If you met Brittanie at the start of her professional life, you’d have met a Type-A, stressed-out, typical New Yorker. She’d been an athlete her whole life, so she did spend at least 5 days in the gym. Yet, by age 25, she had experienced almost every physiological stress symptom in the books – tension headaches, migraine headaches, stomach problems, IBS, skin problems, weight fluctuation, and more!
Simultaneously, she had been on and off the yoga mat since the late 90’s – but never quite made it “stick.” In 2005, she made the decision to commit to her yoga practice consistently, study yoga more (she completed her first yoga teacher training that year), commit to a vegan diet, and explore a new career (choosing to leave the glamorous music industry in search of something more rewarding).
The summer of 2006 brought her to Washington, DC to earn her Master’s Degree in Exercise Physiology in the School of Public Health at George Washington University. She accepted a graduate assistantship which allowed her to earn full-tuition and a living stipend in exchange for teaching at the University. At this point, she had gotten certified to teach Pilates, aerobics, and cardio-kickboxing, in addition to yoga, so she taught a variation of these classes throughout her graduate school work. Additionally, she began running outdoors, found the value of life-balance, and enjoyed the slower-paced lifestyle available in the DC suburbs.
Throughout the last five years, yoga has been a constant source of stability for Brittanie. The plentiful lessons found in her favorite ancient texts (The Yoga Sutras, The Bhagavad Gita, The Hatha Yoga Pradipika) combined with studying with her beloved teachers (Jeffrey Boyd and Andrea Cohen, Alanna Kaivalya, Yogeswari, Dharma Mittra and Sada Sat Kaur and Sada Sat Singh) keep her consistently intrigued to learn more, study more, grow more, and teach more.
In 2008 she traveled to Southeast Asia to complete another Yoga Teacher Training (through Daniel Aaron’s Radiantly Alive program in Bali), travel around Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand, and also spent about a month on her teacher’s ashram in northern Italy (Yoga Borgo). The collective studies from this trip fulfilled her requirement for her Independent Study, which was another requirement for her MS.
In 2010 she completed her two-year Thesis Research project, “Yogis Vs. Exercisers: An Empirical Investigation of Differences Psychological Well-Being”. Her research will (hopefully) be presented at the American College of Sports Medicine annual conference in 2011 and published in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine. And, finally, she graduated!
Currently, Brittanie keeps her calendar quite packed. She uses her time management training (taken in 2004) to balance the following components of her career:
• teaching 8 weekly yoga classes
• managing the teaching staff and weekly class schedule at Pure Prana in Old Town, Alexandria
• a Part-time Faculty position at GWU: where she is a professor of Stress Management, assists with the GWU Yoga Teacher Training program, and assists with development of the new Health and Wellness course track for undergraduates
• teaching one workshop each month (Yoga for Runners and Keep Calm and Carry On: Yoga for Stress Management are the most popular)
• private clients (yoga, stress management, time management, lifestyle counseling, marathon/triathalon training, personal training, pilates)
• private consultation for businesses and corporations
Without the loving support of her boyfriend, Chris, her dog, Molly, and her parents, teachers, and friends (along with 8 hours of sleep, daily exercise, and a vegetarian diet), none of this would be possible. So, to them, she is eternally grateful. Guru Brahma, Guru Vishnu, Guru Devo Maheshwara. Guru Sak Shat. Param Brahma. Tas mai sri guruvay namaha. To my creator, my maintainer, and my destroyer. To my teachers nearby and my teachers beyond the beyond. I offer all my efforts to my gurus.