I'm a Chicagoan 'til Chicago ends. I'm southside born and raised although I'm New England educated (Eph pride) and lived in London for the past 5.5 years. I started by spending 6 months during a semester abroad in college and realized I'd give my first born (or sign my life away to the loan sharks we call the US Government 🤗) to get back there as soon as I could. I graduated from college, hopped on a one-way flight to London, completed my MSc in Neuroscience, managed to find an immigration loophole and sneak through the UK border's back door to work (legally) for a few years as a scientist, and then started my PhD in Neuroscience (damn, that was a run-on sentence wasn’t it?). But I love side-hustles, so I also worked as a part-time Assistant Head of Marketing and Buyer for a yoga studio and did my yoga teacher training in 2016 to became a yoga and fitness teacher.
My PhD was in a joint program so in 2018 I moved to Washington, D.C to finish up my research and teach hot yoga for almost two years.
In Feb 2019 I successfully defended my PhD thesis and here I am, a Doctor in Neuroscience.
What is 'Do I Move You'?
Do I Move You is a catalog of my health, fitness and wellness journey.
When I read a new article, I generally ask myself this question. Does it move me? Does it change the way I view health? Has it informed the way I want to fuel my body? When I read a good article, the answer is always 'YES!" I'm hoping to recreate a few of those tidbits of info here.
It's also a journal of my yoga practice.
I've been hesitant to start this blog for years. I've thought about hundreds of potential posts but always stopped short of writing them. Partially because I'm a perfectionist and I always thought each idea could use a bit more time to marinate in my brain-juice (this is a technical term, trust me, I'm a neuroscientist), but mostly because I never wanted to open myself up to potential criticism. Check out my intro blog post here.
I love trying new ways to stay in shape. I've always been quite athletic and played basketball (poorly), tennis, track & field (sprints, long and triple jump) all throughout high school and college which exposed me to plyometrics, HIIT, circuits, strength and endurance training. For 12 years I was competitive dancer (rather reluctantly) trained in ballet, before falling in love with and teaching tap, jazz and lyrical classes. But that all changed when I went away to college and became a part of a modern/contemporary dance company. I was trained Martha Graham technique and began to choreograph contemporary pieces, which is what lead me to yoga.
In my dance company we were required to take pilates and yoga classes to complement our ballet, modern and contemporary training. Seeing as stretching was always my favorite part of every dance class I took, I fell in love instantly. Since 2007, I've tried a BUNCH of different types of yoga (Vinyasa, Ashtanga, hot, Jivamukti, glow, power, aerial) but my first love affair was with Bikram. I did a cheeky "intro-offer tour" across London and while I realized I loved the heat and how it opened up my body. But I quickly grew tired of the militarized teaching style and stagnant nature of doing exactly the same 26 linear postures every class. I strayed, taking a few drop-in classes here and there, but eventually found out that the studio where I took my first Bikram class had launched a new hot yoga system: Fierce Grace Yoga.
Long story short, now I'm a Fierce Grace trained 200hr (hot) yoga teacher (RYT). I also teach hot vinyasa and a yoga-fitness fusion class called TRX Yoga Core at Ethos (now SOMA). Although I love yoga, I don't think it's the be-all and end-all of physical fitness. I like to mix it up and do a few circuit workouts and cardio sessions a week.
I teach vinyasa flow, Bikram-style 26/2, SOMA Elementals and TRX Yoga Core, CorePower Yoga (C1, C2, Sculpt & HPF), Buti Yoga, and cardio yoga classes, but my favorites are from the Fierce Grace Hot Yoga System. I'm trained to teach ten multi-level classes (Fierce Grace 90/60, Classic, Primal, Fierce Grace 2, Deep Core, The Fix, IN, Wild, Fly).
I'm currently traveling after having just moved to Oakland, CA, but I’ll let you know when and where I start teaching in the area!
Other Shameless plugs:
Check me out in the Fierce Grace Teacher Training video.
Check me out in the Fierce Grace SportSetter video.
Check out my Fierce Grace teacher profile.
As recent PhD graduate, I love basing my health and fitness regime on science and a bit of trial and error. I think the two approaches are fundamental to problem solving. In order to find solutions, you've gotta try new things and experiment. I've played around with my diet and exercise plans a lot over the years and I'm always keen to see how my body responds to new routines.
I do my best to keep fit and stay active. I practice hot yoga 3-6 times per week and try to throw in some cardio/HIIT a couple of times per week. Recently I’ve been getting in to pilates, barre and resistance barre again, which I’m loving!
I was paleo for a year, but am currently reducing my animal product intake. I'm not into grains (so kinda paleo) and love fish and poultry, but know the meat/fishing industries are wreaking havoc on our environment. Basically I'm a torn hot mess at the moment, but mostly plant based vegan that cheats once in a while.
I'm always up for an adventure. My current goal is to try to explore a new city once a month. Whether it be exotic and a 5 hour flight away or a short bus ride, adventures abound!
I love trying new things. What, when and how I workout and eat at one point were all new to me, so why not keep trying new stuff? As a scientist it's my job, so why should it be any different in my personal life?