Hi, I’m Mike.
I took my very first yoga class in January, 2001, after a few months of playing around with VHS tapes. It was not an entirely life-affirming experience—I was in no way ready for it—and I more or less abandoned yoga for a couple of years.
I finally tried again, going to a different yoga class early in 2003, and found myself unexpectedly hooked. I took classes at least twice and often three times a week. I had finally found something intensely physical that moved at a pace with which I was comfortable.
No, it wasn’t a flow class. Not that there’s anything wrong with that—I just don’t think I would have stuck with it if it had been.
In 2004, while working in Washington, DC, I happened to be introduced to Anusara™ Yoga, and have been a devoted student of the philosophical roots and physical alignment that it brought to my practice ever since. My primary teachers remain Paul & Sommer Sobin, along with Lila Brown and the community of friends with whom I’ve often practiced: Michael Ward, Melinda Thomas-Hansen, Hannah Byrum, Laura Flora and innumerable others.
I have also studied extensively with Anusara Yoga Founder John Friend, and whenever I travel I try to take the time to study with any teachers I can find. I have experienced many wonderful classes and met some bright, shining teachers this way: Darcy Lyon, Elizabeth Goodman, Julie Dohrman…the list could go on much longer.
Encouraged by my teachers, I began teaching yoga in April, 2007, completed a 200-hour Anusara Teacher Training program in June, 2008, and earned Anusara-Inspired Yoga Teacher status in April, 2009. I have generally taught in Durham, NC, where I have lived since moving to North Carolina, though I have occasionally done stints as far away as Chapel Hill and Raleigh—Durham is my home, and where I feel like I should do my teaching.
In 2012, in the wake of disappointing revelations about the state of John Friend’s personal and business ethics, I resigned my Anusara-Inspired status. I remain committed to the principles that Anusara Yoga put forth—a philosophy of engagement with the world in the service of others, and a sophisticated structure for examining relationships both within your body and external to it—but do not choose to put myself in a business relationship with an individual who seems unwilling or unable to acknowledge and seek forgiveness for the coercive nature of a number of his business relationships.
Yoga has changed my life, helping me discover the strength to be more honest, open and loving–to be a better, freer version of myself.