I was born and raised in Honolulu, as the youngest of 10 children in a strict Filipino Catholic household. We all grew up as the church choir, prayed the rosary everyday, went to daily mass, cleaned the church every Saturday, and went to Catholic school. I grew up with a lot of love and support, music, parties, beach time, and sports. Even though we didn’t have all the material things our peers had, we had each other, and lots of laughter.
I continued to practice yoga, and realized that I haven’t had a panic attack ever since. Through yoga, I began to have deep insights into my nature, and one day, God spoke to me, and it was clear that God is real, not in the way others explained it to me, but in the sense that my relationship to this essence or to my inner being is real. My life pretty much shifted from there. I moved to the Big Island of Hawaii, where I was able to really dig into the land and all kinds of spiritual modalities: ecstatic dance, meditation, chanting, reiki, contact improv, deeksha, kirtan, Buddhism, and Hinduism. I look back at my life there and see it was my spiritual training. Fast forward a few years, after teaching high school, hosting a television show, and writing a newspaper column, I ended up in LA to pursue acting. I somehow was introduced to the founders of The Springs in DTLA, and they hired me in 2014 as their Director of Yoga and Wellness. This became the dream job I never knew existed, and I was able to meet and work with some of the most creative and conscious artists and entrepreneurs in LA. I led free daily meditations, taught yoga, hired amazing teachers and healers, and hosted some of the most unforgettable events there–all while eating the cleanest, yummiest vegan food!
The Springs was where I met my teaching partner Serge Bandura, Founder of Shivakali Yoga. We instantly found synchronicity in our paths of Yoga and Buddhism, and he asked me to be a Lead Trainer for his yoga school. We had our first Yoga Teacher Training in the desert in the summer of 2015. Since then, we have held 12 more yoga training in places like Hawaii, Costa Rica, and Bali, and we have dedicated our lives to sharing the teachings we hold so sacred, specifically from our Hindu, Buddhist, Tantra, and Indigenous teachers.
Because of my experiences with yoga retreats, I decided I wanted to try this out full-time. I decided to live-work as a volunteer at Ratna Ling Retreat Center in the coastal redwoods of Sonoma. Here, we get to chant and meditate everyday, while working as a community, preserving, studying, and sharing ancient Buddhist teachings.
As I mentioned before, the years of my anxiety, stress, and depression were very difficult, feeling cut off from my faith and my family. I also was in love with someone at the time who attempted suicide. Being with him was hard, and breaking up with him for my own health was painful. It took many years to heal my heart and understand karma between soulmates. The next big heartbreak was my brother who actually did take his own life in 2006. With both of those experiences, I vowed to take care of my own mental health and to help others do the same. Another big loss was the closing of The Springs in 2017, something that we thought would be so successful, but just couldn’t swing it financially. The loss of the most inspiring community and livelihood was a massive heartbreak for me. I’ve watched my parents age and get sick, my sisters go through sad divorces, two who fought cancer, and one who survived massive tumors. I credit yoga and my spiritual practice for being the refuge in my life when things go up or down. I am most grateful to my teachers who have given me inner strength: my parents, my siblings, my partners, my students, the Land, Chogyam Trungpa, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tarthang Tulku, Krishnamacharya, Srila Prabhupad, and Rev. Michael Beckwith.
My promise to you is that I will be honest with you. I will be your friend and celebrate our humanity together. I will share with you tried and true tools that have gotten me through the highs and lows of life. And I will keep walking with you, steadfastly, knowing that friendship is what we need most on this journey.
If you are feeling stressed, overwhelmed, anxious or depressed; if you are feeling unfulfilled with work or your relationships; if you need meaning, purpose, or clarity in your life; if you just want to feel better! Book your FREE 15-minute clarity call with me today! We can decide what practices will serve you best right now, whether it’s daily meditation, weekly coaching, a self-care retreat, or an immersion of yoga teacher training. The sooner you heal yourself, the sooner you can feel joy and be of service to others.BOOK YOUR CALL TODAY!
I cannot wait to meet you.