What Lead Me to Finding my OM...
I was born and raised in Torrance, California and educated at The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), American University of Paris, and La Sorbonne.
After returning from Paris, France, I originally started practicing yoga for fitness reasons, but quickly realized it was also so beneficial to re-center myself mentally and emotionally during this transitionary period of my life. I loved the mind-body connection, and the worry-free bliss after a great Savasana. However, it wasn't until I started consistently practicing with John Neidlinger at YogaWorks South Bay that I truly fell in love with this practice. His classes were challenging- there were many times I wanted to physically "give up" or come out of a difficult pose, but when I allowed myself to stay just one breath longer, I learned how mentally strong I was. Over time, 1 breath longer became 10, and those poses I thought I'd never be able to do, became familiar and a welcomed challenge.
In 2013, I decided to do my first 200 Hour Teacher Training at YogaWorks South Bay with David Lynch and Jorge Luna. At that time, I had no anticipation to teach at all, I simply wanted to deepen my practice. However, David and Jorge encouraged me to give it a shot, and I am so very grateful they did.
After graduating from the 200 Hour Program, I began teaching a weekly Vinyasa Flow class in Redondo Beach.
From there, I continued my yoga education with a Therapeutics Teacher Training in 2014 with Wendy Garafalo and Chelsea Rothert at the Green Yogi Manhattan Beach. This training provided further practical training and modifications for injury management, chronic conditions, pregnancy, and yin/restorative instruction.
Finally, in 2015, I completed the 300 Hours Professional Program through YogaWorks Los Angeles, under the mentorship of David Lynch. I currently teach Vinyasa Flow Yoga and Restorative Yoga and sub at various locations in the South Bay.
I hope to pass on the gift of yoga to my students just as my inspiring instructors have done for me. I hope to provide a space for grounding and centering, self awareness, self confidence, self-love, and spiritual growth.
Photos copy right of melissa okabe,
Professional Photo Credit: Kevin Nakasone