I work with Star-Mar Rescue based in Wooster, Ohio as a foster parent for rescue dogs. In addition to being a dog mom to Nina, my day job is Professor of History at the University of Akron. While I focus on the Middle East and also on theoretical issues of mass violence and nationalism, I am also constructing a class on yoga in history and practice.
My father practiced yoga in the 1950s before it was “cool.” I had grown up with his yoga books and stories. However, I began my own regular, committed practice in 2003 when I finished grad school and no longer had access to a consistent Shotokan karate practice. I danced for 17 years, practiced Shotokan karate, and was lost without an artful physical practice, so I took up yoga and have continued to grow in my practice ever since.
I began my yoga journey with Ashtanga in 2003 and appreciated the meditative and artful quality of this practice. While rigorous, my teachers and fellow students brought an element of grounding to the practice. For us, however, grounding meant giggling when we fell out of an advanced pose. I still think that’s important. Yoga is not the place for us to take ourselves so seriously. It should be a place to explore, enjoy, and….something that has come to me more recently…let the ego go. I enjoy teaching and practicing power yoga these days, but I am also drawn to the practice of restorative, yin, and gentle yoga, which I teach most frequently at Yoga Bliss. It provides an essential balance for me, a space to release my ego in my practice, and restore my body and mind while engaged in other physical and mental workouts.