I grew up in the 1970s-80s farm country of Southern Indiana surrounded by family. The oldest of four boys, my brothers and I spent our days exploring in the woods and playing games in the fields. It was a time that generated deep love and respect for family, animals and the earth. After high school I left home to study at Purdue University – a venture that turned into 11 years of higher education.
My yoga journey began in 1998 when a friend gave me a book on Buddhism and a statue of the Buddha. Then, in 2002, while living in NYC and after experiencing first-hand the horror of 9/11, I turned to yoga. Initially with a soft introduction at the Integral Hatha Yoga Institute in NYC’s West Village and then with the mind-blowing experience of Jivamukti Yoga. Since that time, pretty much everything about the way I view the world has been challenged, bringing with it transformation from a goal oriented, judgmental, high-tempered, career driven individual to the more even minded person I humbly aspire to be today.
On my first day back from Jivamukti Teacher Training in 2008 I started teaching at Flow Yoga Center in Washington, DC and haven’t stopped since. Over the course of these years my commitment to practice and teaching has continually deepened and in December 2015 I resigned from an international food policy position at the U.S. Food & Drug Administration to pursue yoga study, practice and teaching full-time. I am blessed to share my life with my husband of 14+ years, Richard, and our three crazy fun dogs, Lola, Spanky and Bodhi.
These days my mornings start early with teaching and practice between 6 am – 10 am, followed by my ritual morning oatmeal and often teaching another led class. Then an afternoon respite with the pups, errands and some writing, then back to Flow to teach evening Mysore. It’s a funny thing, on Monday mornings folks will often ask “how was your weekend?” and my response has generally become “weekend? oh yeah…”. It’s truly a wonderful thing to be doing what I love with incredible people and continuing to learn every day.
Read my mission statement here.
- Flow Yoga Center Teacher Training
- Jivamukti Yoga Teacher Training
- Tim Miller Ashtanga Yoga 2nd Series Teacher Training
- Study with Certified Ashtanga Yoga Teacher, David Garrigues
- Jill Abelson (Senior Jivamukti Teacher and founder of the Jivamukti DC Satsang)
- Alanna Kaivalya (founder of the Kaivalya Yoga Method)
- Andrea Boyd (co-founder of Satsang Yoga, Charleston)
Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga forms the foundation of Cory’s practice and teaching.
Parampara is a Sanskrit term that means “uninterrupted succession” and denotes the direct and unbroken transmission of knowledge from teacher to student. Traditional Ashtanga Yoga is founded on parampara and a commitment to its practice and instruction. I’m what you might call a liberal traditionalist. I strive to be open minded and accepting and at the same time I place great importance on discipline, faith, devotion, humility, learning, and tradition. As such, I attribute much of my capacity to teach yoga to my teacher, David Garrigues. David is a Certified Ashtanga Teacher and Director of the Ashtanga Yoga School of Philadelphia – my favorite place to practice. I spend as much time as possible with David to soak up his teachings and become a better teacher myself. To learn more about David, visit davidgarrigues.com.
Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga has ancient roots that reach back to the the great sage, Vamana Rishi, who authored the Yoga Korunta. This text was imparted to Sri T. Krishnamacharya in the early 1900’s by his Guru Rama Mohan Brahmachari, and was later passed down to Guruji, Shri K. Pattabhi Jois during his studies with Krishnamacharya, which began in 1927. It is a breath and movement system that focuses on three key elements (tristhana): posture, breath, and drishti (looking place) to facilitate an inward exploration of the self.
The Buddha dharma first entered my life in 1996 when an important relationship came to and end and a friend reccommmended a helpful book titled “When Things Fall Apart” by Pema Chodren. A couple years later that same friend – a pretty awesome person as you may have gathered – gave me a statue of the Buddha, which is prominently featured in my home to this day, and a book introducing Tibetan Buddhism. Years later, and after receiving teachings from great masters in Thailand, another influential friend approached me with an offer to lead retreats in Nepal. On that first trip, in 2010, I met the man who has become my Buddhist teacher – Tolkpa Tulku. His support for my yoga practice and his gentle guiding energy is an important force in my daily life and practice. I am grateful.
Jivamukti Yoga has also been an important influence starting back in 2002 when I lived in NYC. David Life, Sharon Gannon and Ruth Lauer-Manenti were my first teachers and remain strong influences in my life to this day. Jivamukti is a Hatha based method that holds Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga as one of its foundational elements. Three renowned yogis served as the physical, philosophical and spiritual inspiration and foundation for the method. These three include Sri K. Pattabhi Jois (founder of the Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga Research Institute), Sri Brahmananda Sarasvati (founder of the Ananda Ashram and innovator of Nada Yoga – deep listening), and Swami Nirmalananda (often known as the “Anarchist Swami” and a strong advocator for animal rights and environmental conservation). I attribute much of my understanding and passion for yoga to my time with David, Sharon, and Ruth, and later Yogeswari, Andrea Boyd, Alanna Kaivalya and Jill Abelson. In 2005 I began to incorporate Ashtanga into my weekly routine, mostly through led classes and the occasional Mysore or home practice. Over the past few years, with the guidance and support of Jen René and the Flow Mysore Crew, I have shifted fully to the Mysore approach in my own practice, which is then reflected in my teaching. I believe there are 2 elements essential to being a teacher. The first is a strong, consistent and devoted practice and the second is a teacher. I put great love and energy toward both.