I had a bad car accident with severe whiplash and other injuries, predominantly to the left side of my body (neck, shoulder, hip and back). I gave physiotherapy and Pilates a try, but, being both an energetic gym rat and runner, found it a bit boring. My physiotherapist recommended yoga and that sparked the start of my yoga career.
I left Canada to travel the world, starting in South America and ending in South East Asia. During my travels I quickly realized that there were very few yoga studios available (it was not what it is today back then) and although I continued my practice for my back, etc., I could not progress on my own.
I had a serious motorcycle accident in South Korea that resulted in broken and dislocated bones and the injuries were to my left side.
I took my first trip to India where I was introduced by a friend to Vijay Amar, a then well-known yoga teacher from San Francisco. At this point in my life I had not considered becoming a yoga teacher; but I definitely wanted to learn how to teach myself to further improve my practice during my travels as yoga was not as mainstream as it is today, so it was not so easily found around the world. I also wanted to work on strengthening myself after the second accident. I started doing daily classes with Vijay at the Universal Yoga Center in McLeod Ganj and this led to an offer to become his protégé. After practicing with him and some further travels around India & Nepal I was ready for Vijay to take me under his wing. I spent 2 months training with Vijay in McLeod Ganj.
I decided to move to Thailand. In October, I went back to McLeod Ganj and spent 3 months training with Vijay. He let me teach one of his Hatha Yoga classes shortly after my arrival, and it felt so natural and confirmed I was on the right path. I continued to train, learning the Ashtanga system as well as furthering my Hatha skills and knowledge. A significant portion of my training focused on anatomy and alignment. All of my training (other than Vijay’s 2 daily classes which I attended) was one-on-one. I spent 7-8 hours a day with him, practicing and learning the art of yoga and taking it all in. Today, the norm is a 200-hour teacher training course with a group of other people, which, in my opinion, does not in any way qualify someone to be a yoga teacher.
I started teaching Hatha classes on Koh Phangan in Thailand at The Yoga Studio. At the time there were very few yoga centres on the island compared to today. At the end of 2008, I returned to India to train with Vijay for around 6 weeks. I furthered my knowledge on anatomy and yoga for injuries, which I am well versed in because of all of my injuries and the physiotherapy I did for myself.
2009 - 2015
I continued to run The Yoga Studio on Koh Phangan, as well as teaching at a few retreats and luxury resorts throughout the country. I taught both group and private classes, as well as specialised one-one-one sessions with people that had injuries. I also taught pre- and post-natal classes (mostly private sessions). In 2009 I opened a second branch in Khao Lak, going back and forth between the 2 schools in high/low seasons. As a result of too much demand in Koh Phangan I closed the second location in 2011. I spent 5 weeks training with Vijay in India in May to further my own practice in Ashtanga Yoga. I continued my teachings at my school on Koh Phangan.
I decided to sell The Yoga Studio and move back to Toronto to teach private lessons.