Founder of 3 Jewels Yoga.
Movement + Mindfulness + Meditation.
Spiritual Self-Care for Refuge + Resilience + Reconciliation.
Dharma Practitioner. Sangha Builder. Space Holder.
Curator + Facilitator + Community Organizer
fostering the principles of
Compassion + Skillful Understanding + Connection.
Mother. Wife. Daughter. Sister. Aunt. Mentor.
Lantern-Bearer. Seed-Planter. Good Spiritual Friend.
For me, dharma is the path of skillful action. It is the commitment and ability to discern my purpose or duty at any given moment, in every situation and in my life journey. As a student of the dharma, I see life as the ultimate teacher and endeavor to make skillful choices by living mindfully—being present, listening deeply, trusting my inner wisdom and personal rhythms and not being attached to outcome.
We are often asked to authenticate our experience by marking the passage of time.
So I pause whenever I’m asked how long I’ve been practicing yoga. The technical answer is: since 2004. But the simple truth is that I’ve been on this path of practice long before discovering the asana of yoga. I just didn’t have a name for it!
I became intrigued by the concept of “living simply so that others may simply live” upon hearing one of my favorite writers share that adage during a lecture I attended in 1997. It was the most poignant lesson of my entire college experience. Many years later (after a series of life-altering events that included living in Brooklyn through the terror of 9/11), I returned to my Lansing roots with the intention of putting that wisdom into practice.
Back on home soil, I awakened fully to the understanding that my spiritual compass was aligned with yoga and Buddhism.
And, in the magically effortless way that life unfolds when we are attuned: the teachers appeared! I discovered my root sangha (Lansing Area Mindfulness Community) and soon began a 200-hour yoga teacher training program (Sybil Shelton-Ford | As You Are Yoga, 2006).
I am nationally registered with Yoga Alliance (E-RYT 200) and have specialized certifications to teach yoga to adolescents (AYAY, 2009) and Aerial Yoga (Dr. Son Nguyen, 2012). I have completed additional training in Anatomy for Yoga (Paul Grilley, 2008) and the Yoga of 12-Step Recovery Intensive Workshop and Y12SR Leadership Training (Nikki Myers, 2012-2013). I have also completed a Reiki Level 1 certification (Margaret Ann Case | Reiki Arts Continuum, 2003). In what seems like another lifetime, I weaved together my interests in the brain, mind, and behavior with intersections of race, gender, culture, linguistics, media, and communications to earn a BA in Psychology and an MA in Cinema Studies from New York University.
To some, my academic pursuits seem leagues away from a dharma hall or yoga studio. But each step along the circuitous road has prepared me to teach this healing art, and yoga has truly been an extension of my lifelong inquiry into human relations, spirituality and communication.
The thread: looking deeply.
After 9/11, it was no longer bearable to view life as a spectator, through the filter of a camera lens and someone else’s fractured perception of reality. I needed to be directly engaged, no filter. It was the call for a deeper sense of spiritual understanding and connection that transformed my critical gaze into the clear-seeing eye of compassion.
Since 2006, I’ve been continuously blessed with opportunities to teach—and learn with—diverse groups of people throughout the greater-Lansing area. In 2008, I founded 3 Jewels Yoga (formerly, dharma yoga arts) with the two-fold vision to build and nurture sangha (community) in order to foster connection, skillful understanding, and authentic connection and to inspire the art of skillful living through movement, mindfulness and meditation.
In November 2016 (which officially marked my 10th year of teaching), I announced that I would be renewing my commitment to community wellness by exploring professional opportunities to broaden my facilitation skills in health equity and social justice. That decision necessitated changes to the description and design of 3 Jewels Yoga that align clearly with my original vision for teaching! Inspired by Thich Nhat Hanh’s evocative words about the powerful role a Buddhist practice community serves:
3 Jewels Yoga continues as a Sangha —
a Community of Refuge and Resistance for Good Spiritual Friends.
[read more: beyond asana]