Ever since I can remember, I've loved to move. When I was a baby, the only way my mother could keep me from crying was to strap me in the car seat and take me for a ride. Something about the motion of the car was soothing to me, as if I could only find stillness in flight.
In my childhood and early teens, I studied ballet and other dance forms. I loved everything about it: the fluidity, the precision, the beauty, the grace, and the honesty. The body never lies, Martha Graham once said. Dancing was the truest place for me. It was there that I felt the most at peace - or, you might say, the most at rest.
Later my thirst for movement and stillness took another form: spiritual seeking. In college I majored in Religious Studies with a focus on psychology and religion. I later joined an Episcopal Church in Katonah, read Ibn Arabi with a Sufi group in Manhattan, and hung out at the Catholic Worker House in the East Village. In 2004 I encountered Zen meditation while visiting a friend at a monastery upstate and was immediately taken with the practice. The absolute stillness of formal meditation - of sitting minute after minute, hour after hour with my own body, mind, and breath - was the most radical thing I had ever done. I practiced Zen as a formal student of the Mountains and Rivers Order from 2005-2015. During that time I lived in the Order's monastery and urban training center for two and half years and received the 16 Buddhist precepts.
Somewhere along the way I began to practice yoga. Moving through sun salutations, releasing in forward folds, twisting and then counter-twisting the spine all helped to release the tension that accumulated in my body as a result of formal meditation practice. Over time my commitment to yoga grew and eventually replaced Zen as my primary practice (though I still meditate each and every day, and need to!) .
As a teacher, my primary goal is to help students gain insight into themselves through repetition, rhythm, pattern, poetry, breath work, inspiration, and support. I think of each class as a mutual exploration - you as a student, me as a teacher - of who we are as individuals and as community. Where do I end and you begin? What are our limits and how best to push against them? How can we potentiate both ourselves and others? Through insight and connection, I hope to help all of us live happier, healthier, and more fully awake lives.
Where can you find me when I'm not at the studio? Reading, writing, cooking, dozing off with my cats, playing Skip-bo with my wife, solving Sudoku puzzles, and shopping at the Windsor Terrace Food Co-op.