I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, hiking, climbing, and enjoying the outdoors with my family. Later I spent several years in Europe as a street musician, and travelled and lived in India, Nepal, and South America. In my early years I also experienced various forms of abuse, violence, and traumatic loss– which, among other things, fueled a strong desire to work towards changing the kinds of conditions that lead to trauma for people, and a desire to support people in healing from trauma.
In my early thirties I was able to study printmaking and mural painting with Malaquias Montoya, a Chicano muralist, and earned an MEd with a focus on community education approaches to racial justice. Later I lived in the mountains of Oaxaca Mexico with my partner and two young children. Over the years I worked on educational research and storytelling projects with Mixtec, African American, Latinx, Hmong, immigrant, and low income white children and families.
In 2002 I began, very reluctantly, to try some yoga, and was surprised to find that it really helped me to deal with the complex PTSD that I had been carrying most of my life. In 2007 I trained to be a teacher of Hatha yoga, then trained in teaching Yin Yoga with Paul Grilley, and Trauma Center Trauma-Sensitive Yoga (TCTSY) with David Emerson. Over the years I’ve continued to take yoga teacher trainings, completing certifications in Adaptive Yoga with Mathew Sanford, and Yoga for Arthritis with Steffany Moonaz, and certification in the non-yoga approach to body-centered trauma resilience, the Community Resiliency Model (CRM), with Elaine Miller Karas.
Since 2007 I’ve used yoga for mental health support with people of all ages, including veterans, survivors of domestic violence and abuse, and other people healing from illness, violence, and loss. These days my primary work is sharing TCTSY and CRM for emotional wellness through the Dane County Comprehensive Community Services Program (CCS) with people on Medicaid. I’m also part of the UW Madison El Salvador Mental Health Project, through which I’ve been offering TCTSY to people in El Salvador, in person and then online, since early 2019.
Other stuff: I love kids, and particularly enjoy yoga, music, and storytelling with them. I have three adult children whom I adore, two great cats, and a food forest in my yard. I love to draw and make art, and I love to go for long walks, taking photographs in the woods and prairies near my home.