• An Interview with Rosa Santana

    Methodical, Transparent, Honest

    Where are you from and/or where do you live?

    Made in Brazil with Mexican Ingredients. Live in South Florida

    How did yoga come into your life?

    The aerobics teacher at the gym didn’t show up, so I took the yoga class.

    How long have you been practicing yoga?

    26 years

    Who were you before you started practicing and how have you changed, evolved and transformed?

    I was a weak woman with PMS, back pain, and no voice. I have become a leader in my yoga community, and a role model for strength, resilience, and healing.

    Why did you decide to start teaching yoga and what qualities do you feel are important to build and work on as a yoga teacher?

    I started teaching because my yoga teacher didn’t show up. The students loved my class, and they asked for me to be added to the schedule. A yoga teacher has to always keep learning and improving themselves.

    What has been your biggest struggle and your biggest milestone in the practice, in teaching, and within the yoga community?

    My biggest struggle has been dealing with stiffness and pain from numerous accidents, and that has also been my biggest blessing in learning to overcome them with Iyengar Yoga.

    What has been the most inspirational moment you’ve experienced as a yoga student?

    In 1998, when I was taking a class with BKS Iyengar in Pune, and we were doing Virabhadradana 2 and he told us to extend our soul into the fingers. My whole body lit up. I was never the same after that.

    What has been the most inspirational moment you’ve experienced as a yoga teacher?

    When my student with MS was able to move her leg after not being able to move it for years.

    Why do you practice?

    To quiet my mind.

    Why do you teach?

    To spread the brilliant teachings of BKS Iyengar in a way that students can receive them. They have changed my life, and I know they can improve others.

    What is the single most defining issue facing the global yoga community today?

    Fake yoga. How yoga has become a circus.

    Do you have any recommended yoga reading?

    The Tree of Yoga by BKS Iyengar. It’s like listening to Mr Iyengar speaking.

    Through your own personal journey, what do you feel is your path and offering to the community- local and global?

    My contribution is to share the classical teachings without me claiming them as my own, and to have the students have the experience without my interference. To teach how to practice safely, and the true teachings of classical yoga.

    What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out on their yoga journey?

    Study Light on Yoga by BKS Iyengar.

    Are there any current projects you’re working on that you can tell us about?

    I’m writing a book about my experience with pain, suffering, and how Iyengar Yoga illuminated my path towards a joyful and intelligent life.

    What’s your Favorite Book?

    So many…. Living in the Light, and Creative Visualization both by Shakti Gawain, Yaugika Manas, by BKS Iyengar, and The Mahabharata by Ramesh Menon just to name a few.

    What’s your favorite meal at a restaurant?

    Depends on the country I’m in. I love food! In the Yucatán, Cochinita Pibil. In Brazil, rodizio. In Miami, Cuban food. In Colombia, Bandeja Paisa.

    What’s your favorite meal to make at home?

    Stir Fry with lots of snow peas and cashews.

    What do you like to do for fun that’s non-yoga related?

    Go to the beach.

    Who is your greatest inspiration?

    My three daughters.

    Do you have a favorite podcast?

    I listen to many, but love Deepak Chopra and Esther Hicks.

    If you were stranded on an island what 3 things would you bring with you?

    A knife, my lip balm, and a cow for milk.

    When you were a child what did you want to be when you grew up?

    An actress in a Mexican soap opera.

    What’s your favorite movie?

    Like Water for Chocolate

    What’s your favorite TV series?

    I Love Lucy

    Do you have a favorite band/singer?

    Depends on my mood. In a dance mood, David Bowie, Sergio Mendes, The Cure. In a romantic mood, Antonio Caros Jobim, or Andrea Bocelli.

    Favorite song to dance to?

    Mony Mony by Billie Idol

    What’s your favorite quote/affirmation/mantra?

    Even if you’re right, be Kind.

    What is your life’s biggest question?

    Why do people still use plastic bags?

    By Rosa Santana

    Made in Brazil with Mexican ingredients, Rosa Santana is a Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher, and Certified Yoga Therapist by the International Association of Yoga Therapists. She has been studying, teaching, and propagating the therapeutic art of Iyengar Yoga and the teachings of Patanjali since 1995. She was drawn to the mental and physical discipline after suffering three accidental falls, one of which fractured her tailbone. Since healing her back, neck and sciatica pains, she has introduced yoga to thousands of students who had never experienced this healing art, philosophy, and science. In 2001, she founded www.yogarosa.com., in the Miami area, which has become a respected yoga studio in the classical teachings of Iyengar Yoga. She has hosted numerous internationally recognized teachers and continues to teach and mentor yoga students and teachers. She has had the privilege of studying directly with Yoga Master BKS Iyengar, and the Iyengar family in India and the US on numerous occasions. She continues to learn from the Iyengars as well as Senior Level teachers in the US and abroad.

  • An Interview with Jenny Perez

    Passionate, Sweet, Corky

    Where are you from and/or where do you live?

    Born and raised in Miami, FL where I currently still live

    How did yoga come into your life?

    I was seeking a spiritual practice and was open to exploring what that looked like for me. I took a yoga class and fell in love with the practice.

    How long have you been practicing yoga?

    4 years

    Who were you before you started practicing and how have you changed, evolved, and transformed?

