Originally from Los Angeles, California, I have spent the last 20+ years living in various cities on the Northeast and Southeast Coast. During my time living in East Norwalk, Connecticut, I stumbled across the practice of Yoga as a result of my journey of Nichiren Buddhism in 2004. Later that year, after only taking two Yoga classes, I was inspired to enroll in a Yoga Alliance (YA) approved 200 Hour Teacher Training Program at Lotus Gardens Yoga School in Sherman, Connecticut with Lara Azzarito Ward.
In 2006, I felt compelled to expand my practice by offering another layer to the Yoga community and to those who wished to engage in Alternative Therapies, by participating in a 90 Hour Foot Reflexology Program in the Universal system with Christine M. Thorn, D.C., C.R.T, at The Connecticut Center for Universal Reflexology. located in Walcott, Connecticut. Later that year, I took this experience a step further by incorporating energy work into the fold through the practice of Reiki, under the guidance of Reiki Master Teacher Beth Leas, in the Usui System and becoming a Level II Reiki Practitioner at Total Life Care Center of Connecticut.
By 2008, I became an E-RYT® 200 (Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher 200 Hours), initiated by Leigh Anne Neil and Nirvana Yoga Studio and the Nirvana School of Classical Yoga, participating as a lead instructor in her first 200 Hour YA approved Teacher Training Program. In 2014, to add yet another layer to what I wanted to offer the Yoga community, I was approved by the Yoga Alliance to be a Continuing Education Provider as well as, being able to approve my studio, Wild Lotus Yoga Studio in Florida as a Registered Yoga School.
In 2017, I decided to enhance my education, through becoming an ACE (American Council on Exercise) Certified Personal Trainer. Upon moving to Philadelphia in 2018 I conducted a Yoga Alliance Approved 200 Hour Heated Teacher Training Program at Philly Power Yoga. Finally, I have recently opened Unconventional Yoga School as a Yoga Alliance Approved school here in Philadelphia offering a 200 Hour Classical Yoga Teacher Training Program July 2020-December 2020.
Being the granddaughter of a talented wholistic Chiropractor of 30 years, I have been exposed to the human body in a way which allows me to tune into the mechanics of body movement, range of motion and mobility of the spine and joints. Because of my grandfathers influence coupled with experience, education and working relationships I had with other physical therapists, massage therapists and doctors, I have been able to fine tune my own practice and cultivate a blended and therapeutic style of practice for my students and clients.
In addition to being a Certified Foot Reflexology Therapist and Reiki Practitioner, I created and employed my own style of Thai Yoga Massage, which I refer to as Thai Yoga Stretch which is a blend of passive stretch techniques and restorative yoga, to assist each client deepen their pose, in an effort to relieve tension and stress in the body, to alleviate pain and reduce inflammation throughout.
I have also had the privilege and experience of owning and operating my own yoga studio in St. Petersburg, Florida, called Wild Lotus Yoga Studio for two years, which was supported by many friends and family through donations. And during that time, I created and directed my first 200 Hour Alignment-Oriented Yoga Alliance Approved Teacher Training, of which ten beautiful and talented women participated and successfully graduated from.
Since living here in Philadelphia, I have been fortunate to teach at The Sporting Club at The Bellevue, The Rittenhouse Hotel, Independence Blue Cross and Philly Power Yoga & Thrive Pilates, in which I am the Co-Director of our first Yoga Alliance Approved 200 Hour Teacher Training Program, which eighteen wonderful students, have graduated, with another training program due to begin Fall of 2020.
I am proud and honored to say that I have taught over thirteen thousand yoga classes since 2005, lead over two dozen workshops and participated/ created/ directed three Yoga Teacher Trainings in Atlanta, St. Petersburg, and Philadelphia areas.
To enhance my own understanding and the practice of yoga, as well as to expand my own consciousness and experience healing, I have participated in three Ayahuasca Ceremonies, which have all helped to bring me into a state of wholeness and completion with myself, deepen my connections with others and ultimately imbue my teaching ability, referring to the more ancient traditions of Yoga as it was originally expressed. These experiences have truly authenticated my dharma (sacred duty) to inspire others in an meaningful and life changing way.
Similarly, I have used these experiences to further create a donation based outdoor yoga classes through Seva Yoga Mission in St. Pete, as well as cultivating a very unique meditation practice called Bhakti Foundations. Unlike most meditation practices, this is a three part experience, which I lead through mantra, movement, breathing techniques and creative visualization.
Additionally, I have written and self-published three books and two manuals, "Memoirs of an Unconventional Yogi", "The Miracle of Plant Medicine and The Practice of Yoga" "The Power of Change--Insights from an Unconventional Yogi" "The Reset Button--7 Day Nutritional Planning" and "The Practice Manual", a manual created for Philly Power Yoga Teacher Training Program. All of these books are an autobiographical account of my journey, my experience with plant medicine as it relates to Yoga and manifestation techniques to help initiate a process to change the very course of our lives in a more positive and profound way.
Naturally, being that I am a lover of art, my plant medicine ceremonies, practice of Yoga and writing have paved the way towards photography as well. What started out as a leisurely endeavor quickly evolved into a marketable and creative passion. All of my photos are used for website content, book covers, blog posts, Instagram posts, marketing materials, and other promotional items through Photos by Colette Marie.
In conclusion, I believe that the road of Yoga is endless - it all starts with a pose and a thought, and expands into a never-ending path of self discovery and growth. I value each and every person who joins my class and I look forward to helping you achieve your wellness goals.