I am twenty-two years old and am in the process of completing my post-secondary education. I completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology as well as my Bachelors of Social Work from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario in 2012. I am currently working towrads my Masters of Social Work at the University of Western Ontario and will graduate in June 2013.
Outside of my yoga practice, my interests include spending time with family and friends, reading, traveling, and being outdoors. I also love to run, and you can find me getting involved in as many local running events as possible!
What is your yoga journey?
My dad suffered from alcoholism all my life, and eventually passed away when I was 10 years old. At this time I never felt more lost, and by age 11 I was hospitalized with anorexia nervosa. I struggled for 3 straight years at London Health Sciences until I was finally able to recover enough to return home to my family. Since then the road has been bumpy as I continued to relapse into past ‘anorexic ways’ throughout high school and early into university.
In my first year of school at McMaster University 5 years ago, I found my way to Moksha Yoga Hamilton. After practicing for a few years now, I have a better sense of how yoga fits in with my eating disorder recovery and my body acceptance. I tend to have a “type A” and perfectionistic personality, but in yoga my only intention is to adjust my practice to what I need on that day, that hour, and at that moment.
What does yoga do for you?
As disordered eating defined me for such a long time, my life revolved around patterns, rules, and my agenda, and I had felt so alone. Before finding yoga, I felt like there was no space for spontaneity in my life, and no opportunity for intuition. I had become profoundly disconnected from my body, but in finding yoga this level of awareness became life-changing.
I see disordered eating as a war against my body, and I believe yoga played a role in reviving it. Now when I practice I feel profoundly grateful; grateful for the sense of community, and grateful for my body.I have now become a bigger part of the yoga community at Moksha Yoga London, where I practice and also help out at the studio.
What inspires you?
Inspiration is what pushes us to do great things. What inspires me is the resiliency and strength people have through the toughest and darkest times. Despite challenges, or living in a place of disadvantage, people continue to shine with light, faith, and hope. These people inspire me to be open to possibility, and inspire me to have the confidence and determination to do great things.
Why have you chosen to work with Olive Tree Yoga Foundation?
My journey working with OTYF has proven to be inspiring. OTYF’s mission to foster transformative leaders in communities through the practice of yoga is so meaningful and so powerful. As an OTYF volunteer, I am looking forward to sharing my love for yoga with others, and supporting OTYF’s amazingly empowering future projects and goals.
What is your connection to the region in which you work?
Although I've never traveled to the Middle East or Ethiopia, I've volunteered in Costa Rica, Nepal, and most recently Nicaragua in areas including conservation, orphanage work, and reforestation. Through my education I've learned about the historical trauma of First Nations people, and how past experiences continue to impact generation after generation today. It has been an incredible opportunity to learn about other cultures and ways of life that are so much different from our Western society. Chaos, violence, and poverty are just some of the experiences these communities face everyday. I am interested in learning more about the places in which OTYF will travel and work, and how important and meaningful bringing yoga, peace, and possibility can be in these communities.
What is the best piece of advice that you have ever gotten?
"Let your faith be bigger than your fear."
OTYF is a 501c3 non-profit organization registered in the United States