-I was born and raised in Huntington Beach along with my three older siblings and graduated from Ocean View High School in 1989.
Taking it back to the 80s, what was your style and favorite song? Everybody Wang Chung? Did you have big 80s hair?
Totally not my style. I was more into the LA music scene. Freaky Styley by Red Hot Chili Peppers. Totally natural big hair. No extra product!
How did you find out about Bikram Yoga and when was your first class?
-It was the mid-90s when I discovered Bikram Yoga. A friend asked me to take class with him because he didn’t want to seem like the creepy guy going along since it was mostly women. (Not necessarily true today!)
It was not love at first class. I spent most of it cursing under my breath and producing large sweat pools around me.
Wow! Circa, like, 1995? Were you living in LB then? And where was the closest studio?
I lived in Costa Mesa at the time, so I went to the original Costa Mesa studio on 17th street. I hated it so much the first time I went, but eventually I ended up back there. I probably practiced sporadically and then eventually moved to Long Beach.
How soon did you come to our studio after it opened?
I had no idea there was even a studio in Long Beach (internet not as common back then). I think I found us around 2003.
How would you describe the old days at the studio and what made you want to attend Bikram Yoga Teacher Training?
The LB studio has always had an inviting vibe. I felt at home immediately. Yes, it was rough around the edges, but had so much comfort inside. Plus, I loved all the teachers, all so full of energy. I expressed my wanting to be a teacher and was guided and prepared by everyone there. Tough love approach for sure, but I could not have done it without them.
What was your tough-love experience?
In the words of Mayu, “Hate me now, love me later” describes my tough love perfectly.
What has been your relationship with your practice? Meaning, do you work to keep your relationship going? Have you had periods of separation?
-My practice has had peaks and valleys, really like most relationships in my life. I notice it changes with where I am mentally. Physically too, but mostly in tune with my head depending on if I’m judging myself or enjoying the process. This has taken years for me to realize. And seriously, after all these years, it’s how good I feel that keeps me coming back.
Describe your teaching style and what students can expect in your class.
My intention is to teach with my head and from my heart. I like to create a structure for a strong class but also have compassion, knowing that strength and ability varies from person to person. Everyone has heard us say every day is different, and I believe it to be true. How has the practice changed your life physically and/or mentally? – It’s easy to feel the physical change from practicing Bikram Yoga. It happens without much thought. I have recently experienced the mental benefits. After having brain/spinal surgery, the ability to endure pain and discomfort I accredit to the practice.
I like that. “The ability to endure pain.” It’s been amazing seeing you in class post surgery, and it’s a testament to the healing powers of the yoga for sure.
Tell us something we don’t know about you.
I’m such an open book! Ok, give us something from the Vicki’s-open-life book then! Well, I definitely know how to give life a good go! Back in the day, during the Stardust Casino days in Vegas, I found myself in a mechanical bull riding contest at the old Gilley’s. (Okay, way long time ago) Let’s just say, when push comes to shove, this girl has a competitive streak, and in that moment, I totally wanted to win.
What did you have to do to win?
Think Mardi Gras beads.
Wow, that is something I didn’t know. Competitive and fearless too. Sometimes we all get overtaken in the moment!
You should note I became a reformed party girl after meeting Dan.
When you’re not at the studio, where will we find you?
Traveling locally and abroad is a good place to start. Dan and I love being super spontaneous and taking off on a moment’s notice. (We just got back from hiking up in Big Sur.) At the end of the day, at home with my husband and dog is my favorite place.