.   One of the best experiences Ive had

When you aren’t at the studio where can you be found (favorite past time)?
At my home/studio in Silverlake

How do you define yoga?
The road towards personal transformation
Why do you teach?
Because I want to share this transformational teachings
What brought you to become an instructor?
Curiosity and personal development

What is your favorite song to play in class?
I love Cafe Del Mar Dreams series

What is your favorite pose or flow? Why?
My own practice
Memorable yoga moment?
When I quit smoking cigarettes 15 years ago. I learnt from studying the yoga sutras, that the mind is a habit making machine. I took responsibility for my actions, changed my habit, practiced it consistently and consciously until it wasn’t a problem. Very freeing for me.


How did you first hear about One Down Dog?
I met Jessica in a class

What is your favorite yogi prop or piece to wear or use? (favorite mala etc)
None

What special causes or non-profits do you hold dear to your heart?
Greenpeace, KCRW,

#ODDlight Feature: Jeff Van Ness

Name: Jeff Van Ness

Nick Name: Jeff Van Ness

Hometown: Miami

Favorite Place: I can acclimate to most places so I have too many favorites ~ really, any place where I can sit and think without boundaries. I can be near an ocean, someplace exotic, near my family, anywhere ~ if there is space for my thoughts to move around I’m a happy guy.

Favorite color: Lets say gray. and if thats not good, how about blue? And why not a third? Green!

What’s your sign? Sagittarius

Most embarrassing moment? GEEZ! I’ll try to be brief, this took place when instant messaging was a thing. There was a girl from high school that I’d been after for a while and one night after some outing I took her home where we sat in my car listening to music ~ it was the kind of scene where If i’d had more courageous I would’ve tried to kiss her. I didn’t though, but I did notice that one of the buttons on her blouse was undone and I, foolishly, took it to be some strategy on her part to alert me that she was into me! It’s really stupid logic, but it seemed spot on at the time. Seeking encouragement from my friends when I got home, I wrote a long message retelling what happened in the car with the blouse, the whole thing. When I finished I quickly hit enter and it quickly appeared in the IM box. The conversation with my pals was pretty active so when I didn’t get a response I knew something was wrong and a second later I realized what had happened and proceeded to deal with that sinking feeling you feel when you’re embarrassed and stuck. I had sent HER the message with our story. Everything worked out alright, no real harm done ~ and the real plus is that THIS is my most embarrassing moment.

Most empowering moment? First thing that comes to mind: I used to give tours of the Universal backlot in spanish. It was a performers sort of job. Though I can do it fine, the performers hat isn’t a comfortable one for me ~ my first week giving tours was rough and on one tour I messed up a lot, but I realized that people got a kick out of it, and not in a “laughing at me” sort of way. People were supportive and they wanted me to do well they wanted me to be myself. A lot of the people on that tram were experiencing the attraction for the 100th time so when I’d lose the scripted stuff I’d get their attention. When I was up there just being me, thats what they wanted to see. That and Jaws and King Kong and the other stuff.

Fun Fact most wouldn’t know about you? I used to be a fat kid. For real, a pretty heavy kid, 220 lbs. And I had a diet that supported that sort of weight. Cheeses, pizzas, mayonnaise, ranch, french fries, fast food ~ I wasn’t shy about enjoying all that stuff ~

Jeff, this is what happens when you dont send us photos… we turn to facebook.

Fun Fact most wouldn’t know about you? I know a lot about cars. But not cool cars. I can’t tell you too much about an awesome BMW or a Tesla, but if you want to know the horsepower, or how many lbs of torque you’d get out of a sensible Honda Accord I’m your guy

Fun Fact most wouldn’t know about you? I think about music a lot, I’m constantly humming in my head or whistling or I’ll sing to my son (and he’ll sing back)

Share a story or anecdote with us – something magical, changing, funny, or adventurous. Something that you love to tell.

This anecdote is a fresh one that no one, but me, really cares about. My family is Cuban, I am of Cuban descent, first generation American. Growing up, I distinctly remember a black and white image of the home that my grandparents left behind in 1962, it was a two story kind of L shaped home that stood by itself on what appeared to be a hill. I could describe it perfectly. For the past couple of years. Since relations with Cuba have improved several of my friends and family have gone to Cuba, I am jealous every time I learn of someones trip. Not because I am into seeing the sights, I don’t care about that, I want to find this house. My cousin recently went, he tried to find the house but couldn’t. 

A few weeks ago a buddy of mine came back, I had known of his trip and encouraged him to look up a few AirBnB properties that I knew were well kept. Sometime between then and now I thought, why wouldn’t my families house be an AirBnB? I started my search, but couldn’t find anything ~ I searched google images of the town (an unincorporated area of east Havana), as many as I could find, but nothing. I scanned 3,000 hash tagged images, but couldn’t find anything that resembled the house. No two homes look alike. I was on Youtube watching videos from the town but couldn’t find it. A few days later I asked my Mom to send me a scanned image of the house; and I don’t know what it was about that image but my first search led me to the house immediately, which is in fact an AirBnB. 

