About

 

My work is designed for highly sensitive women who want to explore what somatic meditation can do for their physical, mental and emotional health.

Whether you're looking to reduce stress, lower your cortisol levels, balance your hormones, sleep better, improve your digestion, stop overeating, feel more comfortable in your own skin, or achieve greater work/life balance, I'm here for you. 

I share carefully chosen somatic meditation practices only after getting to know you, your strengths and your suffering. At your request I will also share ancient Sanskrit mantras that I think might resonate with you. These mantras are ones that I have personally practiced with for many years and that I received from a long line of highly-skilled, authentic Indian masters. If it's of interest to you, I'll also share inner body visualizations that suit your unique body/mind constitution and help balance the left and right hemispheres of your brain.

I've been teaching meditation for over 20 years and have seen time and time again that the main reason most people don't meditate is because they don't have individualized instruction or the right emotional support. 

Having a seasoned professional in your corner makes all the difference in the world.

 

People often ask how old I was when I started meditating, and who my teachers were. I thought I’d share a detailed history of my meditation practice here for you. My intention is that it helps you get to know me better, and see if my background and interests resonate with you. 

 

My first meditation teachers were Buddhist monks when I was 21 years old. I found them while I was studying abroad in England and struggling with extreme loneliness. I was surprised to find Tibetan people in an English buddhist center so friendly and welcoming to someone like me. I learned about walking meditation and the joys of black tea with milk and sugar. It was this positive, down-to-earth experience of walking and talking with the monks that inspired me to keep meditating when I got home. Before that point, I had never met people who were so genuinely happy and kind. I yearned for that kind of happiness. 

 

After graduating from Villanova with a degree in Chemical Engineering, I went to work at a pharmaceutical company by day, but became obsessed with yoga and meditation at night and on the weekends. I discovered an incredible yoga center in New Hope, PA called Saraswati River Yoga (it’s now closed). I traveled back and forth 4 days a week from Philadelphia to study there. The owner, Kirin Mishra, taught hatha yoga in a way I had never experienced, weaving Hindu and Tantric philosophy into every class. She opened each class with long meditations and chanting and introduced me to a world of yoga philosophy that I’d never heard of. Her classes cracked open my heart and I’d find myself crying in certain poses, or laughing at seemingly random times, or leaving class feeling like I was floating. It was well worth the 2 hours in the car to spend those 75 minutes with her. 

 

I ended up doing my first 200 hr Yoga Teacher Training with her back in 2004 and then studied meditation and tantric philosophy with her for another 10 years. Kirin (now known as Parvathi Nanda Nath Saraswati) was a shining example of how to live in the world but still maintain a rigorous practice of deep inner work. She showed me countless mantras, mudras, water and fire rituals, and about the subtle and emotional aspects of innumerable Hindu and Tantric Gods and Goddesses. She awoke a sense of devotion in me, to the natural world, that still brings tears to my eyes every time I think about it. 

 

Parvathi patiently and compassionately ushered me through personal growth and relationship challenges with 1:1 and small group mentoring. Her style of teaching and her unconditional love have been my greatest inspiration to do what I do in the way I do it. She was never arrogant, never pushy, and always respectful of the individual’s spiritual journey. I feel incredibly lucky to have met her and to have received the grace of her lineage—a matriarchal, goddess-centered, female-empowering yogic path. So rare these days. And so precious. 

 

In my later 20s I also completed a 10-day silent retreat with Goenka. There I learned seated, upright, vipassana meditation and about the struggles of being with our thoughts in pure silence. It was quite the departure from the mantras and visualizations I learned from Parvathi and I was surprised how difficult I found it to be.

 

In my early 30s, toward the end of my time studying with Parvathi, I decided to go to India to meet one of her teachers, Guru Amritanandanatha Saraswati (now deceased) of Devi Puram Ashram in Vishakapatnam India. There I took a 5-day Advanced Shri Vidya Course, where I learned pujas (mantra rituals) and fire ceremony. The experience of meeting a realized master, in India, was meaningful beyond words. I saw first-hand the benefit of quieting the mind, and how enlightenment is possible no matter where you are or how much money you have. The other students I met there—and the local Indian people who cared for the property, cooked our food, and helped me tie a Sari —left a deep impression of the impermanence of life and the value of true friendship. 

 

After giving birth to my son Akasha when I was 34 years old, my meditation practice changed dramatically. Gone were the days of 2-hour morning meditations and 3-hour evening rituals. Sleep was so precious and my body was so depleted all the time. I couldn’t keep up with the mantra practices that Parvathi had given me, and I missed the opportunity to continue studying with her because I was under financial stress and a serious lack of free time.

 

One day, while on a very short break from breastfeeding, I walked into the Doylestown Book Shop a few blocks from home and found “The Awakening Body” by Dr. Reggie Ray. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw him teaching meditation in a reclined position. I literally started crying. I thought “I could do that!” I couldn’t sit upright because my back hurt so much and I was so exhausted... But lay on the floor?! Yes! I could do that.

 

So I read the whole book in a week (rare for a new mother), and enrolled in his online training - the first of which was called Awakening the Body. I found that much of what he was teaching, in this lineage of Vajrayana Buddhism, was actually the same as what Parvathi used to teach in Hatha Yoga—things like relaxing your tongue, letting the weight of your body get heavy, and breathing very very gently into your belly as a way to ground yourself. But instead of just doing that “body stuff” as a prerequisite for longer mantra meditations, Reggie focused on this “body stuff” the whole time.

 

I found immense healing and a whole new love of meditation when I started practicing with Reggie. So I continued to take online courses with him and his wife, Caroline Pfohl, who bravely share the lineage of Chogyam Trungpa with the west through their non-profit organization called Dharma Ocean. The practice of somatic meditation that I learned from them has deeply informed my style of teaching yin yoga as well as my attention to the body in meditation. I am tremendously grateful to both Reggie and Caroline for giving me permission to trust my body. It’s possible I would have given up on meditation if it weren’t for them. 

 

I also studied Ayurvedic pranayama, mudras, meditations and visualizations for overall health with Dr. Vasant Lad and the team at the Ayurvedic Institute in Albuquerque, NM when I was there from 2006-2007. 

 

I’m deeply grateful to all of my teachers. They have shown me a vastly different way to live in the world - a way that is so much more satisfying and leads to so much more contentment than pursuing the American Dream. 

 

I have found meaning in the simplest things and true refuge in the Buddha nature inside my heart. I hope reading this has helped inform you about my background and perspective on meditation. I hope you know that the peace you seek is always inside you. 

 

For me, teaching meditation is a great privilege and I take my role as a meditation teacher very seriously. I promise to stay humble and curious about ways I can support you - and always leave room for you to find your own path. Here’s to the beauty of collaboration and the freedom that comes from being our most authentic selves.

 

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