    I feel like I’ve always been a very physically active person, but more so in the realm of competitive sports and weight lifting, running, etc. Before yoga, I didn’t know how crucial it was for me to move my body with a deeper intention. That changed a lot for me. I’ve always been an artist and always will be. I suppose that came first before anything else. With that came a huge responsibility to be able to take care of my physical and spiritual well-being so that I could continue to create work that really reflected my truth.

    Why did you decide to start teaching yoga and what qualities do you feel are important to build and work on as a yoga teacher?

    I decided to teach in a way that was more like “ok I guess this is what I am being called to do”. I stepped into teacher training simply wanting to learn how to deepen my own practice with zero intention to teach but, the opportunity presented itself and I decided to explore it. I think as a yoga teacher it is important to understand how to hold space for your students. The asanas are just a language through which we can communicate, but really, it’s about feeling safe and creating the space for someone, and yourself also, to heal. That can take time to come into.

    What has been your biggest struggle and your biggest milestone in the practice, in teaching, and within the yoga community?

    I’ve struggled with practice guilt many times. That voice in my head that says “you didn’t practice enough” is always quite prevalent. I am in the process of unlearning that mentality that practice comes only in the form of the physical asana but is also in sitting still for just one minute or an act of service, etc … I think I can be hard on myself and it’s important to practice compassion for myself so that I can be more compassionate with others. Additionally, I’ve struggled with an injury, and so I find that through that I’ve managed to create a more compassionate self-dialogue with my body and my practice. The community can be tricky also, I’ve had teachers that I’ve become completely dependent on, almost like my practice can’t exist without them …and I think in some cases that comes from a few different places: the teacher claims ownership over your practice, the traditional dogmatic structure of the yogic lifestyle, and the trust one builds over time with a person – that can be so hard to walk away from and in turn, keeps you from growing.

    What has been the most inspirational moment you’ve experienced as a yoga student?

    Every day on my mat is inspiring. But I can particularly recall for a long long time telling myself I could never achieve this thing or that thing and then one day, it just happened and I did it. It reminded me how often I can box myself in which strips me of my power but in that moment – I felt free.

    What has been the most inspirational moment you’ve experienced as a yoga teacher?

    I remember during class I had my students in one of my long 12 min pigeon holds. I was walking around and adjusting each person and when I placed my hands on one student, they began to weep. I felt all this energy moving through them and out of them. I kept my hand on their back for a few extra breaths to let them know they were safe to release. I loved that moment – for me, it was a reflection of how important it is to create the space to be with ourselves intimately. We oftentimes don’t realize until we are in that space how much we’ve been holding onto- literal unnecessary energetic weight. Yoga is just so cool like that because it’s such a direct way to get there with yourself.

    Why do you practice?

    It makes sense. I feel good afterward every time. That’s really it.

    Why do you teach?

    I teach because i want to contribute in the same way my own teachers have and continue to. They’ve changed my life, I want to pay that forward.

    What is the single most defining issue facing the global yoga community today?

    Ego. We all have one and some of us let it run our lives especially those in position of power. That’s can be quite troublesome.

    Do you have any recommended yoga reading?

    I don’t have a yoga book in the traditional sense but “The Artist’s Way” taught me quite a bit and has so many similarities to the philosophy of the practice.

    Through your own personal journey, what do you feel is your path and offering to the community- local and global?

    I think if I could just continue to be true to myself and to continue to be authentic in that expression then I’ve just created a larger shift in collective space.

    What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out on their yoga journey?

    To follow your excitement and curiosity. To not have any expectations or feel the need to post or share everything – some things you should keep for you. I think we have this strange habit of oversharing online – but yoga is such a personal thing so I recommend you keep some things private like you would if you were having a breakthrough with your best friend or life partner. Yoga is so multi-dimensional- you just can’t always put into words.

    Are there any current projects you’re working on that you can tell us about?

    I am currently gearing up to create a monumental public sculpture, my first one! It’s very exciting. I’ve got a solo exhibition coming next month and I’ll be starting a weekly in-person yin class soon as well. I look forward to sharing the practice with my students In-person again .

    What’s your Favorite Book?

    The Giver.

    What’s your favorite meal at a restaurant?

    Pasta always. French fries come in a close second.

    What’s your favorite meal to make at home?

    Veggie stir fry. It’s an easy way to get whatever is in your fridge and make it all come together and taste good.

    What do you like to do for fun that’s non-yoga-related?

    I love to paint.

    Who is your greatest inspiration?

    Other artists and yogis. I’m inspired by my friends.

    Do you have a favorite podcast?

    I recently really enjoyed Man Enough, by Justin Baldoni.

    If you were stranded on an island what 3 things would you bring with you?

    My dog, Sage. As much peanut butter as I can stuff into a bag, and an iPod.

    When you were a child what did you want to be when you grew up?

    Actually, I always wanted to be a doctor. Before I discovered art, I wanted to be a healer.

    What’s your favorite movie?

    Vicky Cristina Barcelona

    What’s your favorite TV series?

    Boy Meets World – I’m a 90s kid at heart.

    Do you have a favorite band/singer?

    Florence + The Machine, Radiohead, and Amy Winehouse. Can’t just pick one.

    Favorite song to dance to?

    Body Snatchers by Radiohead

    What’s your favorite quote/affirmation/mantra?
    Divine love, through me, blesses and multiplies, all that I am, all that I have, all that I give, and all that I receive.

    What is your life’s biggest question?

