A: I was born and raised in a suburb outside of Dallas Texas. I was in gymnastics from five years old to 6th grade and a cheerleader in high school and college. I graduated from the University of North Texas with a degree in sociology. I have a love for design and creating cozy spaces but did not major in design because my Dad did not want to pay for me to become “whipped cream.” I’m the youngest child in my family. I have two sisters and one brother. The closest sister in age to me is 10 years older, and I made it my life’s mission as a kid to get on her nerves. I’m a newlywed and met my husband Aaron at work in 2009. Before moving to the Institute we both worked in the financial services industry.
Q: How did you find the Himalayan Institute?
A: My mother, Florence Mitchell, became involved with yoga and the Institute, and we came to visit for the first time when I was 14 years old. We drove from Texas, which took three days, and stayed in the Guest House with my mother, sister, and my young niece and nephew. I can still remember how beautiful it was to come down the hill into the Himalayan Institute campus for that first time. I still get that feeling today—it’s magical.
I wanted to be connected to something deeper and richer—to be a part of something bigger than myself
Q: What inspired you to join the community?
A: I would come for seminars, programs, and yoga teacher training throughout the years and would always feel rejuvenated and inspired. Also, it felt like a right of passage in my family to come and live at the Institute for a time. My mother lives here now and my oldest sister Kourtney Ketterhagen lived here and met her husband Luke at the Institute. Mostly, I wanted to be immersed in a community that supported yoga practice and philosophy. I wanted to be connected to something deeper and richer—to be a part of something bigger than myself, with a mission and core values that meant something to me. I was so inspired by the humanitarian efforts that the Himalayan Institute was involved in. I wanted to support that in whatever way I could.
Q: What have you learned during your time here?
A: Way more than I could even begin to quantify, and what I have learned so far feels like just the tip of the iceberg. One thing that is coming up for me now is a real love for serving others—most of the time. It feels as though my capacity to help and work for the benefit of others is expanding. Like I’m a little less selfish as time goes by—something like that.
Q: If there was one thing you could share about the Himalayan Institute, what would it be?
A: It’s been life changing for me and my family. I’m grateful to be a part of this place. The community and environment here—there’s no place quite like it.