Personal Background, Training & Experience
Who really knows when an individual’s path of healing truly “begins?” For me, there was a significant turning point on August 18, 2003. I was 30, and for at least 6 months I had freely admitted to myself (in private, in the mirror, and in tears) that I was an alcoholic and a drug addict. But it was on that day that I had my true moment of clarity. I had already lost so much, and I knew, beyond all doubt, that if I didn’t completely stop abusing substances, that I would soon lose everything. My health was in a state of collapse, and I am certain that I would have soon lost my life as well. That day, I went to my first AA meeting, one step on my journey of healing that would evolve in ways I could not have imagined.
Two years of sobriety and self-improvement later, I felt empty and unfulfilled. I still had not found my joy that was sacrificed in my addiction. I felt restless, discontent, and lacked peace in my life. A new friend gave me a book on Tibetan Buddhism and we discussed meditation. I was inspired to seek my first teacher and found Lama Dudjom Dorjee at Karma Thegsum Choling, a Tibetan Buddhist meditation center in Oak Cliff. I immersed myself in every program of study they offered and eventually helped the Lama to author two books on Buddhism and meditation, served on their board of directors, and learned from other Tibetan masters. Another step on my path of healing…
Six months into my experience with Buddhism, strengthened by my meditation practice, I quit smoking cigarettes. It was so much harder than I expected and similar to giving up drugs and alcohol. I gained 20 pounds as I struggled with anger, anxiety, and depression. Additionally, I had severe lower back problems, and my health had not fully recovered, despite 2 1/2 years of sobriety. A close friend recommended yoga. I remember leaving the studio that day in a state of peace and tranquility that I’d not felt since getting sober, but there was also an undeniable feeling of exhilaration and vitality that I had been missing. I knew instantly that I would practice yoga every day that I could from then on, and I have, almost without fail.
After some time of practicing yoga, I began to be interested in yogic philosophy, theory, and practice, I decided to study under Yogarupa Rod Stryker. I have been studying closely with and assisting him for over ten years. I have completed 14 of his Parayoga Master Trainings and spent 5 weeks at the Himalayan Institute’s Khajuraho campus in India studying under both him and his teacher, Pandit Rajmani Tigunait. Yoga then was the next step in my journey of healing…
I have given up trying to determine an exact starting point for my path of healing. Sobriety, meditation, and yoga were crucial in my journey. With so many turning points and epiphanies over the past 15 years of both slow, incremental growth as well as wild leaps forward in my evolution as an individual, I can no longer point to one thing, one experience, and say “there — that’s where it all began.” I now see that the path is both without beginning and without end; as Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche once said, “The path is the goal.” We all have our own work to do, our own unique path to follow into freedom from suffering, and the goal isn’t at the end of that path, but to be on the journey. I would be honored to walk with you on yours for a time.
I have been practicing yoga therapy with clients, both individually and in small groups, for over 8 years. I am happy to have joined three gifted and highly trained counselors at CCIA. I specialize in anxiety, depression, OCD, addiction, Trichotillomania and other tic disorders, personality disorders such borderline and narcissism, eating disorders, as well as pre- and post-natal yoga and pain management. I am also quite capable of using yoga as physical therapy for a wide variety of issues such as immune deficiencies, gastrointestinal issues, insomnia, and injuries, especially those of the spine. I’ve helped many people (when appropriate and with the guidance of their doctor) to either avoid going on psychiatric and pain medications or to greatly reduce or eliminate them.
If you’d like to find out more about how and why yoga therapy works, feel free to give me a call, text or contact me by the form below, to set up a complimentary short question and answer session of your own. I would love to tell you more about what I do and to hear your story, as well. I believe I can help you.