My journey with yoga and wellness began with a health crisis.
When I was a teenager, I was diagnosed with Posteral Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome-- a chronic illness that left me bedridden at age seventeen. Unenthusiastic with the available pharmaceutical treatments, I began a regimen of lifestyle change, altering my diet, building myself back up to exercise, managing stress, and improving my sleep habits, and within a year I was largely in remission. My personal experience sparked a passion for behavioral medicine and holistic wellness that is still going strong.
Only a few years later, when I was a sophomore in college, I began experiencing a new set of physical symptoms after a particularly stressful semester. I was diagnosed with Mixed Connective Tissue Disease, a rare autoimmune disease that left me riddled with pain, fatigue, brain fog, and a host of other frustrating symptoms. After much trial and error, I learned that stress almost always made my symptoms worse and that both of my health scares began during particularly stressful periods of school.
I had practiced yoga sporadically before my run-in with autoimmune disease, but during my sophomore year of college, it became an integral part of my life. Through yoga I found powerful pain relief and physical healing. I also learned to manage my stress and prevent it from wreaking havoc on my health. After a year of debilitating symptoms, I once again found myself in remission, despite the fact that I had been told I would likely be ill and in pain the rest of my life. Though I do not know exactly what caused my recovery, I believe that yoga played an important role.
However, after the storm of my second health crisis passed, I began to experience some mental health challenges-- panic attacks, generalized anxiety, depressed mood, trouble with eating, and frequent flashbacks to particularly traumatic moments in my illness experience. Again, I found yoga to be an important healing presence during this dark period of my life. While I believe that yoga is no substitution for working with a mental health professional, I also know from experience that it can be an empowering complementary therapy. With the help of yoga and some talented counselors, I once again crawled out of a pit and found my way back to health.
These experiences have sparked a passion in me for supporting others through their challenges-- whether physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual. I aim to be a healing presence, joining you in your journey not as an expert, but as someone who has been there. Someone who will listen to you and give you unconditional warmth and support.
I believe that if I can use my experiences to help even one person, it will have all been worth it.
TRAINING AND CREDENTIALS
I graduated from Carleton College (a top-ten liberal arts college) in 2019 with a B.A. in psychology. During my studies, I was inducted into the Sigma Xi scientific research honor society and the Phi Beta Kappa academic honor society, and I was awarded 'distinction' (top honors) in the psychology major.
Currently, I am a graduate student studying counseling psychology at the University of Kansas. Though I am not yet a licensed counselor, and I do not offer psychotherapy services to the public at this time, I feel that my training, knowledge, and experience in counseling psychology has greatly enriched my practice as a health coach and yoga instructor.
I completed my first yoga training through YogaFit in 2017, and I began teaching yoga through the physical education department at Carleton College in 2018. In 2019, I went on to complete my 200-hour training at the Asheville Yoga Center and became a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200) through Yoga Alliance. I have since completed a training in Yoga for Cancer Care with the Asheville Yoga Center. I am a certified children's yoga teacher through Kidding Around Yoga. I view myself as a perpetual yoga student, and I love to learn as much as I can about the practice in my free time. I hope to continue my formal yoga studies and perhaps someday become a registered yoga therapist.
My journey with health coaching began rather informally and organically. Friends, family, and acquaintances have been coming to me for wellness advice for years. I have been passionate about self-care, accessible wellness practices, and stress management for nearly a decade, and I spend much of my free time reading about these topics and using myself as a guinea pig to try new practices out. When I learned about the field of health coaching, it felt like an obvious fit. I felt that it would have made an enormous impact on my health journey to have had someone to walk with me through my lifestyle changes, and I wanted to provide that service for others.
In the spring of 2020 I enrolled in the ACE health coaching certification program, and I became an ACE certified health coach in December of 2020. Though the field of health coaching is not currently regulated (meaning anyone with any level of training can call themselves a health coach), the ACE program is currently the only health coaching program accredited through the NCCA. With my formal training in health coaching, my personal experiences with lifestyle change and behavioral medicine, and my training and experience in counseling psychology and psychotherapy, I feel well-equipped to help clients with their wellness journeys.