These days, I feel incredibly fortunate to make my living doing what I love most: teaching yoga to people of all skill levels in one of the most beautiful spots on earth – Missoula, Montana – and elsewhere around the globe. Still, this wasn’t always my dream. If you knew me several years ago, you’d be shocked to see me doing yoga and sharing that practice with others.

I grew up on the sunny shores of a tiny beach town called Carpinteria just outside Santa Barbara, California. Bored with life in paradise, my friends and I caused quite a bit of mischief until, at age 17, I joined the Army to go out and make something of myself. More than anything, I wanted to find my purpose and calling. I wanted to spend my life doing something I was good at, that I enjoyed, and that served my community.

For me, the Army was a great fit. While all my friends were going off to college, I saw myself at the beginning of a lifelong career in military service. But when the time came time to renew my contract, I realized how hard my choice was on my family, and I began to consider taking another route.

For the next two decades, I floated aimlessly working odd jobs, including at “America’s Best” boutique hotel, where I rubbed shoulders with Hollywood celebrities like Charlie Sheen and Arnold Schwarzenegger…

… and where I also met and married my wife, followed her to Oregon, got a family dog and (after a months-long road trip across the Northwestern U.S.) made the choice to move to Montana.

Throughout our journey, I continued the search for a passion that could possibly sustain and challenge me in a meaningful way. I became a father, found fly fishing, tried river boarding and hiking. Nothing felt like the perfect fit, until I added yoga to the mix.

My journey began reluctantly. I’d internalized all of the cultural myths that yoga wasn’t a “real workout,” that it was “for women,” and it wasn’t “hardcore enough.” But let me tell you, yoga is a WORKOUT, and it’s for EVERYONE. This practice can be as hardcore as you want it to be, and if you don’t find it difficult enough, you aren’t doing it right.

At this point, five years into my own yoga practice, I have seen unbelievable mental and physical benefits that extend to every part of my life:

  • My Army-related injuries (back, neck and hip) have mostly resolved, enabling me to get better sleep and be a more involved Dad
  • My muscle tone and balance have improved and my “beer” gut – which I thought would never go away without months of core work – is totally gone
  • My mental attitude is completely different, giving me better focus and a more positive outlook no matter what life throws my way

I am an entirely different, healthier, more positive person today than I was at the start, and much of that is due to yoga – both the practice and the people I meet along the way.

Today, I am so lucky to spend my time sharing the same benefits I experienced with anyone willing to try. I want you to grow stronger, mentally and physically, so that you can be a better father/ mother/ hiker/ climber/ runner/ surfer, etc.

Check out my classes to get started and follow me on Instagram for schedule updates.

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