I currently live in Melbourne, Australia. I moved here a little over 2 months ago from Santa Barbara, CA, and I teach both yoga and Pilates at several studios sprinkled throughout the city. I’ve talked about wanting to do something like this—to travel and teach—for years. One of the many beautiful things about working with the body is that I am not forever tied to one specific place. And, so here I am—it’s happening NOW. It’s beautiful. I am endlessly grateful for it all—the ups, the downs, the laughs, and the cries.
But wait, let’s rewind for a second…I live in Australia?!
I started practicing at Yoga Soup when I was 18 years old. I was a freshman at UCSB and a newly retired figure skater. For the preceding 10+ years of my life, being a figure skater had been my everything: my passion, my work, my identity. It’s not unusual for something like a yoga practice to find us in moments of massive transition, and for me, that is exactly what happened. The transition out of the world of competitive skating was challenging on every level—physically, emotionally, spiritually…
But yoga helped. Something about the energy in the room, the people, the studio, the teachers… drew me in. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would be a yoga teacher. Yoga felt strange in my body. I was used to moving like a dancer and jumping and spinning and pointing my toes. But things change. They really do! And eventually, I started working at Yoga Soup one day a week in exchange for unlimited classes. It felt like the most amazing internship; I was exposed to such an incredibly knowledgeable and diverse community of teachers and friends. And like a sponge, I went to as many classes as I could and tried to soak it all in. Fast-forward a few years: in 2013, I graduated college and also became the manager of Yoga Soup.
Santa Barbara is heaven. A dreamy paradise with the ocean, the mountains, amazing and organic local food, and so many wonderful and conscious and loving people…Santa Barbara is also home. It was the perfect and most supportive place to learn to teach, but in January of this year, I started to feel a bit too comfortable. I knew that I needed to make some pretty major life changes if I wanted to continue to grow as a person and as a teacher.
I took my time to figure out what those changes would look like…I decided I wanted to travel, and I decided to head to Australia—mainly, because I had never been and had always wanted to go but also because it’s an English-speaking country and I hoped to maybe teach a few classes.
The original plan was to be in Australia for about a month. However, before I left for Oz and as I was researching the trip, I realized that I was probably going to really like it…so I decided to make the trip open ended. The decision felt wonderful—a tremendous relief and positively freeing!
A few months ago, I read and fell in love with a beautiful Mary Oliver quote: “Leave some room in your heart for the unimaginable.” These words have guided me through the transition of moving away from home and Yoga Soup, out of Santa Barbara, far from my family and friends and into a pretty radical and new experience on the other side of the world.
I found work remarkably quickly upon arriving in Melbourne. Let’s be clear though (and I’m not trying to sell myself short), but this speaks more to the demand for teachers here in Australia than it does to my teaching abilities. The fact is…the demand is HIGH. There are brand new studios popping up nearly every week.
Most days feel like one massive “pinch me” moment because so many aspects of this entire journey and adventure feel unreal and awesome and exciting and also, somehow, meant to be. But there have been plenty of “what the fuck am I doing on the other side of the world?, “where is my mommy?” and “I want to go home” moments too. Thankfully, those ones are few and far between.
It’s been interesting and humbling and beautiful to observe this experience and the changes I’m feeling within myself. One of my favorite things thus far has been the building of T R U S T and watching it grow.
In Santa Barbara and with my family and friends, everyone knew me. They believed in me. They loved me; they supported me; they cared about me.
When I arrived here, no one knew me. No one knew my teaching. No one knew Yoga Soup and what it meant for me to have been the manager for the past couple years or to have been a “chameleon” of sorts that could cover nearly any of the classes on the diverse schedule. No one knew me.
But that is not the case anymore. So much has changed in the past 2 months. I am loving the classes I am teaching, and the positive feedback has been truly wonderful. Watching the trust G R O W and blossom and take shape in this new place and environment . . . is just wow.
My experience at Yoga Soup profoundly impacted my life as a teacher and as a person, and it gave me the confidence and skill set necessary to embark on this adventure. I’m learning to be okay with not knowing what’s going to happen next. I’m learning to be okay with not having an exact, precise plan. And I’m learning to trust…to trust myself, to trust this journey, to trust that all of these things truly, truly, truly are happening for a reason.
So here I am in Australia…living life the only way I know how ::: doing what I love and allowing my passions to lead the way. I am forever inspired by movement and the body. What a gift it is to be able to take this work with me wherever I go…
Love & light