I was called to this work by a history of hereditary cancer in my family, and I am in it for the long-haul.
I’d had an interest and rudimentary practice of Ayurveda for many years, through Yoga practice. But it wasn’t until my mother was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer in 2010 and she sought a holistic approach to healing that I looked more closely at Ayurveda.
Then I learned that my mom’s mother and grandmother both passed of ovarian cancer, so it became apparent that my three sisters and I get tested.
The results revealed that I carry BRCA2, the reproductive gene responsible for the deaths in my maternal lineage. I was told what I could do moving forward, from a Western medical perspective (scans and tests every year, mastectomy, hysterectomy). But on my own, health-wise, as a preventative measure, I was not given guidance.
That’s when I realized (once again) that our current health care system was missing the mark, and pulling farther and farther away from what true health and healing really is and how to live it.
I had a choice. When my mother was diagnosed, the cancer had far advanced in her body. The integrative-holistic approach she took on was well intended and made good sense, but it was too late. Had she been engaging in this kind of lifestyle prior to her sickness, then perhaps she would have noted the signs sooner and her body would’ve naturally been in a stronger position to fight the cancer. Or maybe it would have never surfaced.
My mother passed away in 2014. Hours before her death, while in and out of lucidity, she still made us all laugh. At her funeral, as I spoke in front of the congregation, I experienced crystalized light through my entire body, so bright and soft that I couldn’t keep from smiling and nearly laughing. And in the months following, with extraordinary magnitude, I began to feel within my body what she had been holding in her’s all these years, pain and grief from the sudden and violent death of my father that left her a widow when I was 13.
In 2017, committed to my own health and healing, and guided by something so much larger than myself, I began my first year of Ayurvedic study and internship with the California College of Ayurveda. Coupled with a dedicated Yoga and meditation practice of nearly 15 years, this work is an evolution of health and healing that extends way beyond my physiological body.
Ayurveda, essentially a science of enhancing awareness, opens me into being my own healer. Its practices, drawing from Nature’s wisdom, guide me in better relationship with, care of, and transformation within my body-being, physiologically, physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually.
I am utterly committed to this work, through all the ebb and flow of the process, by my heart-dedication to what my mother, in all of her generosity, could not release.
I took my first Yoga class in 2005 (which I don’t remember), just weeks after moving to Guatemala at the ripe age of 25 in an attempt to “find myself”. It was a completely ego-driven practice, and honestly I didn’t get it. It wasn’t until I started to practice with a teacher of the Sivananda lineage a couple of years later that I got my first taste of “Real Yoga”. Devotional. Disciplined. Instructional. Focused. Meditative.
To be continued…
I received my Ayurvedic Health Counselor certification through the California College of Ayurveda — the first state approved Ayurvedic college in the U.S.
I am a devoted Hatha Yoga student under the guidance of master teacher Sofia Diaz.
I hold a Masters Degree in Elementary Special Education from Mercy College and a Bachelors of Arts Degree with a concentration in Creative Writing from NYU.
I practice Zazen (seated meditation practice at the heart of Zen Buddhism) under the guidance of Zenho Chad Bennett.
I have studied extensively, and completed a SATYA training, with Tias Little.
I completed my 200-hr YTT with Sequoia Henning.
I completed a 100-hr YTT with Maty Ezraty.
Practitioner Member of the National Ayurvedic Medical Association (NAMA).
Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT) with the Yoga Alliance.