When I first started practicing yoga  over 20 years ago, all I wanted was a physical practice on the mat. Initially I thought the teacher’s instruction to focus on the breath was ridiculous. I was alive and breathing already, right?

I always loved being physically active through skiing, tennis, running, horseback riding, whitewater kayaking, mountain biking. So the physical part of yoga came naturally. I loved how I felt after a class.

GayleOver the years through thousands of hours of classes, workshops, teacher trainings with a variety of amazing teachers I came to see that yoga was much more than the physical asana on the mat.

Learning the importance of the breath and how to flow with the breath in my asana practice changed my practice dramatically. Being able to sit still and let the mind become empty (or at least work in that direction) reduces stress and is as important as the asana. Yoga goes way beyond my mat and weaves its way into my daily life through my actions, thoughts, words, deeds, attitudes and so much more.

I have been lucky enough to study dance at the Martha Graham School of Dance in NYC. That was the beginning of my awareness of how to go deep within the body to begin movement rather than working from the surface.

As a photographer for many years, I explored the vastness of the inner landscape as well as the outer one through my camera lens. Using visual imagery to convey ideas and emotions taught me so much about myself and how as we explore any subject our ideas change and that is the journey.

Most of us end up sitting at a desk for way too many hours. At one point I had neglected my yoga practice and from poor habits sitting in front of a computer my left shoulder lost a lot of range or motion and strength. Rehabbing the damage to my shoulder taught me a lot about shoulder health and how to regain range of motion and strength. It made me aware of how much damage our unconscious habits can do to our bodies and minds.

GJSundialMany different styles of yoga including Anusara, Iyengar, Astanga, flow and hatha yoga have influenced my yoga practice and teaching. I use elements from these different styles and other sources to create an alignment based yoga practice with a flow that can go from a very slow to a moderate pace.

I began teaching yoga in 2007 which has been an invaluable source of inspiration. I continue to learn from my students, from my personal practice and from many talented teachers including Tiffany Cruikshank, Meghan Currie, Patrick Beach, and Chelsey Korus.

My classes begin with a theme that is carried throughout the sequencing and choice of poses. When the poses evolve from an attitude or an intention from the inside, the poses are ignited with a life of their own. Each person is invited to bring their own unique energy to their practice.

Yoga has been a great journey for me that is continually evolving. It has helped me to understand my body better, feel the power of the mind body connection, realize that yoga is more than just a physical practice, and helps me to look at life from a philosophy of love and kindness while also realizing that life is a blend of many different elements both positive and negative.

Would you like to join me on this journey?

With deep respect,