Yoga • Somatic Psychology •
Social Justice • Activism • Parenting
I have been a student of life for as long as I can remember. Being forced to leave my birthplace of Lebanon at age 3 because of war has shaped me and embedded in me a deep commitment to healing trauma as a means to peace, both internal and external.
I am optimistic about the future, and I truly believe in our innate capacity to heal and build a loving community. As we move through our past traumas and challenges, we free ourselves up to be truly present rather than unconsciously repeating our past. The more resilient we get, the more creative we can be and the more joyful and meaningful our life becomes. I think this work needs to be done on a personal level as well as a collective one. Our liberation is bound; acknowledging our shared humanity and working towards caring for each other is the most important work we can do!
I have been teaching yoga and movement for over 25 years (I was a fitness instructor at age 16!) and I’ve been doing clinical work with people struggling with trauma, depression, anxiety or life transitions for 15 years. I also train clinicians and yoga teachers as well as educators and non-profits to be trauma informed. My work is shaped by these experiences and the stories that are shared with me by the thousands of people I’ve had the privilege to be in contact with.
A bit about my education and training…Even though I question education and the ways in which it perpetuates the status quo, I love to learn and I have found teachers and programs that have taught me to think critically and push back when necessary. I earned my B.A. in Psychology from Columbia University and an M.A. in Counseling Psychology and then another M.A. in Community Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute. I’m currently working on a doctorate in Community Psychology with an emphasis on Liberation Studies and Eco Psychology. I’m also trained in Somatic Experiencing, a body-based psychotherapy that helps resolve trauma and its symptoms.
I am a co-founder of Off the Mat, Into the World (OTM) a training organization that bridges yoga and activism within a social justice framework. I started OTM in 2010 with Seane Corn and Suzanne Sterling. This is a labor of love and we have seen hundreds of people get sparked to get engaged as a result of our programs. We have an amazing faculty and we are constantly growing and evolving.
I lead trauma informed yoga trainings nationally and have developed a certification pathway to offer trauma informed work that recognizes inequality and injustice as a trauma that must be included in any healing framework. I also work with A Thousand Joys training direct service providers and educators to be trauma informed and culturally responsive.
I live in Venice, CA with my husband and two sons where I also teach public yoga classes weekly