Mary has always been drawn to the water. A competitive swimmer growing up, her summers in Virginia were spend at the pool. That love of water extends beyond the chlorinated lanes to the outdoors. She is happiest when hiking to a powerful waterfall, kayaking through marshy creeks, or meditating on the beach to the sound of crashing waves.
It was the ocean that drew her to Charleston. The first time was in the 90’s to complete her undergraduate degree in Marine biology and Geology from the College of Charleston. After brief stints in Texas and Maryland, she returned again to Charleston in 2005 to take a job as the Southeast Director of Marine Conservation for The Nature Conservancy. She feels fortunate that her day job connects her to the places she loves… though she wishes it allowed more time on the water instead of phone calls and meetings.
Finding yoga has been a personal journey for Mary. And not always the easiest one. The idea that she could release some of the stress from work combined with her desire to add movement to her life made yoga seem like a clear choice, but walking into a studio was still intimidating. It was the reassurance and arms of friends that first led Mary through the doors of Gaea. The warm welcome and sense of peace propelled her to come back, eventually taking on the studio’s 2-month Grounded Challenge to establish a regular practice.
It was the same inner calling that led Mary to sign up for Gaea’s 100-hour Yin Yoga Teacher Training in the fall of 2018. When she enrolled, she simply saw the training as an opportunity to dive deeper into the wonders of anatomy, philosophy, and Chinese medicine. Actually teaching yoga was not the initial game plan… but somewhere along the path to completing her 200-hour Yoga Teacher Certification, the thought of standing up in front of other yogis and letting her inner teacher shine seemed somehow possible. Thanks to the encouragement of classmates and friends, she’s embarking on a new adventure and is excited the share the strength, balance, and breath that yoga brings her on and off the mat with the Gaea family.