As a plane crash survivor, burn survivor and someone who has endured severe PTSD, I have found yoga, martial arts, dance, and other embodiment practices fundamental to my healing process. I have explored almost every bodywork modality I had access to.

A bit of my story

I experienced “coming home” to myself for the first time, sweaty and lightly shaking laying flat on the cold gym floor at the end of one of my first yoga classes. I didn’t know that I had been away. Until that moment, I didn’t realize that since the plane crash—and truly, since I was very young—I was living outside of my body, like someone on a permanent vacation. By stretching, breathing, focusing, building a tolerance for sensation, and developing courage, I was “coming home to a place I’d never been before” (in the words of John Denver). I continued my Yoga journey and found deep healing and releasing of the post traumatic stress locked in my tissues. It was so life-changing that I stopped everything for a year to go through Yoga Teacher Training and focus on healing and learning how to share Yoga with others.


I am primarily influenced by Angela Farmer and Victor van Kooten, deeply creative and humble teachers that I have had the supreme fortune to be with multiple times. Also foundational to my practice and teaching are Sri Krishnamacharya and T.K.V. Desikachar, the classical foundational instructors of Yoga as we know it. Their students Mark Whitwell, Gary Kraftsow, and Richard Miller have also been major influences. I am ever grateful to my personal teachers Ti Harmony, Molly Drake, and Judith Hansen Lasater (restorative yoga) who helped me create the foundation of yoga in my life. Sarah Powers, Paul Grilley, Swami Satchidananda, and Erich Schiffmann have also played major roles in my Yoga education.

Blake with Victor Van Kooten in 2009

My approach

My approach to Yoga (and embodiment practices) is first and foremost to help others create the internal and external conditions to develop a dedicated personal practice. Yoga is not meant for studios. Your personal practice becomes the daily reference point for observing and inquiring about inner change. Within each person’s unique personal practice they use skillful movements and bodily inquiry to gradually release tension and strengthen weakened areas. By this anchoring practice, we come in fuller contact with and become directed by the intelligent Life Force that flows through us.

I also incorporate elements of improvised movement and dance, natural and animal movement, Systema (a Russian martial art) as taught by Vladimir Vasiliev and locally, NC Systema), and the myofascial wisdom of Tom Meyers.

The body knows how to heal. We just have to gradually come into fuller contact with the intelligent Life Force that flows through us via the breath and listening to the inner body’s wisdom.

For beginners and as a foundation for all yoga and embodiment practices, I teach students various ways to breathe that facilitate well-being, mostly by undoing patterns of tension and dis-ease. With an invitation to bring breathwork into traditional and gentle yoga postures in a simple sequencing unique to each person, changes begin to occur naturally until one can determine their own needs and remedies directed by one’s own Life Force. I also like to include guidance in yin yoga (deep fascial stretching) to remedy deep tension and restorative yoga to induce deep relaxation. Through an unforced, non-obsessive but dedicated practice, many people experience deep satisfaction.

Gradually, the natural intelligence of the body and our natural , earthy state begins to shine through.

As clients work with me and develop more confidence, trust, and fluency in the language of their bodies, I help them “follow the energy” internally to take the reigns of their healing process. All healing is self healing and one must ultimately seek direction internally. For those ready to explore, I offer complementary techniques like intuitive and animal movement, elements of Systema, elements of qi gong, and improvisational dance to those interested in exploring different layers of bodily and energetic experience.

When tension is released, the inner freedom, well-being, and a sense of peace already at our center is uncovered.

I have found these techniques in total to gradually and effectively release tension from the body when joined with mindful and compassionate awareness derived from meditation practice focused on self-compassion.

While the spiritual benefits of yoga are many, my first goal is to coach my students to be grounded and embodied and to develop the qualities of being “down to Earth”.

There’s a whole landscape to explore in these bodies.

Deep Roots Yoga 2010-2012

Deep Roots Yoga was a different kind of yoga class. It was a process that uses hatha yoga, positive psychology, off-the-wall humor, heart, honesty, group connection, elements of ritual/ceremony, unique breathing and energy-moving techniques, music, and intuition to create a completely spontaneous, grounding, and healing experience.  I developed Deep Roots for all people and all levels, but I especially encourage experienced yoga practitioners to return to their personal practice with a renewed vitality and self-love.  I treated the classroom as a sacred container and the class itself as a modern ritual to heal ourselves and the planet with many opportunities for interaction. Folks were encouraged to come however they are and especially with the intention of being honest and turning inward to examine their roots with the intention of a fuller participation in life and remembrance of their birthrights. I fully intend to bring these classes (or something similar) back at come point. 

Work with me

Mentorship + Yoga-Embodiment Guidance

Because of my full-time work in environmental nonprofit communications and fundraising, I have less time to work directly with people these days. However, I still currently keep a couple of mentorship spots a month for anyone navigating their healing journey or orienting to their spiritual truths. I also offer some private yoga and embodiment instruction and exploration. For both, I offer them freely and will accept Paypal, Venmo and check donations if folks so moved.

Please contact me directly, if interested at

A Selection of Relevant Training

2020 – Somatic Experiencing: Renegotiating the Effects of Traumatic Stress workshop
2020 – Teaching Trauma-Sensitive Yoga – Trauma Center/Dave Emerson
2020 – Heart of Yoga 8-Week Online Immersion – Mark Whitwell
2019 – Angela Farmer workshop
2017 – Angela Farmer workshop
2016 – Healing Touch Program Level 1
2015 – Masters of Social Work University of North Carolina
2013 – The Cosmic Mass certificate from Friends of Creatioin Spirituality
2013 – Angela Farmer and Victor Van Kooten workshop
2011 – Relax and Renew® Restorative Yoga Teacher Training with Judith Lasater
2011 – Non-Violent Communication for Yoga Teachers Workshop – Judith Hanson Lasater
2010 – Angela Farmer workshop
2009 – Angela Farmer and Victor Van Kooten
2009 – Go Deep Yoga Teacher Training (RYT 200) – Ti Harmony
2009 – Solsara Naka-Ima Workshop
2009 – Kirtan College with David Newman and Mira

Plus dozens of retreats and and continuing education trainings.