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They say there are no coincidences in life, and her life was pure proof of that. She felt a bit confused and alone, questioning her purpose so she took a trip to the local bookstore to fill in a part of her day. Walking through the store a book falls on her head, she buys it, she reads it, she looks for a yoga class.

This is what happened to her in 1989, it was not an easy task to find a yoga class back then, but she did, and that day in the bookstore changed her life.

Her first class was pure torture, she could not believe what her body was going through and her mind didn’t help much either. “Why are we here?” “How much longer?” her mind was busy with questions. Her body…? Well her body had no idea what it was feeling, it was all new. It wasn’t until leaving the class when she turned to someone and said, “That was amazing.” She couldn’t believe her words, “who on earth said that?”

Seven years later her teacher was going away for 3 months. He turned to her and asked her to teach for him while he was gone. She looked at him like he was nuts, “are you crazy?” “I’m not a yoga teacher!” she said. He told her she was, and that was her beginning, it was 1996.

She was certified in 2003 as a Anusara Yoga Instructor the same year she opened her own yoga studio. She had studied over 2000 hours since that day in 1996. Yoga Tantric Philosophy, Yoga Therapy, Meditation and of course, Teacher Trainings. Yoga is not what she did, it was who she is.

She believes we find out who we are on our mat. It is truly one of the most important relationships in anyone’s life, the one you have with yourself. She has learned the power of the pose is not only the asana, it is the way she lives her life. Creating a strong foundation, rooting into the earth like a tree or a flower, and allowing not grasping for more. She learned to surrender to life and to hold close to her truth. Trusting and being forever grateful for all the gifts she had in her life. The pose then gives to her all that she needs. To do the best pose she can, on and off the mat. This is where she finds her power, her light, her love of life.

Carmel has been teaching for 22 years and owned Yoga Anjali in Belmar for 14 years before selling it last May. She has been leading retreats to Costa Rica for the past 9 years and this year will also be doing a 30 TT for teachers and students.

This news brief appears in July's issue of Natural Awakenings Jersey Shore


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