As a spiritual guide, teacher and author, my expertise is to guide you on a journey toward deeper self-awareness, greater inner peace, and wiser choices aligned with your most authentic life purpose—especially when you’re at a crucial turning point in your life, practice and teaching.
There are many ways someone turns “spiritual”… and by spiritual I mean “from other to Self.”
Joseph Campbell called this turn “the hero’s journey” because it takes a lot of courage to look within for the answers to life’s greatest questions…Why am I born? What’s my purpose? How do I deal with death?
My heroine’s journey began at 17 when I made a refusal that changed my life by making me sit quiet on a meditation cushion.
It happened the last weekend before my senior year in high school. Two friends arrived at my door and beckoned me to join them for a night of drinking. To this day I don’t know why I refused to go. But I didn’t get in the car.
Later that night they were both killed along with five other classmates in a drunk driving accident.
I should have died. But instead I lived. And that narrow escape from death was a major turning point that defined my life’s destiny.
It made me seek within myself.
On that path of inner discovery, I discovered the yoga of sacred sound after attending a South Indian classical music concert at Amherst College in Massachusetts. I signed up to study that night. Every day I went for music lessons, my interest in sacred sound deepened.
South Indian classical music opened my inner ear and I filled it with stories of yogis and saints—and the incredible attainments that the practice of yoga could accomplish—that I read about voraciously.
Swami Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi inspired me especially. I was drawn to the legend of an immortal yogi, Babaji, who Yogananda described as living in the Himayalas.
I wanted to meet Babaji. I wanted a guru to guide me. I wanted to find the source of myself.
So I made a bold move.
I dropped out of college, bought a one-way ticket to Kathmandu and enrolled in a Nepali language immersion offered by the U.S. Peace Corps.
Feeling it inappropriate that I should stay alone, my Nepali teacher invited me to live with his uncle, who was one of the head priests at Kathmandu’s most sacred temple.
Living in the home of a brahmin priest changed my life.
In the wee hours of the early mornings there, I heard the Vedas in Sanskrit chanted for the first time. The rhythmic pure sounds of Sanskrit stilled my busy mind. It brought me to the source of myself.
I wanted to know more.
Whereas I had once been bored with academic studies, now I was inspired to get to the source of the human experiment with the divine. I wanted to understand the connection of yoga with world religions. And I wanted to study Sanskrit, the sacred language at the source of not only the yoga tradition, but also the “sonic” intelligence behind creation.
My path led me to Santa Barbara where I enrolled in the Religious Studies program at the University of California. There I immersed myself in a rigorous academic study of world religions and Sanskrit—with an emphasis on the Vedic and classical yoga traditions of India.
I always tell my clients and students, “Every now and then the universe tosses you a bone.” While I was a student at UC Santa Barbara I was tossed many juicy bones that sustained my studies and practices of yoga and Sanskrit.
I received Ford Foundation, Fulbright-Hayes and UC Presidential grants to study Sanskrit, the Vedas and classical yoga in India for five years—and to pursue my life’s passion for yoga, meditation and chanting Sanskrit at the feet of traditional Vedic masters.
While studying the texts and traditions of the Veda and classical yoga, I also sought to get to the depths of my Self. That meant many long hours under the blazing Indian sun in ashrams with my eyes closed—attempting to ignore the mosquitoes and quiet my mind.
It was during one six-month retreat that I discovered Jyotisha, the Vedic art of astrology, in meditation.
It happened suddenly. My intuition woke up on its own. While sitting quiet, I could know things intimately within myself about our interconnection with the planets and stars.
By quieting my mind, Patanjali’s description in the Yoga Sutras of “the seer abiding in itself” became my reality. My inner eye of wisdom opened. I became a seer.
Sanskrit served as a technique to awaken a higher state of consciousness within me; Jyotisha showed me how to apply that light within to my life’s path.
These two modalities—Sanskrit and Jyotisha—became powerful tools of awakening that I now share with yogis at crucial turning points in life to help navigate their path toward greater personal clarity and wisdom.
After earning my doctorate in 2001, I taught World Religions, Sanskrit and the yoga traditions at California Polytechnical University, Simpson College, the University of Colorado and Naropa University.
But I was dissatisfied with the “ivory tower” approach to teaching sacred studies. I wanted to serve those who were actually practicing yoga and not just talking about it.
So I created a course, Sanskrit for Yogis, to allow practitioners of yoga to reap the benefits of sacred sound as a powerful tool to quiet the mind and access samadhi, the goal of yoga.
For ten years, I shared my simple method for learning Sanskrit as it best applies to yoga with yoga teacher training programs across the world. I led advanced Sanskrit programs—delving into the teachings of the Vedas, Upanisads, Bhagavad Gita and the Yoga Sutras. And then I created online Sanskrit programs for yogis to access yoga’s deepest teachings anywhere at any time.
At the same time, those same seekers sought me for personal advice and help in aligning with their highest life’s purpose through my Jyotisha (Vedic Astrology) consultation services. And I developed online professional training programs in Life Purpose Mastery with Jyotisha for those seeking to guide others similarly.
Today I am named One of the top 75 yogis who are shifting the planet by Origin Magazine. I am the author of Awakening with Sanskrit and Sanskrit for Yogis: An Introduction to Nada, the Yoga of Sacred Sound. I serve yoga teachers and practitioners with online and live trainings in Sanskrit, the Vedas and classical yoga to help you access the wisdom teachings at the core of your practice. And I help seekers at crucial transitions develop successful life strategies with the guiding light of Jyotisha.
Presently, I divide my time between India and the USA where I continue to teach Sanskrit courses, coach using Jyotisha (Vedic astrology), and lead spiritual retreats to the holy Himalayas.