What yoga has done for me

Leslie’s Story

The ancient practice of yoga, Viniyoga in particular, has transformed my life.  I felt the power of the practice the first time I took a class in 1996 as a new mom at age 36 (Now you know how old I am, ha.)  

Yoga philosophy and practice gives me a most extraordinary sense of peace in my heart and soul and a compassionate connection to all life.  More practically, along with a whole food mostly plant-based diet, yoga gives me a connection to my body and emotions that has helped me release or better control unhealthy dependencies on junk food, cigarettes, alcohol, and shopping.  I take no medications and rarely get sick. Yoga helps me minimize back and joint pain as I age into my sixth decade. My digestion is good and I sleep well.  Depression, which I was medicated for and suffered with since adolescence, and anxiety, are brief visitors now that are relieved with regular yoga and meditation practice.

More than you want to know…

Am I a perfect weight? No, but I feel light. Do I ever succumb to cravings for the wrong food or drink to ease daily discomforts?  Almost every day.  Am I seduced by the distraction of unproductive screen time or shopping on occasion?  Yes.  BUT, because of yoga, I am happier, kinder to myself and others, and feel good most of the time.  I am also certain that I can come to my mat or even just breathe more consciously any time I need to and come back to a more balanced, peaceful body and mind.  How empowering is that!

I grew up in a loving but chaotic home in the 1960’s and 70’s, and learned a lot of unhealthy coping strategies from my parents and community.  Feeling, like all kids do at times, not like everyone else, I developed ‘tools” for coping, including overeating, distraction from TV or radio (there were no computers or smart phones back then), later adding shopping, smoking and drinking, often secretly by myself, feeling more and more isolated, depressed and powerless.  These habits continued throughout college and beyond, many becoming more social, but never healthy, and many stayed with me into my 20’s, 30’s, and beyond.

Yoga came into my life in my mid thirties as I came out of a science business career and into full time motherhood.  I knew I had to change my ways and yoga helped a lot.  I felt a sense of peace with my first class.  But, my practice wasn’t regular.  Even going to a class once a week wasn’t enough to connect me to the sources of inner peace and power I needed to yank those toxic tools out of my coping tool bag and replace them with more nurturing, beneficial behaviors.

Finally, after years of searching, I found this yoga, personalized, integrated, adaptable Viniyoga (www.viniyoga.com).  A practice designed just for me, for my unique condition and schedule, that I can do at home most every day on my own.  I have finally found the source of the answers to life’s challenges, answers that have been there, inside my heart all along.  I have finally realized that reaching for something to distract my attention is never going to get me those answers.  Yoga has connected me to the best version of myself, the one that is whole and forever linked with something much bigger than “me”, including my fellow men, women, and children, all of whom all suffer just like I do.  It is my life goal to share yoga and in so doing, empower others to connect to their divine wholeness for the greater good of all.

Leslie’s Certifications & Degrees

​Leslie is a Yoga Alliance Certified RYT-500 Viniyoga teacher and has 20+ years of experience practicing and teaching yoga.

Yogadharma 300-hour Teacher Training with Will and Amy Cronise-Mead was completed at the Solebury Club in Buckingham, PA.

American Viniyoga Institute 500-hour two year Viniyoga Foundations Program with Gary Kraftsow was completed at the Mt. Madonna Center, Watsonville, California.

Other courses of study completed:

  • Amy Wheeler, PhD
    250-hour Optimal State Yoga Therapy for Mental Health Specialist Certification
  • Unite for Her
    Yoga for Breast Cancer patients, West Chester University
  • Martin Kirk
    Yoga Anatomy-on-line
  • Gary Kraftsow on-line with Yoga International
    Yoga for Chronic Pain
    Meditation Unlocked
    Pranayama Unlocked
    Yoga for Better Sleep
    Asana Unlocked
  • Christina Pirello, Restaurant School, Philadelphia, PA
    Whole Food 6-month Intensive
  • Fairleigh Dickinson University, Madison, NJ
    B.S. Biology/Chemistry

Leslie’s Inspiration

Yoga and Meditation
Gary Kraftsow: http://www.viniyoga.com
Krishnamacharya and T.K.V Desikachar
Leslie Kaminoff : https://www.yogaatanomy.org
Amy Port and Will Mead
Geshe Michael Roach:  http://www.theknowledgebase.com
Erich Schiffmann:  http://erichschiffmann.com
Cate Stillman:  http://www.yogahealer.com
Maureen Shortt: http://maureenshortt.com
Amy Wheeler, PhD: http://www.dalailama.com

How to be positive and productive
Peter McWilliams:  http://www.mcwilliams.com

How to be vulnerable and powerful
Brene Brown:  http://brenebrown.com

How to think BIG and change the world
Michael Port:  http://www.michaelport.com
Eileen Fisher: https://eileenfisherlifework.com

Who am I?
Dr. Katherine Benziger:  http://www.benziger.org
Julia Cameron:  http://juliacameronlive.com

Christina Pirello:  https://www.christinacooks.com
Marion Nestle:  http://www.foodpolitics.com/about/
Alice Waters:  http://edibleschoolyard.org
Kate Adamick:  http://cookforamerica.com
Ann Cooper:  http://www.chefannfoundation.org
Cate Stillman:  http://www.yogahealer.com

How to Manage Time
Steven Covey-Franklin Covey: http://www.franklincovey.com/tc/

Unconditional Love and Support
My Mom, Mary Mulhall
My Husband, Neal Carson