For as long as I can remember, physical expression and movement have been the best way for me to quiet my mind and find peace. Whether I was dancing, running, playing tennis, soccer, volleyball, or jumping around on my trampoline…I never stopped moving.

My first experience with yoga was in high school when my siblings took me to a class at Core Power in Portland, Oregon. We started practicing together once every week or so but with fiends, sports, and life in general, classes got fewer and farther between. Once I got to college at the University of Oregon I enrolled in an Iyengar class. When my teacher appeared on the first day, I was absolutely blown away by her presence: She was wearing all white, had waist length silver hair, and bright, clear blue eyes which gave the impression that she knew a secret, something I didn’t know but was soon going to find out. I was hooked. Yoga was always there in the background, but it wasn’t until I graduated and moved to San Francisco that I really got serious with my practice.

Living in a new city and not really knowing anyone, yoga became a way for me to connect and build a community of friends. It taught me mindfulness, patience and most of all, compassion for myself and others. I’ve always been hard on myself, independent and driven to a fault, and yoga brought me to a place where I was able to find acceptance and contentment for me and my life. During this time I was taking my 200hr teacher training through Yoga Tree with Janet stone and Darren main, I began working at Wells Fargo Private Bank, and I enrolled in Holistic Nutrition school in New York which I would attend one weekend a month for about a year…all the while dreaming of the day when I could teach and coach full time. Leaving the banking industry was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life to this day.

I eventually relocated to L.A. and during my first few months there I took my 500 hour training with Dharma Mittra. For me, Dharma’s training was crucial and life changing. He taught me that there is so much more to yoga then just asana. I learned to sit and breath for long periods of time followed by mediation on a daily basis. I found a new part of me that was interested in the more esoteric and intangible benefits of my practice. A receptivity and openness to exchange energy and awareness with whomever and whatever I came into contact with.

Along this journey I found that it’s so important to believe in yourself, to believe that you can accomplish your biggest dream, your biggest goal. If you put it out there, the universe will answer! I want to inspire confidence in my students and help them to believe in themselves like my yoga community and mentors do for me.

I’m so grateful to be teaching classes at Yoga Works, Power Yoga East, and online for Udaya Yoga and Radius with NBC Sports. My yoga community inspires me on a daily basis to be better, to do better and my dream is to do the same for you. May we all remember that individually we are one drop, but together, we create an ocean!!! (Ryunosuke Satoro)

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