I am a Sicilian/German, Cancerian moon child who grew up in San Diego, earned a BFA in Musical Theater, and enjoyed a productive, professional life in the theater for many years.
I was initially drawn to yoga because of a debilitating health issue that I developed in my mid 20's. I underwent major surgery that promised to cure me, but it fell short of that promise. My quest for answers, on many levels, began...
I moved to Los Angeles in 1997 and two years later took my first yoga class. Suddenly life was full of purpose. The simultaneous effects of buzzy electricity and deep, quiet calm kept me coming back to my mat five times a week. My yoga practice became a sort of personal Olympics with which I wanted to medal. I was awed at the confident, strong and spiritual athlete who was emerging.
After much encouragement from my instructors and mentors, I pursued a teacher training and was certified under the masterful guidance of Erich Schiffmann at the Santa Barbara Yoga Center in 2002. Since then I've taken workshops, seminars and/or master classes from esteemed teachers, Joel Kramer, Desiree Rumbaugh, John Friend, Paul Grilley, Mas Vidal, Roger Nolan and Tej Kaur Kalsa, to name a few.
I taught out of my apartment until I was offered my first studio job in early 2003. From that point forward I thrived, teaching yoga in notable LA studios, at colleges, artist colonies and summer camps, and for corporations, organizations, grade school teachers, seniors and kids.
I'm a creative teacher and my classes are anything but formulaic. They are tailor made for every student and your unique needs. I meet you where YOU are. I'm encouraging and provide hands-on adjustments, offer modifications and give clear detailed instructions. I love to incorporate the Schiffmann pause in order to periodically feel the stillness. I am attentive to alignment and form, and consistently cue the BREATH. It's the almighty breath that can free you!
With the impact of age, injuries, and my health disorder that persists today, I no longer aim to achieve the hardest arm balances and most advanced back bends. That doesn't interest me anymore. Accepting myself as I am RIGHT NOW in THIS BODY regardless of what I USED TO feel, look like or be able to do is my intention. In this, I aim to inspire and guide others who are also on a path to peace and well-being.
I now reside in Glendale and only teach privately or for small groups. My latest job venture was as an Inclusion Assistant in a charter high school, helping teens with special education needs. I might like to return to school and l love to write! I live with a wonderful man in a charming, pink, 1927 garden apartment. I am the proud protector of two feisty felines, Bodhi and Kamala, named from the novel Siddhartha, a seminal book in my youth and, no doubt, the precursor to my yogic journey.
Yoga really is the single greatest antidote to all that ails me. It is a balm for my body, a salve for my soul and medicine for my mind. With everything else in flux, yoga is the one constant that lends my life this most treasured quality...GRACE.
I have studied with Marti Jo for over five years. She is an extraordinary teacher and a truly warm and insightful person. I leave each class knowing that I have had the great fortune to work with a true healer. ~Jean Rasenberger (artist, mother, professor)
Time has passed through me and become a song. ~Holly Near