Nickname: Stretchin’ Gretchen. My mom called me this as an infant…This must have stuck somewhere in my subconscious!
Favorite food: Hummus & pita chips, falafel, Chana Masala – Pretty much anything middle eastern or Indian.
Favorite place: Blacksburg, VA the home of my alma mater (Virginia Tech). I especially love to be there in the fall, surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains as all the trees are changing. Heavenly!
Guilty pleasure: Books! New, ones, old ones, borrowed ones. I have to literally be dragged out of book stores. And I have enough books on my “To Read” list to last me well beyond my time here on this earth but, I keep adding to it!
Hobbies: Running, cooking, reading, cuddling with our 3 dogs.
Who do you most admire and why? My husband. He’s the most patient & compassionate person. He is always putting others before himself with out a second thought; he’ll say, “it’s just the right thing to do.” His life is a beautiful example of Seva (selfless service) & Bhakti (the yoga of love) because he cares so deeply about the well-being of those which he shares this world with.
What is your favorite yoga pose and why? Adho Mukha Svanasana. I love Down Dog because it’s such a warm, inviting pose. That first Down Dog of every class invites you to just let everything else going on in your life slide right off your back as you settle in & find your way (physically & mentally) back to your true self.
When did you start practicing yoga? I began practicing yoga in 2008 while training for a half-marathon. I haven't stopped since.
Who are your teachers and where did you train? I am truly blessed to study with & am constantly amazed by my teacher Marni Task. I've also had the incredible opportunity to study directly with David Life & Sharon Gannon, the founders of Jivamukti Yoga. They are a huge inspiration to me not only in terms of how I practice or teach yoga but, in how I want to live my life -working for the freedom & happiness of all beings. In addition, I've participated in intensive training workshops with Sianna Sherman, Wade Imre Morrisette, & Jonny Kest.
Describe your teaching style: Empowering. Full of inspiring (sometimes unexpected) music & lots of love.
What is your motto? Om Lambodaraya Namah – “The infinite potential of the universe exists in us all…” just like a full, blooming, fruitful tree exists within a single, tiny seed. It’s a nice reminder that this life is exactly what you make it!