    Where do I go from here?

    Find out more about Jenny Perez on her website: http://www.jennyperez.com/

    Follow Jenny on Instagram: @jennyperezart

    By Jenny Perez

    Jenny is a Yoga Alliance 200 RYT under the guidance of Wynwood Yoga based in Miami, Florida. Although she was originally trained to teach vinyasa and power yoga she then studied an additional 6 months under the watchful eye of her teacher, Megan Elizabeth to be able to teach Yin Yoga, her true passion. As a professional visual artist, Jenny felt that the intuitive and graceful nature of yin was the most complimentary to her practice and teachings. To Jenny, the yoga practice is part of an essential mental and spiritual maintenance. Her goal is to help people understand that yoga is beyond just this physical practice, she wants people to feel good and connect to that part of themselves that is beyond the ego- she hopes that when people take her classes they feel empowered, at peace, and grounded in order to live with real intention and love.

  • An Interview with Tatiana Uprimny

    Joyful, Heartfelt, Goofy


    Where are you from and/or where do you live?

    Born in Miami, grew up in Bolivia, living back in Miami

    How did yoga come into your life?

    I wanted to learn to do a headstand and found my way to a vinyasa yoga class.

    Who were you before you started practicing and how have you changed, evolved and transformed?

    I was not firm in my beliefs, very easily influenced, and living with a lot of self-doubt and always questioning myself. I never felt good enough and like I always had to work hard to be loved and accepted but always molding myself to what the people in my life needed of me. I never really put my own needs or desires first. I felt frustrated and unhappy with the life I was living. When I started practicing I became stronger in mind and spirit, as well as physically. I found that my practice showed me what areas in my life and my persona I needed to work on. I found a sense of spiritual guidance, realizing that the difficult moments in life are unavoidable but how I faced them was entirely in my control, and I needed to take control of those moments urgently. Yoga helped me design a life I am happy with, helped me heal how I related with my loved ones, and how to help myself set healthy boundaries in my relationships.

    Why did you decide to start teaching yoga and what qualities do you feel are important to build and work on as a yoga teacher?

    My passion and belief in the power of yoga is my driving force in teaching yoga. And my mission as a teacher is to show people that yoga is accessible to you, no matter what age or body you have. Yoga can go beyond the physical practice of asana, and ashtanga yoga specifically does not need to be as scary as many think it is. I find that my ability to modify, break down poses, and make Ashtanga accessible makes me a better teacher. I am continuously studying my own practice and my own body, maintaining a curious nature to my practice allows me to stay flexible in my approach to teaching, meeting each student where they are in their journey, and cater to their own obstacles and struggles.

    What has been your biggest struggle and your biggest milestone in the practice, in teaching and within the yoga community?

    My biggest struggle was my first class, learning that my body was not as strong and healthy as I thought it was, and that this was going to be hard work to get healthy inside and out, physically mentally and spiritually. That first class taught me that this is a practice, something I am continuously working on and even though I get stronger and more flexible with each practice, there will always be something to work on. But the belief in myself became the driving force behind my journey, to show myself I can do this if I dedicate myself to it. So my biggest struggle was also my biggest milestone because it was the first moment that yoga taught me that the mind is just as important as the body. And this defines my teaching style, I want students to learn to believe in themselves, and to also understand that nothing comes for free in this journey, you have to dedicate yourself to yourself in order to help yourself. But that it ultimately starts with each person, within their heart. In the same way, this approach to yoga allows me to maintain an open mind within my yoga community, meeting each teacher or student as who they are, without getting triggered by them but understanding that we are all here because of a deep-rooted choice to bring yoga into our lives, but that doesn’t mean we think or feel alike, we share a journey on the path of yoga, but each of our journeys are unique and I cannot impose my belief on anyone nor can anyone impose theirs on me. We have to hold space for each other and allow each other to follow our unique paths even if they mean we agree to disagree.

    What has been the most inspirational moment you’ve experienced as a yoga student?

    There have been moments where I’ve had to step away from my asana practice because of injury, or I’ve even had moments of disconnecting from a daily practice…but I always come back and when I do I notice how my energy changes immediately, as does the energy surrounding me. Everything becomes more fluid, situations that had felt blocked for a long time suddenly open and start flowing and it almost feels as if I’m back to being aligned with a cosmic path, and the universe kind of speaks to me, saying “see, when you come back to your spiritual path all your struggles become more bearable, all your doubts become quieter, your thoughts clarify and your emotional turbulence settles, I have your back, Tati”. Every time, without fail, if feel this “alignment” and I feel like I am back on the right path for me.

    What has been the most inspirational moment you’ve experienced as a yoga teacher?

    When I see that sparkle in a student’s eye when they reach that “aha moment” and they realize they are in fact able to do that asana. Also when a student understands how a yoga pose can actually reflect a thought or an emotion they keep experiencing in their life, and how thru the yoga pose they can work thru that thought or emotion that has caused them strain. When they understand how yoga is just a tool to be used in your daily life, I can see that the deeper meaning of yoga has become clear to them, I feel like my job there is done.

    Why do you practice?

    For love, love of myself and love of others. I truly believe that my own journey has an effect on the collective experience of life, it is out of my devotion to a better world.

    Why do you teach?

    Because I want as many people to have the tools I have been gifted thru yoga, so we all have this amazing box of tools to deal with life with more love and compassion for each other.

