After years of running and playing competitive sports, Lesley’s yoga journey first began in 2006 when she started practicing Bikram yoga in Portland, Oregon. Her first class was incredibly challenging, and she discovered how tight and restricted her body was from all of her athletic pursuits. She started coming every day because she loved the feeling of connecting the mind and the body as well as the deep breathing. After five years of avidly practicing Bikram almost every day, she gained a tremendous amount of balance and flexibility and wanted to see what else was out there. A trip to Bali in 2012 allowed her to completely immerse herself in all different types of yoga, and it was there that she discovered her love for the vinyasa flow style of asana practice. Attending classes where she watched people that could float from different postures, she was incredibly inspired and humbled. At that point, even doing a headstand was a completely foreign concept, but she continued to pursue this practice, which gave her more strength both mentally and physically. Lesley continued to practice asana on a daily basis, and took another trip to Thailand where she met a wonderful yoga community and was even further inspired by what people could do with their bodies. Eventually, she got into the world of yoga competitions, placing 9th in the country at the U.S. Nationals in May of 2015. Prior to this, she competed at the regional level in California and went through many injuries as she was training to bring her practice onstage. She realized that pushing her body in this way was unhealthy, and it made her re-think what her yoga practice was all about. In the summer of 2015, she traveled to India to do a yoga teacher training, and she came back with a renewed sense of what it means to practice yoga. She learned the importance of meditation to balance out the intense physical asanas, and she gained further insight on how it is possible to maintain true inner peace in even the most chaotic environment. She hopes to inspire others by sharing her joy for the art of asana practice, which is only a small part of what yoga is really about. The connection of mind and body with breath has always served as a moving meditation for her, and she is so excited to finally be able to share this with others by leading classes that are both challenging and disciplined, allowing students to develop confidence in their own practice as they gain physical and mental strength and flexibility from all of the asanas.