About Me

in studio


My Brief Bio:

I completed my 200-hour teacher training at the former All People Yoga Center (now Dragonfly 360) in 2012 and my 300-hour yoga teacher training at the wonderful Indiana Yoga Studio in 2018. Additional trainings include 100-hour Yoga of the Heart: Cardiac and Cancer Certification(r).

More than 20 years ago, what brought me to yoga was a desire to learn to quiet my monkey mind and de-stress. As a result, my classes emphasize the calming aspects of yoga. Gentle, dynamic movements are where it’s at for my students.

My Long Bio:

My path to yoga has been perhaps unconventional. I have always tended to be an “in my head” kind of person, even as a child. I can easily get lost in whatever I’m reading and love to do research. So I started reading about yoga long before ever trying it. I even subscribed to Yoga Journal before I began my practice (back when YJ was a thick magazine with lots of theory and philosophy and relatively few ads). I loved the idea of yoga as a path to stilling the mind but the photos made me hesitate: there was no way I could get into those shapes!

My life got to a point where I was incredibly unhappy personally and professionally and suffered from chronic insomnia. I took the plunge, finally taking a chance that it didn’t matter if I could do the poses (it didn’t). Back then, way back in 1997ish, there weren’t too many places to practice and the idea of going to a studio intimidated me. I did some videos at home and finally signed up through continuing education at Ivy Tech. I lucked into a great first teacher for me. She was Iyengar-trained so was detail-oriented about poses and could satisfy my need to feel like I was doing things right. She was also masterful at yoga nidra, beginning and ending each session with long visualizations and meditations that helped me get out of my head and into my happy place.

And then that teacher moved! It took me a while to find any other teacher that was a good fit, balancing the mental as well as physical aspects of the practice, until I stumbled on Lisa Nail and Shari Gass. I took classes with them for a long time before I ever felt like I should attempt yoga teacher training.

I started my 200 hour yoga teacher training in Indy at what was then All People Yoga Center to deepen my own practice. I had no intention to teach when I finished in 2012. My teaching career actually started in 2013 with me subbing a few classes for Shari. I’ve been teaching since then.

Over the years I’ve done workshops with master teachers Erich Schiffmann and Sarah Powers, completed a 100-hour cancer and cardiac certification in 2014 at Satchidananda Ashram, and an additional 300-hour yoga teacher training at Indiana Yoga Studio in 2018. My next trainings are focused on chakra work, pranayama, and chair yoga teaching.

All the trainings I’ve done don’t really compare to what I learn from students who come to my classes. Whether my style connects with everyone or not, there is always something useful to learn.

~ Debra