Q. Who or what brought you into yoga to begin with? How did you get started and what got you hooked?
A. I was born in Hermosa Beach, California. The beach was literally my front yard and created the greatest influence in the unfolding of my life. The imprint of the waves—the pulse of life—was always part of me. So the seed was planted for my journey for both surfing and yoga. We moved to Berkeley when I was four, so it was not until later in life that surfing awakened the connection to the flow expe-rience. Now everything has come full circle, and I am a surfing yogini dedicated to embodying the flow on the water, in yoga, and in life.
Q. What about surfing? How did that happen? Who, what, when, where, and why did you start and what has that journey been like?
A. I didn’t seriously start surfing until my late thirties when I moved a mile from Sunset and PCH in Pacific Palisades in a year of amazing waves. It was the first time in my life surfing year-round in a drop-it-all-for-the-swell rhythm. I started including surfing lessons in my yoga teacher trainings in Southern California and then moved into surfing and yoga retreats. Now I also love kayaking waves when the surf is low. There is nothing like the direct contact with the living ocean, to be in harmony with the changing currents. No wave is the same. It takes courage to drop into a breaking wave, willing to fall and be churned for the possibility of that moment when time slows down as you ride a glassy wave, feeling the power moving you and moving in harmony with its energy.
Q. Can you describe your first or most transcendent experience with yoga?
A. I always remember my first yoga experience as being initiated on my own at age fourteen from an article I found in the library to learn more about my name. I followed the instructions exactly as I went into the hip opener pose, upavista konasana. It was the simple process of being tuned in to my breath and the sen-sations I was experiencing that totally transformed my state of being. My worries dissolved into a profound sense of being and connectedness. It launched my journey, and now my focus is on leading vinyasa as movement meditation—surf-ing the flow of embodied breath awareness.
Q. Can you name your favorite surf break and where that is?
What about for new surfers, is there a best place to learn in your opinion? Did you start with lessons or just go out and take the waves on? Is your family into surfing or were you a pioneer in your family?
A. My favorite surf break is in Nosara, Costa Rica, where both newbies and big wave riders can enjoy the same long stretch of amazing, consistent waves with the jungle coming up right to the beach. I also love the North Shore of Kauai, and my favorite local surf break is County Line in Malibu.
Q. Where and how did you start out in yoga?
What was your first introduction to the practice and how do you suggest people start if they are considering getting into yoga? What is your favorite style to practice? Do you teach yoga? If so, what style?
A. So after that seed was awakened when I was fourteen, I started to practice a Tantric-based mantra meditation system and then later become an Ashtanga practitioner while studying world arts and cultures at UCLA. I ended up liv-ing around the world from the age of seventeen, in East and West Africa, India, Nepal, Bali, and Jamaica, where I studied movement as meditation and ritual and its role in cultural change. Now after twenty-five years of teaching, I offer Prana Vinyasa Flow around the world in retreats, teacher immersions, festivals, and large-scale activations including sacred activism for seva, or service.