I am a 4th generation Arizona native and the heat runs in my blood. I am grateful to explore this life with my husband Michael and daughter Liv.
Growing up an athlete my body was under constant pressure and I was always pushing myself beyond the pain. I played college softball at Central Arizona College and won a National Championship. My collegiate sports career is when my back pain began.
I started taking Bikram yoga classes back in 2001. It kicked my butt. I thought I was in good physical shape but why were these “easy poses” so hard for me? I was hooked to say the least.
I began my new career as a personal trainer and founded Crystal Fitness. But my personal training sessions always seemed to be missing one thing. No matter how much I stretched my clients I knew it wasn’t as effective as the 26 postures in the heat. I wanted them to feel the balance of strength and flexibility. I started telling my clients to go to Bikram Yoga in between our weight training sessions. I also continued to practice Bikram Yoga for my back pain.
In fall, 2008 I decided to change my work out routine to something that was more kind to my body and something I could do for the rest of my life. I attended Bikram Yoga College - nine weeks of “Bikram Yoga College of India” teacher training. There, I gained the knowledge that gave me the balance of eastern and western thinking.
Fast forward to spring of 2016, I was lifting a laundry basket and suddenly herniated my back. I could barely walk and had to literally drag along my left leg. I had been told two years before that I eventually would need back surgery but I chose to manage the pain with anything else including yoga. Eventually I had no choice but to get surgery. My doctor told me that my back and lower spine was compromised due to a “high impact lifestyle”.
In May of 2016 I had back surgery. I was fused thru L3, L4, L5 & S1, with 3 spacers and 8 screws.
L3- L4 Spondylotishesis with bilateral pars defects and bone marrow edema, bilateral neruroformainal, stenosis.
L4-L5 Disc degeneration.
L5-S1 Spondylothesis with bilateral pars defects with large left parasagittal disc extrusion with cranial migration.
After only 6 months I returned to Bikram yoga with my new modifications. I am still re-habilitating myself everyday.
Today, I love teaching Bikram Yoga and knowing that I’m truly helping people. My teaching philosophy has shifted since I was physically humbled this year. So I share my experience, strength and hope that everyone can find the serenity both physically and mentally by practicing the Bikram Yoga. Whether you’re just getting started or practicing for years I welcome you!