Leilana

Leilana

As a lifelong dancer, feeling “in command” of my body and the way it moved through space came easy. Some people might say they go about their day as a “floating head” -constantly thinking of the past, planning for the future, analyzing the now- but for me, I was a body, trained to mimic whatever choreography was thrown at me without a thought of what movement actually felt authentic and natural. By my early 20’s, I began to suffer from knee and spinal pain.

In 2010, I was working as a hairstylist in Berkeley, CA and doing what most young 20-year-olds do: drinking, partying, eating garbage food, and not caring for myself or my injuries. I hit a wall and needed to make a big change. Per recommendation from a friend, I dropped everything, packed my bags, and moved to Maui, Hawaii to work as an organic farmer. It was during this time that I took my very first yoga class. I remember thinking, “I know how to move my body! This is going to be a breeze!” … Goodness, was I wrong! Not only did the asanas challenge my body in a completely new way, the element of mindfulness made me realize how long I had gone without having a practice that INTEGRATED me completely: mind, body, and spirit. The physical practice brought me to yoga, but the integration of self and the supportive community is what made me stay.

As a teacher, my intention is to create a space where students can meet themselves fully in the now without judgment. Although my focus is to keep you safe and informed, I’m not interested in telling you what “should” feel good or how your body “should” look during your practice. What I’ve learned from my own injuries and evolving existence is that we are beginning again every day. Change is inevitable and if we wake up with the commitment to be with what is with loving kindness, that change doesn’t seem so jarring.

There is a wisdom within you. Whether you’re a new student or seasoned practitioner, I am here to create an encouraging space for you to remember it, to dig, to examine, and celebrate every part of yourself -not just your brain, your body, or your spirit as separate entities, but ALL OF YOU as one.