    What is the single most defining issue facing the global yoga community today?

    The definition of “true yoga” and which yoga is better. We are so busy in defining “my yoga is better than yours” that we’ve lost the bigger picture of why we are here to practice and teach yoga in the first place.

    Do you have any recommended yoga reading?

    How Yoga Works by Geshe Michael Roach and Christie McNally

    Through your own personal journey, what do you feel is your path and offering to the community- local and global?

    Compassion and an open heart and mind, acceptance of your own journey.

    Are there any current projects you’re working on that you can tell us about?

    I’m working on a book that outlines how yoga, specifically the ashtanga philosophy helped me traverse thru one of the most emotionally difficult moments of my life, divorce. I relied heavily on the wisdom of this philosophy to guide my decisions and actions with as much compassion for myself as for everyone involved and affected by them.

    What’s your Favorite Book?

    Night by Elie Wiesel

    What’s your favorite meal at a restaurant?

    Pizza and Tiramisu

    What’s your favorite meal to make at home?

    Pasta with fresh pomodoro sauce

    What do you like to do for fun that’s non-yoga related?

    I loveeeeee the beach. I can lounge all day under the sun and have not a worry in the world. And I also really really love to dance, like big time. I hear music and I just start to move to beat, it just runs in my blood because of my Colombian parents.

    Who is your greatest inspiration?

    Anyone on a spiritual journey who can walk the talk and stay true and humble.

    Do you have a favorite podcast?

    The Man Enough Podcast. It’s so important to start breaking down these gender barriers and what it means to be a man or woman. We need to live genuine lives, stop blocking our emotions because it could be taken as a vulnerability. I find vulnerability to be the most inspiring. It takes great strength to be vulnerable and so many men in my life struggle with their emotions and mental health because they were taught to restrain certain emotions so they don’t appear weak. Mental health is a huge problem, and some men need all of us to hold space for them.

    If you were stranded on an island what 3 things would you bring with you?

    An endless supply of fresh water, a copy of the Gita, a multi-purpose tool.

    When you were a child what did you want to be when you grew up?

    an actor

    What’s your favorite movie?

    The Lion King

    What’s your favorite TV series?

    Friends

    Do you have a favorite band/singer?

    I can’t really narrow it down. I love all sorts of music.

    Favorite song to dance to?

    Anything Hispanic oriented like salsa or merengue

    What’s your favorite quote/affirmation/mantra?

    Strength Courage and Clarity

    What is your life’s biggest question?

    Am I _________ enough? (so many words can fill in the blank)

    By Tatiana Uprimny

    Tatiana Uprimny began her journey into yoga in May 2016 and from her very first class she felt a subtle shift inside, as though she had found a missing piece of her puzzle. In March 2017, she was introduced to Ashtanga and that piece finally fit. By January 2018 she had taken MLC’s Ashtanga Intensive Course and thru her devotional approach to her practice she came to understand how important it is to listen to your inner voice in all aspects of life, and how this voice is always guiding us from a deep and intuitive knowledge we all have and can tap into. This message has become her focal point when guiding practitioners thru their practice, always remembering that the essence of yoga is what we do when we find ourselves off our mat.

  • An Interview with Kateřina Hilerova

    enthusiastist, stubborn, loving


    Where are you from?

    Prague and I’ve lived here my whole life.

    How did yoga come into your life and what has that journey been like for you?

    I used to go through an old book from André Van Laysbeth, that my parents had at home. Then when I was into doing and teaching aerobics, spinning, zumba, and dance from the age of 18 yoga crossed my path several times, but it felt too slow and boring for my wild lifestyle at that time. A little after that experience, I met some teachers who were teaching Power yoga and something called “Hard yoga therapy” and it suddenly got more interesting. At the age of 24 I decided to sign up for a teacher training that would train me to teach every style of fitness except yoga and met my current teacher there. He was an Ashtangi. He was a very wise and strong person. Then I realized, that I can not teach what I do not know. I didn’t finish the teacher training, but I signed for his beginner class. One class a week very soon became two, three,…and then I was practicing two, three times a day. Just like that, I was hooked. I tried many styles and enjoyed them, but from the moment 5 years in my yoga journey when I went to my first yoga retreat with Kino and Tim I started to practice ashtanga 6 times a week, and all the development (physical, but also mental) accelerated so intensively, that I more or less stayed with that 🙂

    How has yoga affected your daily life?

    It creates a very healthy routine, it creates space in my body, and especially in my mind. It’s my anchor in uncertain times. It’s here for me when I feel happy, but also when I feel sad. It’s there to help me go through anything going on in my life. It’s a path to freedom and never-ending source of learning.

    Why did you decide to start teaching yoga and what are the qualities of a good teacher?

    I was already teaching all the fitness styles from the age of 18, and when I was practicing almost daily for four years I felt like I needed to give the gift of yoga to people around me. But I was not sure if I was ready. But I did the teacher’s training anyway (a second one :-D). Then we were supposed to try many styles and teachers all around the city, and I realized, that many teachers just do their practice and don’t even look at their students during the class. I decided, that I can do at least a little bit better than that and started to teach.
    I believe we should always stay humble as teachers – realize, that we will never know everything, but try to study as much as we can. We need to stay students and explore outside of the “yoga box”. We need to listen to our students – ask why they came to yoga practice, and what they need to feel welcomed and supported.

