Shaman Shalom Yoga
I am a yoga teacher with more than two years of allopathic medical studies under my belt, so I have an understanding of human anatomy and physiology that you won't find in every yoga teacher or fitness instructor. I am also a human being who has struggled with both physical and psychological injuries that bring depth and genuine empathy to my practice and teachings.
I love that being a yoga teacher and wellness guru allow me to be a healer. Choosing to abandon my dream of becoming a medical doctor (when being a medical student was threatening my phsyical and emotional well-being) was one of the hardest decisions of my life. Yoga has helped and continues to help me to heal the damage that I have done to my body and mind in the first three decades of my life, and it brings me great pleasure to share that healing with my students!
Frequently asked questions
What is your typical process for working with a new student?
With a new student, I am also the student as I spend significant time collecting information that will help me cater every lesson to the needs of the individual. Before even our first session, I like to get to know my student so that I can prepare a flow that specifically matches his or her needs. On the day of our lesson, I like to ask again about any specific areas the student would like to work on and will adjust the flow to the student’s needs in the moment.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I am a retired gymnast and I withdrew from medical school during my third year of studies, so I have significant knowledge of the human body in practice and from an academic perspective. I have been a student of yoga for over 20 years; I have coached gymnastics for nearly ten years; I have completed my 200 hour yoga teacher training; and I am a registered memeber of the Yoga Alliance.
Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.
Typically I charge $75/hour for lessons. For every hour that I teach you I spend at least an hour—usually more—preparing a lesson that is uniquely designed for you, my student. I do offer discounts for students purchasing a package of multiple lessons; and I offer a sliding scale for any student who cannot afford my standard rates. Truthfulness is a core component of a yogic lifestyle, so I trust my students to honestly asses what they can afford and am always willing to consider energetic or gypsy exchanges when appropriate.
How did you get started teaching?
I’ve always been a lifelong student and teacher (in other words, I'm a huge nerd). I started assisting my gymnastics coaches in teaching younger pupils as a child; began tutoring and mentoring younger students as a teen; and landed my first teaching job in college. My first job as a gymnastics coach began the year I graduated college -- I coached my high school gymnastics team (go Lions!) while I was pursuing my MD at SUNY Downstate College of Medicine. After making the decision to withdraw from medical school, I spent the past few years teaching gymnastics full time. This year, in 2018, I finally committed to completing my first yoga teacher training, which enables me to competently, confidently and most importantly, safely, bring yoga to you!
What types of students have you worked with?
I have worked with all different types of students working both to heal and strengthen bodies and minds. I have had students with specific injuries and specific fitness and mindfulness goals, as well as students who don't quite know (at the start) what they want to get out of yoga (we get there....).
Describe a recent event you are fond of.
I went to the Envision Festival this year, a "celebration dedicated to awakening our human potential" in Costa Rica where the jungle slopes gracefully into the Pacific Ocean. I went to yoga classes and educational workshops, viewed incredible art and got to watch the artists as they created, and danced my heart out every day and night whenever the moment felt right. It was a life changing experience, the most inspirational four days of my life to date.
What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?
Ask as many questions as you want! This is YOUR lesson. Yoga is first and foremost about you, the student, learning to honor, love, and respect your unique body and mind.
What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?
If you have more than one goal going into a yoga practice or lesson, that's great, and I would recommend asking yourself : which of these goals is most important to me today, this week, this month, this year? Prioritize your goals and allow yourself the flexibilty of mindset to know that those priorities might shift from day to day or week to week and so on, and that is OKAY. There is no right goal, no right question, and no normal. There is just every moment in the flux of life. Embrace that concept and you are already a great yogi in training!