Where are you from originally? Greenwich, CT, but I did most of my growing in Boston, MA.
How long have you lived in Chattanooga? Almost two years, and not planning on going anywhere.
Tell us about your childhood: It was safe, and wonderful. But I stayed within a very safe, rather lazy bubble of my hometown and couch. I watched movies, rewound them, and then rewatched them. In true Kapha style being in the water made me feel like I could relax, reboot, and didn’t need anything else within my life. I’m grateful for my childhood because it helped mold me into who I am.
Do you have a nick name? Kale
When were you introduced to Yoga? I was lucky. When I was 15 I was allowed to take Yoga as a gym requirment (credit). It was the first time in my life I felt successful in a sport, and more importantly I learned mindfulness. It has become such an important part of my life, to stay present.
How do yoga and the community play a role in your life? Yoga compliments everything we do in life. We can help someone who is brand new to the practice, or someone who has been motivated for years. To have the ability to have a doctor, veteran, business owner, flourish, and dirt-bag climber all within the same space and share a common goal and love of feeling healthy is beautiful. The idea that they might not have met in any other circumstance but come together every week leaves me to think this is a powerful community.
As a rock climber, yoga helped flexibility and promotes the most important part of my practice, to breathe. Using mindfulness has made me realize all anxiety that I might have is for the past and future, if I stay mindful, the stress leaves me. Within my life, yoga (and rock climbing) have lead me to my true tribe; filled with appreciation, acceptance, and compassion. Not only within ourselves, but within our members as well. This tribe finds a single purple flower in the depths of Red Rock’s clay, and embraces the laughs as well as the tears.
What pose do you love the most and why? Viparita Karani, or legs up the wall, because it reminds me of a gift within many layers of gifts. The first gift, for women and men (athletic or beginner) who have back pains and aches, to allow your lower back to relax and let go. A gift to your hamstrings to allow them to find length without needing strength, and most importantly for your feet; it reduces swelling and fluid in ankles and feet for people who tend to stand all day (with work or life). Not only does this pose reduce anxiety and stress, the benefits of Viparita Karani derive not just from inverting as an action but also from inverting the whole notion of action. When you relax with your legs up the wall, you are practicing the polar opposite of activity, which is receptivity.
What is your favorite quote? “Smile awhile, and soon others will smile, and then there will be miles and miles of smiles, just because you smiled.” -Unknown