So expect me to request a few sub dates as I will be staying there soon. 

When you aren’t at the studio where can you be found (favorite past time)?

Oh, Im really into my family, I love love love my wife, my kid, my brother who lives nearby ~ so day trips with one or all of those mentioned; we’ve got memberships at every museum in town, maybe there. I’ve lately been doing hikes from a book called Secret Stairs. Its cool enough, a USC professor mapped out hikes connecting stairs all over the city. Finding new stuff to eat. New stuff to cook. Lots of stuff with the baby. There’s NOTHING more inspiring/enlightening than experiencing the world with an infant. It brings out the best in people, in strangers, and in me. 

How do you define yoga? referring to a physical practice, its a tool that should help you develop awareness, encouragement, and compassion (in that order).

Why do you teach? Because its hard and because I can. I get anxious before I teach so its an obstacle that I enjoy overcoming. It doesn’t really get easier so I enjoy the spontaneity that comes from each group of students. Its also a great thing to share with people; I don’t actively give to charity and I don’t want to compare the two, they’re different. But I do hope that sharing things that I think are interesting or unique or hard will be valuable to people.

What brought you to become an instructor?

An ashtanga teacher who’s class I took a few times approached me and told me that I’d be a teacher. So a few years later I became a teacher. 

What is your favorite song to play in class?

At the moment theres a live version of Sam Cooke’s “Bring it on home to me” thats got the best intro, the best a lot of stuff that I can think of right now. I love playing that. 

What is your favorite pose or flow? Why?

1/2 moon. Its the sort of pose that feels stretchy and long even when all of your muscles are turned on. 

Memorable yoga moment?

Too many. I always get a kick out of being able to do stuff that I didn’t think possible ~ with the right instruction so much is possible. 

How did you first hear about One Down Dog?

I got a message on FB just before the SL location opened asking to connect. I wasn’t able to at the time but was excited to now 4 years later!

What is your favorite yogi prop or piece to wear or use? (favorite mala etc)

Nah, I haven’t got stuff like that. I do love a good foam roller and would love to lead a class wherein we use foam rollers before and or after strenuous sequences. hint hint. 

What special causes or non-profits do you hold dear to your heart?

Nothing specific. There are occasionally causes I send some money to, Standing Sioux for instance during the standing rock stand off ~ besides being vehemently opposed to inequality ~ I really want people to be informed. I spend a lot of time watching, what I think is, great reporting ~ there is a really great information out there, and not far either. The more you know the more informed your choices will be and the better those choices will be.

#ODDlight Feature Breathwork Teacher: Michelle D’Avella

Each month we feature and shine the #ODDlight on the bright lights that keep this place going.

Meet Micelle, she’s your monthly breathwork teacher, the first Wednesday of every month in Silverlake. Catch an additional chance to breathe and heal this August 16th for a collaborative Breathwork + Soundlab with Michelle and sound healer Lauren Waggoner.

Name: Michelle D’Avella

Nick Name: Mishi, Chells, You should probably just call me Michelle if you don’t know me. 🙂

Hometown: Lebanon Township in good ‘ol New Jersey

 

Favorite Place: Joshua Tree

Favorite color: No favs. I tend to like pops of color. Bright pink. Burnt orange. Teal.

What’s your sign? Libra

Most embarrassing moment? The first memory that came up for me was when I peed my pants in kindergarten, but then I thought, “Come on, how embarrassed can you really be when you’re 5?” So then I thought of this time when I was around 25 and living in Philadelphia. It was around Christmas, and I was out shopping for gifts with my then boyfriend. I was broke, and he was broker. We were on our way home, and I got stopped in the street by a dude who proceeded to hustle me out of $20. 

Unbeknownst to me, he and this woman had an act where he played some magic trick, and she pretended to keep winning double her money from him. They showed me several times, and my greed for some easy money won out. The moment I lost my heart sunk as I realized I’d been scammed. I didn’t care about the money, but my pride was bruised. I felt incredibly stupid and naive.

So how did I handle it at the time? Oh yeah, I yelled at my boyfriend for letting me do that, of course, and then proceeded to walk in front of him the whole way home. Oh man, who was that girl back then?!

Most empowering moment? The moment I realized that I don’t need anything from anyone else to heal. I don’t need my ex to apologize for how he hurt me. I don’t need to talk things through with the old flame who ghosted me. I don’t need Mom or Dad to understand x, y, or z about me. I don’t need anyone else to change in order for me to own who I am, heal myself, and create the life I want.

