Originally a software engineer, I realized I enjoyed people and activity much more than computers and offices. I quit my comfy Southern California desk job and spent 4 years moving around the world experiencing anything & everything. This adventure included competitive endurance sports – multiple marathons and Ironman triathlons, an MBA degree, and 18 months as an entrepreneur in China.
After hitting my 3rd or 4th mid-life crisis while living in Shanghai, I spent the summer of 2011 at Dol Ashram in the Indian Himalayas for yoga teacher training with Swami Govindananda and Arun Pandala of the Sivananda Saraswati yoga lineage. This experience created an amazing toolset to spread a healthy and happy lifestyle to everyone I meet along my path. I knew immediately on the first day of the training that I would return to the states and pursue a career in the yoga world.
I spent a month in my hometown of Los Angeles in September 2011, expanding my yogic horizons by averaging an Ironman-style 3-4 yoga classes a day studying from incredible teachers including Bryan Kest, Vinnie Marino, Tara Judelle, Jasmine Lieb, Brock Cahill, Dice Ilda-Klein, Chad Hamrin, Kia Miller, Marla Apt, Tej Kaur Khalsa and many more. This was essentially a second teacher training which introduced me to the Western yoga world. I was heavily influenced by all these teachers and began teaching a hybrid blend of yoga, built strongly upon the Sivananda philosophy, tossing in elements of Vinyasa Flow, Power, Kundalini, Iyengar, and Yin/Restorative postures.
After my LA yoga binge, I settled in Tampa, Florida in October 2011 and joined Ashley Thesier as a part-owner of a new studio in Ybor City, Yoga Loft. Together we helped build an incredible yoga community in a uniquely funky part of town and I am forever grateful for all of my students who encouraged my growth both as a yoga teacher and as a human being. From starting up a weekly outdoor Saturday Yoga in Ybor donation class to teaching the Tampa Bay Buccaneer Cheerleading squad to launching Tampa’s first Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga classes, this opportunity opened up doors I never imagined possible.
Always a student, the second half of 2012 allowed me to explore additional yogic pathways. I immersed into yoga intensives with Ana Forrest and Micheline Berry at Yogani Studios in Tampa, plus a few trips to New York led me to the amazing talents of Nevine Michaan, Desiree Rumbaugh, Elena Brower, Philip Askew and Matt Giordano.
These great teachers warmed me up for the most game-changing class of my life: One fateful evening in late August 2012, I stumbled into Chris Loebsack’s Acroyoga class at Om Factory in Union Square. My mind was blown. Forcing me to become a complete beginner again, the partner-based trust, communication, creativity and grace of the Acroyoga practice was the most addictive thing I had ever experienced in my life.
I immediately signed up for everything Acro. First, Atlanta for the Elemental Immersion with Chris, Katie Capano & Aaron Lind. Next, Miami for the Lunar Immersion with Chris, Justin Caruso, and Arianne Traverso. Ultimately, Austin for the Solar Immersion with Yogaslackers Jason & Chelsey Magness. I found that I was especially fond of the therapeutic component of the practice, and I further pursued Thai Yoga Therapy, being initiated into the Vedic Conservatory after studying extensively with Michael Buck (Mukti).
Another adventure began in April 2013, when I jetted down under to spend a year teaching yoga in Australia. I made a 6-week stop in New Zealand on the way, where I was blessed to share Acroyoga at workshops across the entire country. I followed the same path in Australia, meeting up with my girlfriend Amanda and together we circumnavigated the continent and integrated with local communities in every city via Acroyoga workshops & jams. Eventually, we settled in Brisbane for 10 months and taught all styles of yoga from yin to restorative to hot power flow. My year in Australia was also a time for further growth as a teacher, studying with Raghunath, Simon Park, Pradeep Teotia, Sianna Sherman, Desiree (again) and Les Leventhal as they all made stops down under.
In May 2014, Amanda & I journeyed to Chiang Mai, Thailand to compliment our yoga & acroyoga knowledge with a 5-week Thai Massage Course at TMC School. I followed that by returning to the Himalayas in India to assist in the same Sivananda Yoga Vidya Peetham training that initiated this entire journey. That was followed by guiding a 3-week trek through the Trans-Himalayan plateau where I teamed up with Himalaya-Alpine Guides and led daily yoga and meditation sessions for the incredible group of folks who have trusted me to guide them on this adventure. I anticipate leading Himalayan treks every couple of years, and have teamed up with local Indian organizations to provide an exquisite trekking experience.
Our journey led us back to Wellington, New Zealand for 2014/15 where I immediately taught full-time across all the yoga studios in the community. In this year, I completed my Budokon teacher training with Cameron Shayne, plus managed to attend incredible 5-day yoga-immersions with renown teachers Peter Sterios, Donna Farhi, and Desiree Rumbaugh. Thanks to all this additional study, my yoga teaching has evolved tremendously, as I now approach asana far more fluidly and intelligently than I had previously.
In our final class in New Zealand in August 2015, Amanda and I got engaged!
For the remainder of 2015, Amanda and I led 2 yoga & trekking retreats in the Indian Himalayas, explored the Royal desert of Rajasthan, and reconnected with friends in Delhi & Bangalore. We left India for a few weeks to lead a yoga & adventure retreat in the rice fields of Bali, and then returned for 3 months in Goa, teaching daily yoga at a few of the gorgeous beachfront shalas.
2016 was a year full of travelling, as we began with 2 months in the Middle East, teaching Acroyoga in Jordan followed by my first 10-Day Silent Meditation Vipassana retreat in Israel. We returned home to Tampa for a month, reconnecting with our friends and teaching a few classes and workshops in town before heading off to 5 months in Europe.
We immersed with incredible instructors in London for 3 weeks at TriYoga and then attended our first Dutch Acro Festival in May. Through September, we stayed on the move throughout Europe, teaching in Norway, Sweden, Greece, Ireland, and Scotland.
During our time in Greece, Amanda & I were able to dedicate a lot of time to our meditation practice and we came to the agreement that we had been on the road long enough, and it felt like the right time to settle down somewhere for a few years. We decided that we would make California our home for the forseeable future, and in November 2016, we settled into a lovely little house in Santa Monica.
I plan to continue to teach weekly classes in the Los Angeles area, so stay tuned for what comes next. No matter what life throws our way, I will continue to traverse along all yogic styles, while staying true to the Vedantic philosophies instilled while in India. No matter their experience levels, I challenge my students to have fun while unlocking new discoveries within their mind-body complex.