    What has been your biggest struggle and your biggest milestone in the practice, in teaching, and within the yoga community?

    I had several injuries, but at the end of the day, they always helped me get a deeper understanding of my body, and the practice itself. When I met Kino, that was definitely a milestone 😀 She lit a fire in me, that keeps burning. All the amazing retreats and teacher training I was lucky enough to be part of – with Deepika and Mark, David Swenson, David and Jelena, Gregor Maehle, and many many other amazing teachers – all that always made an impact on my practice and how I approach it.

    What has been the most inspirational moment you’ve experienced as a yoga student?

    When I first met my Czech yoga teacher – I saw his blue eyes with deep wisdom in them and I knew something changed.

    Why do you practice?

    It helps me to go deeper into this human experience.

    What is the single most defining issue facing the global yoga community today?

    People try to find out how to “do things right”. Maybe there is another “right” for different people, in different situations…

    Do you have any recommended yoga reading?

    Mirror of yoga, Mahabharata, Sadhana for mothers, One simple thing, Pranayama and Meditation books from Gregor Maehle, Autobiography of a yogi, Books about Krisnamacaria, Yoga sutras …

    Through your own personal journey, what do you feel is your path and offering to the community- local and global?

    The inspiration to practice every day – but with deep understanding, that every day we feel different, and it’s just fine.

    What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out on their yoga journey?

    Find what makes you happy about it and stick with that 🙂

    Are there any current projects you’re working on that you can tell us about?

    New course for OmStars and the baby in my belly :))))

    What’s your Favorite Book?

    All books by David Mitchie and Laurant Gounelle

    What’s your favorite meal at a restaurant?

    That’s different every time…but I never say no to vegan sushi.

    What’s your favorite meal to make at home?

    Also depends on the mood – I like to make baked veggies and red lentils.

    What do you like to do for fun that’s non-yoga related?

    horse riding, swimming, traveling, spending time with open-minded people, do silly things with my husband, enjoy time with my dog, reading

    Who is your greatest inspiration?

    Kino and Deepika 🙂

    Do you have a favorite podcast?

    Ashtanga dispatch

    If you were stranded on an island what 3 things would you bring with you?

    an I take my friends: 😀 Good book – a loooong one, knife, blanket

    When you were a child what did you want to be when you grew up?

    an actress

    What’s your favorite movie?

    Forrest Gump

    What’s your favorite TV series?

    The Big Bang Theory

    Do you have a favorite band/singer?

    There are many of them

    Favorite song to dance to?

    Also many of them depend on my mood – maybe something from JLo, or Natacha Atlas

    What is your life’s biggest question?

    This too shall pass

    By Kateřina Hilerova

    My yoga journey started almost 10 years ago when I met my teacher at yoga teacher training. At that time I was teaching aerobics, Zumba, kickbox aerobics, and spinning so I thought I could also teach yoga. Fortunately, as soon as I started, I realized, that I can’t teach what I don’t know. So I signed up for a beginner’s yoga course and soon from yoga one day a week became yoga every day. Somewhere along my journey, I met Acro yoga and my husband. We found out, that we love to do it together and also share it. Yoga is definitely a discipline that changed my life and Acro yoga was there for us when we need some good glue for our relationship with my man. I hope to inspire as many people as possible to start to practice and return to it every single day ( even if it is for 5 minutes) – it’s so worth it!

  • Find Out Why These Omstars Teachers Practice Yoga

    “I feel blessed every time I teach that I can be a conduit for the teachings of yoga. I can get out of the way knowing that any transformation that takes place is the grace that happens between the student and their practice.” – Anamargret Sanchez

    We do our best to gather the most amazing yoga teachers in the world to teach Omstars members. They are dedicated to the practice and have so much to share with you. Today we’ve asked Marie Belle Perez Rivera, Shawn J. Moore, Anamargret Sanchez, and Henry Winslow to share some of their yoga experiences. Keep reading to find out why they practice and what advice they have for new yoga students.

    Why do you practice?

    Shawn J. Moore

    I practice to be in alignment with Self. For me, practice is practical, spiritual, and developmental.

    Anamargret Sanchez

    To stay awake to Life.

    Marie Belle Perez Rivera

    I love the connection and processing

    Henry Winslow

    I practice to understand myself, and to realize the best possible version of myself in this lifetime.

    Why do you teach?

    Shawn J. Moore

    Representation matters. I teach so people that look like me know that these practices are for them and beneficial to them.

    Anamargret Sanchez

    Because I love to share the rich beauty of Yoga. And I feel blessed every time I teach that I can be a conduit for the teachings. I can get out of the way knowing that any transformation that takes place is the grace that happens between the student and their practice.

    Marie Belle Perez Rivera

    I love connecting with the community, learning from them, and sharing in the process

    Henry Winslow

    To help others do understand themselves and realize the best possible versions of themselves.

    What has been the most inspirational moment you’ve experienced as a yoga student?

    Shawn J. Moore

    As a student – just sticking with the practice past some of the microagressions I experienced.

    Anamargret Sanchez

    When my intuition very strongly led me to my Himalayan Tantric lineage. I had never heard that inner voice speak so loudly or clearly.

    Marie Belle Perez Rivera

    The most inspirational moment I’ve experienced as a yoga student was finding my people, those willing to look at themselves, work with what is, and continue to do their work consistently, for a long period of time, with devotion.

