Hello, I'm Audrey, a Yoga Instructor -500hr RYT- and ACE Fitness Personal trainer. I started my movement journey from scratch. I began yoga as inflexible as it gets. I was always the tightest person in the yoga class, situated in the back hiding myself. I was also un-coordinated, overweight and having no level of strength. I often felt drained of energy and anxious. I didn't want to live my life like that anymore, so I decided to finally commit to inner and outer transformation. For the last 10 years I have fully immersed myself in yoga, martial arts, meditation, quality nutrition and various fitness trainings. My passion is to bring what worked for me to you. I understand the struggle and I am here to help you through that while enjoying the process.
-Turn your Pain into Power-
We all work on ourselves for different reasons and usually it's a painful experience that instigates big changes. For me this all began as I was trying to cope with a family tragedy. In 2006 my oldest sister and mother were in a bicycle accident. My sister lost her life and my mother suffered from a severed C3 spinal chord, which left her fully paralyzed from her neck down. We knew nothing about quadriplegic life and couldn't imagine my mother would spend over a decade bound to a wheelchair. Since that accident, I have never taken the simple gift of movement for granted. The first thing I say when I wake up and stretch my arms overhead is - thank you-. After that accident I dropped out of university and committed to take full time care of my mom. I couldn't fathom continuing my own life knowing she was in that condition; I was heartbroken and just wanted to give back the love and care she gave us when we were kids. Despite her difficult situation, she remained positive and driven to keep a high quality of life. She taught herself how to paint using a mouth stick and eventually was able to support herself as an artist. She found small miracles in each day. Those many years by her side are the most special to me. I can't express in words what it was like to bathe, dress and feed my mother. I slept for years on a sofa next to her bed and woke up in the middle of each night to bring her a sip of water, scratch her nose, adjust her blanket or read to her. Sometimes I would just sit quietly with my head on her shoulder so she didn't feel alone. Together we discovered how to navigate a new way of life. How to make the best out of the situation through laughter and tears. It was a period in my life of tremendous love, service and gratitude for the small things. My mom remains my greatest teacher. Whenever I feel unmotivated, I simply close my eyes and think of her resilience. She refuels me.
Truly, any outer strength that I have now, I feel is just a small fraction compared to the inner strength I have within me from my past experiences.
Fast forward to my early 30s I moved to Shanghai where I resumed my studies in Mandarin Chinese language. I faced new challenges in a very different reality. With less than 500 dollars to my name, I worked as many jobs as I could. That is when I dove deeply into Yoga and Capoeira which connected me to a fantastic international community of friends. This helped me heal and rejuvenate. I befriended an elderly Shanghainese couple who treated me like their daughter during these years. My university studies had been in Cultural Anthropology, so as I spent most days with them I came to understand better the complexity and richness of Chinese culture. For work, I was fortunate to find a position at the University of Shanghai as a cross-cultural communications instructor within the tourism industry. Later this led me to work with EuropaCorp and China Film Company as a translator and dialogue coach for Chinese and Hong Kong actors. Even though I liked this industry, I felt a desire to do something deeper with the valuable lessons I had learned from my personal experiences. A big surrendering happened for me. I completely let go of caring about how others may perceive me, achieving anything, society expectations etc. I let go of false belief systems I had about myself that had stemmed from childhood. I created new beliefs that felt in alignment. I started fully exploring everything I felt curious about - yoga, martial arts, vipassana meditation, ayurveda, acupuncture - also disciplines, such as qigong and reiki. I worked diligently on my practice, health, healing and growth mindset. Ultimately, I empowered myself to become the person I always wanted to be. This led me to shift careers and share with you what I value most.
Believe me, I started my journey broken- with ZERO confidence, coordination, strength or flexibility. It was and still is a challenging path, but it has made me who I am today. I feel better than ever - happy, healthy and radiantly alive!
If you are going through a difficult time in life, I can assure you it will pass and you will come out even stronger. Sometimes the hardest situations bring us closer to that light. We choose if it breaks us or makes us better. Ultimately you have the power to decide. If you need motivation or a plan for your movement goals, I am happy to help keep you on track. Let's get started together!
For those interested in my mother's incredible journey and artwork, you can see more about her here -
She passed away in 2017, but remains in the hearts and minds of many.