I am from the S. F. Bay Area and started taking Iyengar yoga classes with my parents in 1980 when I was nine. Yoga was NOT cool in the 80’s and neither were my parents, so I quit taking classes with them in 1986. I returned to classes at 16 studying more seriously with Richard Rosen. I loved Iyengar yoga and understood the benefits, but at 20 I fell in love with Richard Freeman’s teaching’s and began to study Astanga Yoga. I also fell in love with other things and other people that would, temporarily, shut the door to my yoga path.
By 1995, I was homeless in the Mission district of S.F. I slept on top of a cardboard box in a doorway. I often stole food or ate out of trash cans and gutters. I was addicted to drugs and my yoga life was, so clearly, a past life.
I got sober in 1996 and yoga slowly began to heal the scars the streets and my addiction gave me. I went back to my Ashtanga practice and went back to school. In 2001, while in school I started Inland Yoga in Riverside, CA. It was an Ashtanga based studio and we held morning practice six days a week. Yoga was again, my life. We outgrew our small space and opened the second studio and eventually the third as a research institute.
It quickly expanded and in 2005 we opened another. I founded Inland College of Yoga in 2005 and started the 1st 200 hr Yoga Alliance Teacher Training program in the Inland Empire. In 2006 I co-founded The Purab Paschim Institute, based in Mumbai, which added Indian culture and philosophy to Inland College of Yoga’s training curriculum and began to train people overseas. I co-wrote several training manuals and curriculum for teacher training programs at community and state level colleges in the Inland Empire. I taught yoga at Riverside Community College and Management at CSUSB. In 2007 I was married to, Vishal Singh Yadav, in Agra, U.P. I spent four years in India training people to teach yoga and lecturing, not only about Yoga, but about the social benefits of niche wellness markets—like yoga studios. I have been a 200 hr registered yoga teacher in Hatha Yoga and Kundalini Level I since 2005 and Master Level II Kundalini since 2006. I also have an MBA and love business; I have been an entrepreneur as long as I can remember.
My teachers are many—GuruMeher Singh Khalsa, the late Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, David Swenson, Leeza Villagomez, my father John Wilson and most recently Carmen Curtis from The Aerial Studio in Ventura. Yoga can be many things. It can be asana, it can be mantra, and it can be seva. Yoga is just part of certain people’s life. For me yoga has always been a gift; and an obstacle. It has, as Richard Freeman says, “ruined my life” more than once. I have been tripping over it and getting entangled in it for 30 years, trying in vain to outsmart my karma and avoid my dharma. Yoga pops up at the best and worst times-and I am not always grateful. I pull away from an honest practice and my life falls apart. I embrace one and my life comes back together. I will always be at odds with it because it is a spiritual practice and I don’t want to be spiritual. I want to drive a Tesla and have servants. I know my nature in the material world is questionable. But my nature in the spiritual is stable and honest. I am both the light and the dark; the hungry and full. I am, so surely, a human being.