    Henry Winslow

    In 2018 I won the World Yoga Asana Championships in Beijing, China. Plenty of people scoff at the idea of competitive yoga, and I think that’s totally fair. But I still point to my experience competing as both a major struggle and a major milestone because of the lessons I learned on stage. I competed for several years at the regional and even national level, and every time I would be well prepared and polished, only to stumble once it was my turn under the spotlight. The year that I progressed all the way to internationals and won first place was the year that I finally allowed myself to relax. I stopped trying to be the absolute best, and simply made my goal to do what was average for me. I’d always heard and understood intellectually that putting undue pressure on oneself wasn’t helpful, but the yoga championships ingrained this knowing in my physical body.

    What has been the most inspirational moment you’ve experienced as a yoga teacher?

    Shawn J. Moore

    Inspiring my students at Morehouse College (I teach full-time) to get involved in meditation and yoga.

    Anamargret Sanchez

    I’ve had many. But the most recent one was when a student told me that her yoga practice brought her back to her spirituality. That made my heart soar.

    Marie Belle Perez Rivera

    I had an experience in DC once that really shook me to my core and grounded me at the same time. In the city, we are taught to lock all doors at the beginning of class. If someone is late, they can take the next class. For some reason, this day I didn’t lock the door. 10 minutes into class, I had 3 students run in and roll their mats out to practice. I was a bit confused and locked the door after them. Class went as planned. After class, the students stayed after to thank me for leaving the door unlocked. There had been a shooting outside and they ran for cover. Our door was the only one unlocked so they came in to practice. They thanked me for leaving the door unlocked, accepting them, and guiding them into stillness.

    Henry Winslow

    When studios shut down worldwide in response to COVID-19, I was surprised, impressed, and inspired by the yoga community’s adaptability. Studios, teachers, and students rallied, stumbled their way through standing up online classes, and continued to support each other when everyone needed it most.

    What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out on their yoga journey?

    Shawn J. Moore

    Approach the practice from a place of exploration.

    Anamargret Sanchez

    Student first. Teacher second. Consistent practice is key. Fill your toolbox. Be the light.

    Marie Belle Perez Rivera

    Practice, explore, listen to your intuition, remain grateful, curious, resilient

    Henry Winslow

    Never compare yourself to others — only to yourself, yesterday.

    By Omstars

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  • An Interview with Melanie C Klein

    Joyful, loving, determined

    Where are you from?

    Santa Monica, CA

    How did yoga come into your life and what has that journey been like for you?

    My sister introduced me to Kundalini yoga in 1996. Shortly thereafter I began practicing with Bryan Kest which also led me to Vipassana meditation as taught by S.N. Goenka. From the get go, I realized that yoga & meditation coupled with my newly discovered feminist consciousness and social justice work offered a gateway and support for my own personal transformation and my commitment to collective healing and liberation. It’s been profound and deeply humbling. I’m grateful every day.

    How has yoga affected your daily life?

    My yoga and meditation practice offers me the opportunity to pause, listen and make conscious choices that increase my sense of personal empowerment, purposefulness, and living a life that feels meaningful and fulfilling.

    Who were you before you started practicing and how have you changed, evolved, and transformed?

    Before I started practicing I was confused, lost, and felt deflated and adrift. Once I started practicing, I was able to make peace with and forgive myself and others as well and begin to harness the innate wisdom, power, and sense of agency I possessed but had been obscured by the circumstances of living in a society that had socialized me as a woman to question and doubt myself.

    Why do you practice?

    I practice to stay centered and grounded as well as continue to expand and grow.

    What is the single most defining issue facing the global yoga community today?

    The continued dearth of diversity in representation and the issues related to access and ability in all their forms, including the commercialization, commodification, and objectification of yoga practice and yoga practitioners.

    Do you have any recommended yoga reading?

    Meditation with Intention: Quick and Easy Ways to Create Lasting Peace by Anusha Wijeyakumar

    Accessible Yoga: Poses and Practices for Every Body by Jivana Heyman

    Yoga for Everyone: 50 Poses For Every Type of Body by Dianne Bondy

    Yoga Where You Are: Customize Your Practice for Your Body and Your Life by Dianne Bondy and Kat Heagberg

    Yoga and Body Image: 25 Personal Stories About Beauty, Bravery & Loving Your Body by Melanie Klein and Anna Guest – Jelley

    Yoga Rising: 30 Empowering Stories from Yoga Renegades for Every Body by Melanie Klein

    Yoke: My Yoga of Self-Acceptance by Jessamyn Stanley

    Peace from Anxiety: Get Grounded, Build Resilience, and Stay Connected Amidst the Chaos by Hala Khouri

    Yoga, the Body, and Embodied Social Change: An Intersectional Feminist Analysis by Beth Berila, Melanie Klein and Chelsea Jackson Roberts

    Embrace Yoga’s Roots: Courageous Ways to Deepen Your Yoga Practice by Susanna Barkataki

    Restorative Yoga for Ethnic and Race-Based Stress and Trauma by Dr. Gail Parker

    Radiant Rest: Yoga Nidra for Deep Relaxation and Awakened Clarity by Tracee Stanley

    Are there any current projects you’re working on that you can tell us about?

    I just published the anthology Embodied Resilience through Yoga: 30 Mindful Essays About Finding Empowerment After Addiction, Trauma, Grief, and Loss with my co-editors.

