From what seems like birth, Sam has harnessed a passionate creativity and sought a deeper connection to the Divine. Growing up a performing artist in Chicago and then LA, she was introduced to yoga in 2005 during her training as an actor, and knew immediately this practice was what she had been searching for.
She studied in the lineage of Tantra (via lineage of Rod Stryker and Pandit-ji), and her trainings draw extensively from the Sri Vidya, Forrest Yoga, Para Yoga, Bhakti, Ayurveda, and Wise Feminine and Shamanic Practices. She began her teaching career in Los Angeles 10 years ago, where her classes quickly became sought after spiritual and community sanctuaries.
Sam has taught all around the world, offering workshops, retreats, and teacher trainings. She facilitates Yoga and Wellness retreats, offers a variety of deep and rich workshops and ceremonies, and Continuing Education Trainings.
She is a ceremony facilitator, medicine carrier, energy worker, and sacred songstress. She has studied for a over decade with yogis, healers, and medicine people from many different lineages all over the world. Her work offers space for authentic healing, heart opening, and personal transformation, all with loving gratitude and humility and humble reverence to her teachers.
Outside of the studio, she is an actress, director, producer, musician, and writer, as well as a lover of great wine, wolves, Tom Waits, Tom Robbins, Leonard Cohen, and her furry best friend, Guy.
Drawing inspiration from Ancient texts to native traditions to modern literature, Sam’s yoga classes are warm, inspiring, poetic and soulful. She is known best for her communal classes that are held in the style of a deeply spiritual ceremony. She draws extensively from the teachings of Tantra, and encourages an equal and harmonious balance of spiritual fulfillment and worldly fulfillment.
Sam is also fiercely committed to making yoga for all beings, and to actively decolonizing yoga in the west, as well as bringing awareness to the very needed anti-racism work in the yoga and healing world to make yoga available for all our relations. She absolutely loves sharing yoga and the secrets of unlocking the body as a pathway to the soul, and looks forward to sharing with you.
Garland Pose- Malasana. We often hear about Malasana as "Yogi Squat" or Mala as a bead in modern asana. An older version of Malasana existed where the feet were together, toes grounded and heels up, and knees out while bowing forward in gratitude. I love this version of Garland.
Named after laying garlands at the feet of our teachers, this pose is one of gratitude, of thankfulness, the full expression of "santosha". Beyond contentment, Santosha is an overflow of gratitude that brings us to bow at the miracle of all that is.
It is medicine for the hips, Swadisthana (the sacral chakra), and Apana vayu- medicines of water and releasing, forgiving energy. I use this pose to help my students and myself remember our humility and that the biggest prayer is simple: it's "Thank You".
“God made mud.
God got lonesome.
So God said to some of the mud, "Sit up!"
"See all I've made," said God, "the hills, the sea, the sky, the stars."
And I was some of the mud that got to sit up and look around.
Lucky me, lucky mud.
I, mud, sat up and saw what a nice job God had done.
Nice going, God.
Nobody but you could have done it.
I feel very unimportant comparatively.
The only way I can feel the least bit important is to think of all the mud that didn't even get to sit up and look around.
I got so much, and most mud got so little.
Thank you for the honor!
Now mud lies down again and goes to sleep.
What memories for mud to have!
What interesting other kinds of sitting-up mud I met!
I loved everything I saw!"
Smarana- The Remembrance
In Tantra, there is no idea of "enlightenment" as far as something to be reached or attained. The concept of Smarana is more accurate. This is the remembrance of our truth- that we are already Whole, Divine, Perfect, and Enough from birth. That we are the Divine uniquely manifested to experience the beauty and pleasure of this 3D world right here, right now.
I love the moments where we taste Smarana- whether in a supported backbend, or reaching our arms to the sky on an inhale, to the moments where we walk down the street and catch the light just so, or bite into a delicious peach, or hold hands with our beloved and just *remember* the divine beauty in every moment.
To me, that's yoga.
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“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
― Mary Oliver