Where are you from originally? I moved around Pennsylvania as kid, but spent the largest portion of my childhood south of Pittsburgh in Peters Township.
How long have you lived in Chattanooga? My family moved here the summer of 2009 before my junior year of high school, and aside from a brief stint in Troy, NY, I’ve lived here ever since.
Tell us about your childhood: I am the oldest of seven kids, so my childhood was a lot of kiddos and family fun. I was obsessed with legos and inventing games to play with my siblings.
Do you have a nick name? In high school to differentiate myself from a friend named Eric, people called me Erik with a K, which was shortened into just “Witha K” at some point.
When were you introduced to Yoga/meditation? My first memory of doing yoga or meditation was in high school. I did some research into real world practices of mediation and yoga after watching Avatar: The Last Airbender, which draws a lot of inspiration from these and other practices. That initial interest blossomed into a practice that I have been working on ever since.
How do yoga and the community play a role in your life? Yoga and Mediation provide a wonderful space for me mentally and physically. I feel like the word practice is so perfect for it. It really is a type of constant improvement and rehearsal that you then bring with you off of the mat or cushion and reap the fruits throughout your daily life. My practice has brought me so much equanimity in my daily life, a sense of inner peace and strength that makes me more of the kind of person I want to be.
What pose do you love the most and why? I have a soft spot for most balance poses because they feel like the perfect meeting of mediation and yoga. I especially love Tree for the challenge of balance and focus it provides. I find a lot of beautiful, metaphorical resonance while working on Tree.
What is your favorite quote? “The best tea tastes delicious whether it comes in a porcelain pot or a tin cup.” -Iroh ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’