    What do you like to do for fun that’s non-yoga related?

    Hiking, the beach, movies, and game nights!

    Who is your greatest inspiration?

    My son, Atticus.

    If you were stranded on an island what 3 things would you bring with you?

    My son, chocolate and loads of good books.

    When you were a child what did you want to be when you grew up?

    Believe it or not, a lawyer or an artist! Some serious left brain right brain wanderings.

    What’s your favorite movie?

    Moxie! Great job, Amy Poehler.

    What’s your favorite TV series?

    I’m a big fan of Schitt’s Creek, the Umbrella Academy, The Good Place, WandaVision, The Magicians, Young Sheldon and The Great British Baking Show.

    What is your life’s biggest question?

    How can I be better and do better?

    By Melanie C Klein

    Melanie Klein, M.A., is an empowerment coach, thought leader and influencer in the areas of body confidence, authentic empowerment, and visibility. She is also a successful writer, speaker, and professor of Sociology and Women’s Studies. Her areas of interest and specialty include media literacy education, body image, and the intersectional analysis of systems of power and privilege. She is the co-editor of Yoga and Body Image: 25 Personal Stories About Beauty, Bravery + Loving Your Body (Llewellyn, 2014) with Anna Guest-Jelley, a contributor in 21st Century Yoga: Culture, Politics and Practice (Horton & Harvey, 2012), is featured in Conversations with Modern Yogis (Shroff, 2014), a featured writer in Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Mindful Living (Llewellyn, 2016), co-editor of Yoga, the Body and Embodied Social Change: An Intersectional Feminist Analysis with Dr. Beth Berila and Dr. Chelsea Jackson Roberts (Rowman and Littlefield, 2016) as well as the editor of the new anthology, Yoga Rising: 30 Empowering Stories from Yoga Renegades for Every Body. She co-founded the Yoga and Body Image Coalition in 2014 and is the co-founder of The Joy Revolution. She has been practicing yoga and meditation since 1996 and currently lives in Santa Monica, CA.

    Connect: melaniecklein.comybicoalition.comyogaandbodyimage.orgyogarisingbook.com

    Photo by Sarit Z. Rogers/

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  • An Interview with Jesus Caballero

    Flexible, Funny, Quiet

    Where are you from?

    I was born in Spain but I have been living in Miami since 2000.

    How did yoga come into your life and what has that journey been like for you?

    I first got into yoga and then Ayurveda when I was looking for alternative ways to heal myself. Little did I know at that time that 20 years later I was still going be so attached to both practices.

    How has yoga changed and what do you feel it creates in your daily life?

    Yoga has given me clarity, balance, calmness, deepness, and a complete new view of life. On a daily basis, it continues to reaffirm all these wonderful feelings and connections to my essence.

    What is yoga to you?

    A way of living and understanding how to live.

    How did you feel after your first yoga class and how do you feel this influences or impacts the space you create for your students?

    To be honest, I felt terrible as my ego was badly hurt at seeing a bunch of old ladies being so flexible and balanced while I was unable to do anything properly 🙂 On the other hand, it also created a hard-to-explain, new feeling that made me come back the following day. Holding on to that feeling and having it present all the time helps me create a high vibrational space for my clients and students.

    Who were you before you started practicing and how have you changed, evolved, and transformed?

    I was clueless about what life was and therefore rather unhappy. After I started practicing Yoga and Ayurveda, I started to feel better, eat better, think better, but mostly I started to understand what this beautiful journey called life is.

    What has been your biggest struggle and your biggest milestone in the practice, in teaching, and within the yoga community?

    Recovering from several illnesses where I had to put my practice on hold for several months.

    Why do you practice?

    To be in balance.

    Why do you teach?

    To help others be in balance.

    What is the single most defining issue facing the global yoga community today?

    Purpose

    Do you have any recommended yoga reading?

    Hands down, the Bhagavad Gita.

    Through your own personal journey, what do you feel is your path and offering to the community- local and global?

    Nowadays, I mostly practice Ayurveda so I basically try to help other people heal.

    What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out on their yoga journey?

    Flow and have fun!

    Are there any current projects you’re working on that you can tell us about?

    Yes, I am offering personalized Ayurveda Home Detox Programs. They have become very popular as they are very effective and you don’t have to travel to a retreat.

    What’s your favorite book?

    Zorba the Greek

    What’s your favorite meal at a restaurant?

    Green Thai curry

    What’s your favorite meal to make at home?

    Curries

    What do you like to do for fun that’s non-yoga related?

    Spend time in nature

    If you were stranded on an island what 3 things would you bring with you?

    Fishing rod, music, and some sort of tool to open coconuts

    When you were a child what did you want to be when you grew up?

    A rock & roll star 🙂

    What’s your favorite movie?

    Casablanca

    What’s your favorite TV series?

    Sense8

    By Jesus Caballero

    Jesus Caballero is dedicated to the teachings of Yoga, Vedanta and Ayurveda, Jesus Caballero has been involved in the art of healing and inner development for over 15 years. He is a certified Ayurvedic Practitioner from the renowned Ayurvedic Institute in New Mexico, certified yoga teacher, and Pancha Karma Practitioner, as well as a national certified massage therapist, mindfulness and meditation instructor, and reiki master. His seminars and workshops are a fun and thorough journey along the integral science of Ayurveda and its multiple benefits and applications for a healthy, happy, and conscious lifestyle.

