People often ask me why I started YogiNest. They wonder why I didn’t just go and get a job at a yoga studio (trust me sometimes I do too, running a business is hard work, hahaha). While starting your own business is not for the faint of heart it truly is so rewarding, even if you’re only able to change one person’s life. YogiNest is hard work, but seeing how it affects the lives of my students is the gift that makes it worth it.
I started YogiNest because yoga saved my life. Well a combination of things saved my life, but yoga was in the top 2 of that list of things, in my opinion. As I’m sure some of you already know, I was diagnosed with Lupus several years ago. It was traumatic to say the least, life changing is an understatement. I was seeing MANY Western doctors and found myself feeling angry, helpless and lost. Nothing was making me better, in fact I was getting worse. My mental state was in dire straits, I was so depressed, watching my life fall apart a little more with each new day.
I had been to the hospital 100’s of times, but I remember one specific visit in particular that changed my life forever. I thought I was going to die. I had felt this way many times but something about this particular visit, it felt like it would be my last. No one in the hospital seemed to know what they were doing. I was shoved into a room with heavy words regarding my medical state, and then I didn’t see a single person again for hours and hours and hours. I was terrified and helpless. This was the day that changed my life forever. I realized in this moment that if I wanted to get better I needed to take things into my own hands, and that’s exactly what I did.
I quite drinking, I quite smoking, I changed my diet, got more exercise and lots more sleep. I minimized my level of stress and cut some not so good energy and people out of my life. I found an amazing doctor who actually listened to me. I was working with a doctor for the first time that made me feel like I had choices, like this was my body, like I had control. His name is Dr. Abraham Ishaaya, and he’s AMAZING! You could say I wiped the slate clean, regarding every part of my life. I found a $30 for 30 days Groupon for YogaWorks and the rest was history. Well not before it got worse.
I took one class with my Groupon and got very sick, I flared, badly. I called YogaWorks to cancel my Groupon but was met with a kind voice who felt I should give it another try, and put me in touch with a friend of her’s who also had Lupus, was a yoga teacher, and was currently in remission. Well shit, I couldn’t pass this up. I needed to call this lady. Our conversation was in one word, inspirational. I began taking private yoga sessions at YogaWorks, and guess what… I didn’t flare! My private sessions turned into group sessions, which turned into the 200 Hour Teacher Training, which turned into the 300 Hour Teacher Training, which turned into…REMISSION. I did it! After several years of very hard work I had put myself in remission.
Throughout the years of my own personal transformation, I realized that there were so many people in the world struggling with chronic and terminal illnesses that did not know the power of yoga as a complementary form of medicine. Millions of people around the world are struggling with some form of illness, Lupus, MS, Cancer, Addiction, PTSD, you name it. Western medicine is extremely important and must be tied into your complimentary treatments, BUT I do believe that a complimentary form of treatment is necessary, for your sanity if nothing else. Laying in a hospital bed is the most depressing situation, most hospitals are depressing, why? They’re so sterile, so cold, the people are overworked and crabby, and somehow you’re supposed to feel better. Donna Karan’s Urban Zen is actually an amazing organization I think you should check out. Donna Karan lost her husband to cancer and spent a large amount of time in hospitals with him during his battle. It was during this time that she realized that something was missing from mainstream health care and created Urban Zen. The goal was to help change the current healthcare paradigm to include integrative medicine and promote patient advocacy. Her vision is to treat the patient with the same passion we treat the disease by combining western science with nutrition, yoga and eastern healing practices. The program not only helps the patient BUT she also uses the program to help the caretakers become better caretakers by implementing the same modalities for the staff at the hospitals.
Like Donna Karan I also saw that something needed to change and created YogiNest. The idea for YogiNest was not to be another yoga studio in LA but to create a home away from home where my clients could work through their health problems. YogiNest is a safe place, a place that does not judge, a place with a teacher who can hold your space for you, a place where the teacher understands what it’s like to be sick, and can share her tools for recovery. YogiNest focuses on specialty yoga for chronic/terminal illness, PTSD, Anxiety/Depression, Addiction, and Injury Management/Prevention. I work closely with my clients doctors and caretakers to create a complimentary plan that includes: yoga, meditation, breath work, mindfulness, restoratives, and more.
I created YogiNest because I know the things that worked for me could potentially work for someone else, for lots of other people, hundreds, thousands…sky’s the limit. When someone shares their story with me I feel less alone, less alien, less vulnerable. I hope that when I share my story I can pay-it-forward. I hope that I can create a space for those who want more from their treatment plan, who want more control, who want relief from the stress and anxiety that is part of the illness package. There is so much more to treatment than prescription drugs and medication; food, diet, exercise, educational tools, mindfulness, meditation, etc. Healing is a complete package, it’s not just one thing, it’s all of these things and more. YogiNest aims to provide the missing pieces to your plan, to complete the circle of the medical treatment you’re already receiving. I created YogiNest because the information I have it’s too important not to share with the rest of the world.
I genuinely believe that this is what I was meant to do with my life, and I cannot wait to meet all my new students. I can’t wait to hear your story, and I cannot wait to help you along your journey. Reach out, ask questions, I love hearing your stories, and I love meeting new people. One by one, we can create a healthier world.