Blessed to be raised vegetarian by her amazing Bhakti yogini mama who encouraged her to truly be her adventurous self, Tessa was exposed to yoga at a very young age, poring over a Swami Vishnudevananda book on her parent’s bookshelf. Infinitely intrigued by the asanas and strange kriyas, she copied Padmasana, full Lotus position and to this day it’s probably so easy because she did it constantly!
Tessa knew her life’s dream to travel very early on, and left her small hometown in the rural east coast at the age of 17 to start exploring the planet. Landing in Seattle, WA, she spent the next 8 years deepening her awareness through cultivating a yoga and meditation practice, discovering dance and festival culture, developing a passion for and working with vibrant vegan food, learning music, living in community, working at a vegan gluten-free bakery, and nurturing an even deeper love for exploring nature, especially natural hot springs!
In 2005, Tessa truly embraced the traveling spirit within and set off on a year-long journey to Southeast Asia, India, Nepal and New Zealand that evolved into a full time nomadic lifestyle with stints of living in Northern California in between international journeys. She then dived deeper into her study of yoga, completing her 200 hr YTT with Frog Lotus Yoga in 2010 and also assisting and chef-ing for her teacher, Jennifer Yarro, in subsequent trainings. She also furthered her studies of healing arts, returning to Thailand and Laos in 2011 to study Thai massage, which she discovered through the playful practice of AcroYoga, another one of her passions.
A true Bhakti yogi, one of Tessa’s biggest joys is sharing songs. Being in a song circle is always like coming home and she has a knack for remembering melodies. As a lifelong vegetarian and vegan for 15 years, healthy cruelty-free food is of vast importance to her and she strives to be an active voice for animals and spread awareness of the vegan movement for greater love and compassion and truly walk our walk as yogis! She used to work as a chef for YTT’s which she truly loved…but loves being in the role of facilitator even more! She absolutely loves teacher trainings for the magic of community and the depth of experience.
Over the last 8 years, Tessa has taught Hatha, Vinyasa, Meditation, Thai massage, Restorative, and AcroYoga in many locations, including California, Thailand, Indonesia, Spain, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Cambodia, and Portugal. She’s taught in all kinds of settings from from work trading at permaculture farms to leading retreats and teaching at studios. Asia feels most like home to her and her heart and soul is the happiest in Thailand and Bali.
Even when she’s not teaching yoga around the world, Tessa is always on some kind of adventure that most certainly will include songs, vegan food, Ecstactic dance, being in nature, community living and deep gratitude for living her dream.
What’s your favorite yoga pose and why?
It’s so hard to pick one…and the asanas are simply gateways into deeper awareness…but I will say Ardha Chandrasana/ Half-Moon! Balance is a theme I come back to again and again and this pose really helps me gauge where I am at with balance… in my body, heart, mind and spirit. There is simply something so beautiful to find this space of balance with an easeful body and clear mind and breathe into it…. like being suspended between worlds with an open body. Poetry in the midst of movement and stillness!
What is your favorite quote?
Questioner: How are we to treat others?
Ramana Maharshi: There are no others.
This says it all… Just love!
What inspires you in your practice?
Trust… because Yoga is always there for me. It is the safest and realest space I know!
The breath, as my portal to union and dissolving into a pure rhythm….conscious connection to the ocean inside of me…a release into spaciousness.
Ahimsa, to be kind to my body with my thoughts and actions and to extend this kindness off the mat to all living beings.
Flow, to move gracefully through life without stress, merging with a divine current!
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“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
― Mary Oliver