in·spi·ra·tion/ˌinspəˈrāSH(ə)n/ to take in spirit.
I have always moved toward inspiration.
As a child born in the culturally flat terrain of 1960s SoCal I sought inspiration wherever I could find it. By the sea and at the easel. Playing piano and struggling with the oboe. In tutus and tap shoes.
When my family moved to Mexico in 1968, I dropped out of school and spent my days studying music and painting at the Bellas Artes Academy in San Miguel de Allende. When we returned to the U.S. to live San Francisco, I played piano in the high school jazz band, and once graduated, attended Mills College, where I earned a B.A. in Dance and Psychology.
In college I discovered I could sing. That's when things really took a left turn.
My passion for dance was replaced with an obsession for singing. I became a professional jazz vocalist. Formed a band, found my sound, performed at festivals and clubs throughout the U.S. and abroad, recorded three well-received CDs. I had a reputation for a visceral, yet ephemeral sound — “music that hits you in the gut as it messes with your mind.” (San Jose Metro.) I did this for about 20 years.
Since I was a child I have been intrigued by shape-shifting, time-bending, ineffable experiences. So it is not surprising that I wandered from jazz into Hindustani vocals, and from modern dance into yoga. I began a life in the space where yoga and music, body and sound, overlapped. It felt like the perfect home. I studied for many years under awe-inspiring teachers and spent decades digging deep into personal practice. Eventually I began teaching SoundYoga, an umbrella term I coined for the many ways in which sound can be used for practices of personal transformation.
My spiritual interests drove my artistic endeavors. I was commissioned by the The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts to create an 18-month long project rooted in mantra, culminating in a full-length contemporary theatrical performance featuring the newly-formed, 80-person, Vak Choir of "Everyday Voices" (named after the Vedic Goddess of Word). Shortly thereafter I was commissioned to create an original piece to perform in conjunction with Smithsonian Institute's touring exhibition Yoga: The Art of Transformation at the San Francisco Asian Art Museum. Although I rarely perform these days, on occasion I engage in musical collaborations with musicians I find deeply inspiring.
I currently own and direct Mountain Yoga studio in Oakland where inspiration continues to reign. Our teachers are creative souls seeking to enliven students thru yoga. Our programs highlight transformational arts and creative minds, and we offer inspirational retreats to international destinations. I teach yoga asana and SoundYoga at Mountain Yoga and other locations in the Bay Area and internationally.
While my life has taken many twists and turns, the through line is clear: a deep desire to explore the beautiful, subtle, and mysterious aspects of being alive. To follow the path of inspiration. To inspire and be inspired.