Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from? When did you start teaching? What drew you to yoga and fitness?
I grew up in California and moved to Seattle for a job in the fishing industry. Since I was working at sea, I did not really need to relocate, but I loved Seattle and had lost interest in living in Los Angeles any longer.
I started teaching yoga in early 2014 and barre in 2016. My first fitness passion was Tae Kwon Do, which I practiced in my twenties. I particularly loved the thrill of sparring. When I had less free time, I transitioned to running, which was convenient, free, and exhilarating. After sustaining a stress fracture while training for a marathon, I was advised to try yoga. I have been a dedicated practitioner since 2003. Since I work as a schoolteacher, I find the reduced stress levels and the improved focus that yoga brings me to be invaluable.
What's something most people don't know about you?
Most people probably don't know that I am a fluent Russian speaker. It was that language ability that got me the job working on Soviet fishing vessels that brought me to Seattle. My French is pretty good, too. My Spanish is less impressive, but helpful at times.
How would you describe your teaching style? What do you want people to walk away with after your class?
I want people to feel safe and supported in my classes. I give lots of detailed verbal cues because I want people to feel in control of their bodies and satisfied by their workout. When I teach restorative yoga, I give lots of hands-on adjustments. It is really rewarding to feel how people release tension with the help of deep breathing and supportive touch. I love seeing people walk away feeling refreshed and relaxed.
Do you have any health and fitness related goals for the new year?
It's funny that you should ask about New Year's fitness goals. I recently attended a circus arts performance because I was invited by one of my middle school students who was in the show. I was so impressed by the strength and commitment of the performers. They say that they have lots of classes available, so I am thinking about trying out the silks.
Outside of the gym what do you do for fun?
When I am not at the gym, I love to go to movies. I recently took a class at SIFF on Kurosawa's films with my kids. That was terrific. I also love to share good food and wine with friends. My latest obsession is watching the birds at my feeder through my dining room window. I find them endlessly fascinating.