A:Yes, born and raised in Miami. I went to graduate school in New York City and got a Master's Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. I wrote my Master's Thesis as a feminist studies critique of the science behind modern agriculture. Before doing yoga I was primarily an academic.
Q:You tried your first yoga class at 19 years old. Did you realize right away you would have a career teaching yoga?
A:When I first tried yoga at 19 I didn't immediately fall in love with it, but it left a lasting impression on me. I dabbled in yoga until I took my first Ashtanga Yoga class when I was 22. Very quickly after starting Ashtanga Yoga I threw myself into the practice. I went to India within the first year I was doing Ashtanga Yoga and I met my teachers Sri K. Pattabh Jois (Guruji) and his grandson R. Sharath Jois. I knew that my life changed when I looked into Guruji's eyes. I had no idea that I would be a yoga teacher when I first started practicing Ashtanga Yoga, but I knew that the practice of Ashtanga Yoga answered questions that I didn't even know I was asking. The decision to teach came only after many years of practice.
Q:How did it feel to receive your certification to teach Ashtanga Yoga? Describe the process of this elite certification...
A:After I completed the challenging Third Series of Ashtanga Yoga and had journeyed to Mysore, India eight times to study with my teachers, they gave me the Certification to teach Ashtanga Yoga. This is not something to be taken lightly as it is a unique process that required Guruji's full approval of the deeper lesson of Ashtanga Yoga. Many courses now offer certifications in yoga, but the Ashtanga Yoga Certification is something else. There are only a handful of people who have been Certified by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois personally. When Guruji gave a teacher the Certification he entrusted them to carry the spiritual lineage of Ashtanga Yoga in the world--it is a responsibility and an honor.
Q:Explain how holistic health and consciousness are directly linked to yoga...
A:Yoga is a lifestyle. It transforms the inner and the outer world of every practitioner. When you practice yoga you heal the body and train the mind. The spiritual practice of yoga connects you into the higher form of consciousness and thereby create health and healing in the body and mind.
Q:What is the Miami Life Center?
A:My husband, Tim Feldmann, and I founded Miami Life Center on South Beach, FL as a center for the total transformation that is the heart of yoga. All our classes are steeped in the spiritual lineage of yoga and provide students with a direct connection into yoga from its source. We personally train all our teachers and encourage them to make the journey to India to directly experience the transformative power of yoga. In addition to yoga Miami Life Center provides the tools for a spiritually oriented lifestyle including life coaching, nutritional counseling and workshops and trainings in both yoga and personal transformation.
Q:What inspired you to write the Sacred Fire?
A:I wrote Sacred Fire, my first book, because I wanted to share my journey into Ashtanga Yoga. I wanted to tell the story of how I first met my teachers in India and how this practice has personally transformed me. So many students asked me about why and how I started yoga and what the effect of the practice really is. This book is an answer to those questions.
Q:What's next for you and your immediate career?
A:Right now I am working on projects to take the message of yoga to more and more people all over the world. I would like to work more with video content either in traditional television or online video forms. I love creating content for my YouTube channel. I wrote a blog recently about what I see my role as in the world of yoga on Elephant Journal. You can find it here:
(Kino is also coming out with a book this summer and here is the link!)
Q:Can you give us your Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, blog and website handles?
Interview done by Elliot Rivera for HealtHaven LLC