It began with a injury playing Ball hockey. Getting cross checked in the back and after knowing so many who have suffered, for many years, with back pain I needed to change the way I look at how my body functions. I didn't want to go down the road of pain medication and possible surgery. What if I could fix the problem naturally and actually improve my abilities and function?
The answer came from a dear friend and mentor Grandmother Renee Thomas-Hill who gave me a teaching on we need to move and eat again like our ancestors and many of the things that ail us will go away.
Grandmother Renee talks about the importance of Yoga in First Nations Communities
I began to educate myself based on my conversation with Renee about the need to move again, and arrived at Yoga. As a athlete I figured all exercise was about training for performance in sports and never realized that there is a difference between training for sports and training for health.
After a steady year of Yoga my back pain and the effects of many injuries were gone.
Working in health education in the Aboriginal Community in Ontario Canada, I realized the benefits Yoga had on my overall health. I looked into teacher training as a way to bring Yoga into First Nations communities. I graduated my YES Level 1, 2 and Pre Natal Yoga training programs through East to West Yoga with Susie Dias and under the teachings of Cheryl Gordon at The Yoga Centre Of Niagara. The knowledge of these two women and to accept me as a teacher I will always be grateful.
Since I received my YES 2 teacher training I have been honored to instruct in many places including:
Drug and Alcohol Treatment Centers: Working with Freeing the Human Spirit instructing in detention centers for inmates, presented about Yoga's benefits at the National Aboriginal Diabetes Association conference: Presented at the Aboriginal Physical Activity and Cultural Circle on the benefits of Yoga with fellow Yoga Instructor whom I work with Amanda Lipinski: Helped create a Aboriginal specific Yoga resource for SOADI (where I work), Sweet Grass Yoga. (Available at the SOADI online store.) with proceeds to help fight Diabetes in the Aboriginal Community.
I have recently completed my RYT 200 teacher training with Yoga Alliance with another colleague Crystal MacDonald and will continue to further my studies in the future.