I credit Breathwork for opening me up to realize that I can move out of the place of being a victim and into the empowered position of creating everything I really want for my life.

Fun Fact most wouldn’t know about you? I’m the oldest of 7 kids.

Share a story or anecdote with us – something magical, changing, funny, or adventurous. Something thats ready to tell. I have always felt there was something more—more for my life and more that was underneath this all. I didn’t know what that meant except for the fact that the way I felt inside didn’t match the world I was living in. I spent most of my life frustrated and confused. When I was 27 my life was not going the way I wanted it to. I had broken up with my boyfriend and moved into a place in Philly with my brother. Three months into our lease my brother tells me he wants to move home to save money. 

So at 27 I find myself in my parents’s basement, hanging up sheets from the ceiling to create a bedroom, and I’m miserable. I’m crying and feeling sorry for myself that I’m not in a happy relationship, that I don’t know what I want to do with my life, and that I’m back in bumble-fuck New Jersey relying on my parents for support.

Once I decide to get over myself and take advantage of the moment I start enjoying being with my family. I read a lot of books. Finally I decide to name this feeling inside me and just start sharing my writing. So Pushing Beauty is born, and I start letting my soul speak.

Not long after I move to Hawaii—on a whim. I start meditating more. I take time to get to know myself. I start to trust the signs that are coming to me, and I’m lead to move to LA. It’s there that I discover Breathwork and my entire life transforms. My soul work turns into my business, and I become the happiest I have ever been in my life.

This story is missing a lot of detail, but the point is that my lowest points have always turned into great opportunities. The more I learn to surrender and pay attention to what the Universe is showing me, the more fulfilling my life becomes. Wayne Dyer wrote a book called, “I Can See Clearly Now.” It’s about how as he looks back at his life he can see all of the dots connected. I feel the same way. I have been guided to exactly where I need to be. So anytime I judge where I’m at, make it a problem, or try to force something to be what it isn’t I remember this.

 

When you aren’t at the studio where can you be found (favorite past time)? At Cafecito sipping a coffee, walking around Echo Park Lake having the best conversation with a friend, lounging in SIlverlake Meadow reading a good book.

How do you define yoga? An opportunity to get to know yourself more.

Why do you teach? I teach Breathwork, and I teach it because it’s the single practice that transformed my life in a way no other has. I teach because part of my calling is to help other people truly change their lives. I only teach things that have worked for me. Breathwork is the fastest catalyst for creating sustainable change. If you show up to do the work with a willingness to see the truth about yourself, you will transform.

What inspired you to become an instructor? It was part of the journey. I never had any grand plan to be a teacher. In fact, it was probably the opposite. I ended up doing a Breathwork training because I was following my intuition. I had no plans to teach, but something felt like it was calling me to do this training. So I did it. Then my roommate asked me, “Hey what was that thing you were doing the other weekend?”I guided him through a session, and it blew his mind. He was like, “Everyone needs to experience this work!” Pretty quickly, after doing sessions with everyone in my family from my 13 year old sister to my 58 year old father, I realized this was universal work. Everyone needs their heart to open more. Everyone needs to get out of their head. Everyone needs to heal in some way. So I started teaching.

What is your favorite song to play in class? I don’t have a favorite song. I make different playlists for each class. Probably one of my favorite songs to use in Breathwork right now in my own practice is The Promise by Tracy Chaplin. I have been known to throw in a Landslide rendition from time to time in class that almost always gets the tears flowing.

What is your favorite breathe, pose, or flow? Why? Breathing! Of course I’m speaking about the particular kind of Breathwork I teach, but for real it is my ultimate healing tool. I breathe every single day to open my energy, release stuck emotions, open my heart, and connect me to my truth. If there was only one practice I could do it would be this, and it’s the one thing above all else I recommend people begin to work with. Game changer.

 

Memorable yoga/breath moment? So many! I’ve been practicing Breathwork for about four years now so that has included many, many sessions. Each session is powerful in and of itself, and I’ve had too many incredible experiences to even remember. I recently had a session where I cleared out some abuse energy that was passed down in my family’s lineage, and that was a really incredible experience. My favorite moment in any private healing session is when the heart opens. It’s such a beautiful experience to witness someone let go of an old story and connect with who they truly are.

How did you first hear about One Down Dog? Ha! Actually my ex boyfriend was practicing at the studio so I started to check it out through his recommendation.

What is your favorite yogi prop or piece to wear or use? (favorite mala, oil, etc) I use my teacher’s blend of essential oils for the chakras. They really help to open things up, and I use them every day. If you’ve taken a class with me you’ve probably experienced me applying Open Heart or Expression.

Are there any links, @names, and #hashtags you would you like us to use in promoting you and your happenings? My handle is @pushingbeauty and you can use #pushingbeauty