I work closely with the leader and creator of OTYF, helping to identify and communicate organizational needs. I also have the pleasure of working with every team member in order to assist them in meeting their collective goals for this awesome organization.
How would you describe yourself?
I was born and raised in London, Ontario, Canada. As a child I was inquisitive with most things concerning the outdoors. As a teenager I was active in independent sports such as skateboarding, snowboarding, skiing, and kayaking. I attended the University of Western Ontario for an undergraduate career in Anthropology and Psychology. I did this after completing a contract aboard Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas cruise ship. It was the largest ship in the world when I was aboard, and the experiences there helped to shape my adult life. The enjoyment I got from working and living in such close proximity to people from all around the world has left a lasting impact and desire to explore this world further.
What is your yoga journey?
I first found yoga as a child but called it play. Then as I got older I traded my yogic play for the learning and conditioning one needs to be "successful" in their society. Growing up in southwestern Ontario, yoga was not part of my formative years. However, when I was faced with the pressures of completing university and commencing my first career in public service, I rediscovered yoga via books and youtube videos, as a means to cope with the mounting stress in my life, and provide a physical outlet.
After about a year of private home practices, I shared my interest in yoga with some of my colleagues working in public service. I was then invited to attend a hot yoga class with them during a government holiday. It changed my life. It was not long before I was a regular fixture in the hot room, and began to learn about and practice mindfulness meditation.
As a Probation Officer, I am now committed to introducing yoga and meditation practices to the Ontario service delivery model of corrections as a therapeutic means of healing, and moving forward in a holistically healthy manner. I see yoga and meditation as a rocket ship to the inner place one needs to reach to deal with such ailments as anxiety, depression, and addictions, among many, many other things.
Where else have you called home?
The Caribbean sea, as I circled Cuba for 8 months working and living aboard a mighty cruise ship.
What inspires you?
Inspiration is everywhere, you don't have to look far. People inspire me everyday. Small acts of kindness and compassion are contagious.
Why have you chosen to work with Olive Tree Yoga Foundation?
I work with OTYF because I believe this is exactly the type of organization that society needs more of. It is a core belief of mine, that yoga, peace, and possibility, is the formula for personal and global success in the human race. OTYF's actions in making yoga accessible to those who would not normally have the chance to experience it, or be trained as a teacher is an incredible service to the world.
What is your connection to the region in which you work?
Relying on my teachings as a former anthropology student, and my experiences coexisting and working with people from around the globe on the microcosm of a cruise ship, I believe that the whole world is my region (and yours too).
What is the best piece of advice that you have ever gotten?
Right now I am trying to realize what Steve Jobs understood when he said "Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition."
OTYF is a 501c3 non-profit organization registered in the United States