In early July, just as the 7th annual Yoga with Nitya Summer Camp was starting I received notice from Becky Crump, Marketing Director, that Ellwood Thompson’s Local Market had selected me as Ambassador of the month. If you were in the store, you might have seen my face at the check out. It was very exciting and an honor to receive local recognition for the work I am doing with kid’s yoga in the Richmond Community.

Here is the interview:

If you had to list your personal mission in one or two sentences, what would it be?

If I achieve nothing else in my life, I hope to inspire as many children through yoga to honor themselves, to treat others with compassion, and to love and treasure this beautiful world we all share and call hOMe.

When did you first come to the conclusion that your life would head down this path?

The first day of Integral Yoga Teacher Training in 2004, I knew I was going to be a yoga instructor focused on teaching kids even though I’d never worked with children before. Over the past 8 years I have learned, grown and surrendered myself to being the best living example of yoga to my students, young and old, as I can. I always see myself as a beginner and all of my students are walking this path with me.

Who most inspires you and why?

Sri Swami Satchidananda, the founder of Integral Yoga, having never met him, I have directly experienced his spirit in Yogaville countless times. He is with me in every class I teach and he is my inspiration to share yoga with children as a means of bringing more peace into our world.

What is your biggest hope for our community?

To see all of our schools with a regular kid’s yoga program from Pre-k through High School. If the county governments can’t back this financially, then we must band together as parents to make this a reality. Yoga with Nitya teachers are ready to serve and meet this need.

How do you hope to inspire and/or help others?

In all of the yoga classes I teach both to adults and children, the adult retreats I am now leading, my annual Yoga with Nitya Summer Camp, and my newly released “Yoga with Nitya” Kid’s DVD. I am always coming up with new ways to share living yoga with children and adults because we all need to learn how to de-stress, tune in and just be.

Favorite local non-profit?

Impact Makers Inc., Michael Pirron is the CEO and a yoga Dad too,

If your life were a movie, what would be the title?

“Just Be Yoga” – it was the name of my yoga studio back from 2006 – 2008. This was where I began my journey and where I learned some tough, raw, exquisite lessons for which I am grateful for every one because it has propelled me to where I am today!

What is your favorite childhood memory?

At my family’s country house on the Maryland Eastern Shore there was a tree with roots that ran down the side of a huge embankment. I crawled inside the root cavity and would read for hours while looking out to the Tuckahoe River and the beach below.  I felt invisible and one with nature, at that young age I was experiencing meditation without knowing what it was. Plus if my brothers discovered me, I could climb down the long roots and drop down to the beach and make my getaway so no one would ever find my secret place.

What is your favorite food or dish?

Sushi ! As a vegetarian locavore I love getting creative making veggie sushi like shitake mushroom and carrot or there’s always my favorite sushi place, Sticky Rice.