Through my studies, I gradually came to understand the power of movement to help heal the body and how spirit can lead the body to health.
When I was about 7 I took a minor tumble and my best friends mom “layed her hands on me.” She sat with me with her hands just above where it hurt. It felt better. This imprinted a trust of something deep inside of me that I have always felt ever since I can remember, but it was the first time I can remember when I heard an adult echo something I knew very deeply to be true.
I completed my undergraduate study at NYU in early childhood development with a focus on movement and dance in early education. While at NYU I danced with two folkloric dance companies, performing sacred dances onstage. Quite the conversation starter. I worked at a community co-op pre-school in Brooklyn teaching creative movement and later was invited to join the head teacher in the classroom. I learned so much from her amazing grace, and those vibrant children. While I lived in NY I completed the Gyrotonic teacher training in 2001, a wonderful movement vocabulary that is similar in ways to Pilates, but where Pilates is linear, Gyrotonic is circular. I used Gyrotonic as a way to help dancers prevent injury.
In 2004 I returned to San Francisco to study and be certified by master Pilates teacher Ellie Herman at her studio in the Mission. I have been doing pilates since high school from rehabbing a soccer injury. I love Pilates! It is accessible for everyone, any fitness level can do it, it can be esoteric and it can be simply a satisfying workout. I always feel longer and stronger after a class. From 2004-2009 I taught Pilates at the JCC, UCSF, EHS, and all over the city. I was often referred rehab patients due to my love of figuring out everything body. I had taken so many master workshops and trainings and been so inspired, but it became clear I wanted a more unified education. I wanted to study things in more depth then I knew I could do on my own, such as neurology, physiology, and biomechanics. While fulfilling the premed requirements for Chiropractic school I worked under a talented and knowledgeable Physical therapist, doing pilates based rehab. I got to work completely in the rehab setting and that suited me well. I learned so much from working with the Physical therapists there.
I graduated from Life West Chiropractic College in June of 2013 with a focus in family and pediatric care.
Our beautiful son was born in January of 2014. I loved being a mother and being a family.
Our son struggled with subclinical seizures, and at two months he began to have Grand Mal Seizures. He died when he was three months old.
I felt such profound loss. My heart physically hurt, and my arms deeply ached in longing. I also felt such gratitude that we had been chosen by him to be his family and such sadness that I wouldn’t get to continue on with him.
There were many months of waking up, crying, going about a day, lost, going home, crying, and getting back in bed. My arms ached for our child, and I desperately wanted my baby. I sat with that pain and heartbreak, slowly slowly learning to make a place for it within myself, and slowly feeling my life come forward to me.
In this tender time midwife Sue Baelen called to ask if I could see a new baby who was born 6 hours before and was having trouble turning his head. Courageously I said yes! It was a profound session and imprinted such gratitude and love onto me. To crawl into bed with this brand new family and help this beautiful being find his way. I released his sacrum with such a gentleness and immediately he was able to freely move his neck. It made a lasting impression on me. This experience called out to deepen my study and my work with newborns.
My son gave me the gift of a practice of gratitude on a whole new level then I had experienced before. He taught me profound love and how to sit with the unbearable. As I got to meet and work with more and more babies, I got to feel how much my son brought me to this work that I am meant to do. I see so much beauty in each child, they touch me in a deep way, and I honor my time and learning with them. We are blessed to watch our two healthy wonderful daughters grow and bring more big kids into our circle. I have seen this joy and connection increase as I work with children of all ages.
We all have these capacities within us. The capacity to heal, the capacity to grow, and to connect. It is important for me to share my story because at some point in life we all experience loss, heartbreak, and letdown. No one is alone.