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    Photo by ryan baker on Unsplash

  • An Interview with Allaine Stricklen

    HEART WIDE OPEN

    Where are you from?

    ORIGINALLY FROM LONDON ENGLAND LIVING IN MIAMI CURRENTLY.

    How did yoga come into your life and what has that journey been like for you?

    YOGA CAME INTO MY LIFE WHEN I WAS 7 YEARS YOUNG. I LEARNED FIRSTLY HOW TO MEDITATE AND RELAX THEN THE ASANA PRANAYAMA PRACTICE CAME NEXT. MY VERY FIRST MEDITATION EXPERIENCE I FLOATED AND TRAVELED IN SPACE (ASTRAL REALM).

    How has yoga changed and what do you feel it creates in your daily life?

    YOGA FOR ME IS CONSTANTLY EVOLVING AS I PRACTICE EVERY DAY I HAVE LEARNED TO LISTEN TO WHAT MY BODY MIND AND SPIRIT GUIDE ME TO EXPERIENCE.

    What is yoga to you?

    YOGA FOR ME HAS BEEN SUCH AN INCREDIBLE MAGICAL HEALING MYSTICAL AND HUMBLING PRACTICE. YOGA HAS TAUGHT ME FLEXIBILITY OPENNESS & PATIENCE WHICH I TAKE OFF MY YOGA MAT INTO MY LIFE. SO MUCH GRATITUDE, JOY, LOVE HAVE AND CONTINUE TO MANIFEST IN MY LIFE. THANKS TO THE YOGA PATH.

    How did you feel after your first yoga class and how do you feel this influences or impacts the space you create for your students?

    I ACTUALLY CRIED AND CRIED DURING MY VERY FIRST YOGA CLASS SAVASANA, AND CONTINUED TO SHED LAYERS AND LAYERS OF EMOTION FOR YEARS AFTERWARDS, AS YOGA HELPED ME TO LET GO OF HELD STUCK EMOTION.

    I LOVE TO CREATE A CALM WARM & WELCOMING SPACE FOR EVERYONE WHO JOINS ME TO PRACTICE WITH NO JUDGEMENT JUST ENCOURAGEMENT AND LOVE.

    Who were you before you started practicing and how have you changed, evolved, and transformed?

    I CERTAINLY WAS A VERY ACTIVE CHILD VERY INQUISITIVE INDEED. YOGA BREATHWORK & MEDITATION HAVE CERTAINLY TRANSFORMED ME TO MOVE INTO STILLNESS WITHOUT JUDGEMENT AND LOVE MYSELF MORE AND MORE EVERY DAY.

    What has been your biggest struggle and your biggest milestone in the practice, in teaching, and within the yoga community?

    BEING PATIENT ON EVERY LEVEL LEARNING TO PLANT A SEED AND WATER IT WATCH IT GROW AND HAVING FAITH THAT STUDENTS WILL SHOW UP READY TO GROW EVOLVE AND HEAL.

    What has been the most inspirational moment you’ve experienced as a yoga student?

    THE MOST INSPIRATIONAL MOMENT AS A STUDENT MEETING BKS IYENGAR IN PUNE INDIA. WHAT AN AMAZING MOMENT. I AM TRULY GRATEFUL.

    What has been the most inspirational moment you’ve experienced as a yoga teacher?

    THERE ARE SO MANY INSPIRATIONAL MOMENTS I HAVE EXPERIENCED ESPECIALLY WHEN I SEE STUDENTS HEALING THEMSELVES, PURE BLISS FOR MY HEART AND SOUL.

    Why do you practice?

    I FEEL SO MUCH MORE POWERFUL AND VIBRANT WHEN I PRACTICE YOGA.

    Why do you teach?

    I LOVE TO SHARE WISDOM KNOWLEDGE TO HELP SUPPORT NURTURE AND HEAL EVERYONE I MEET WITH A SMILE LOVE AND JOY…. IT FEEDS MY SOUL AND NOURISHES MY HEART.

    Do you have any recommended yoga reading?

    LIGHT ON YOGA BKS IYENGAR
    BREAKING THE HABIT OF BEING YOURSELF DR JOE DISPENZA

    Through your own personal journey, what do you feel is your path and offering to the community- local and global?

    GENTLE THERAPEUTICS YOGA IS A GENTLE HEALING APPROACH TO YOGA USING PROPS SUCH AS CHAIRS, BLOCKS BLANKETS AND BOLSTERS TO FACILITATE THE POSTURES AND SUPPORT THE BODY… I LOVE PROPS AND INVITE MY STUDENTS TO EMBRACE THEM…

    What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out on their yoga journey?

    FIND A TEACHER YOU LOVE…. TRY DIFFERENT STYLES OF YOGA …

    Are there any current projects you’re working on that you can tell us about?

    I AM CURRENTLY WORKING ON LEARNING ABOUT THE BRAIN AND STUDYING POLY VAGAL THERAPY AND HAVE BECOME A HEALTH COACH AS WELL.

    What’s your favorite book?

    LIGHT ON YOGA BKS IYENGAR

    What’s your favorite meal at a restaurant?

    I LOVE SOUPS VEGGIE CURRY, SO ASIAN FOOD INDIAN FOOD WITH SPICES I LOVE ALSO.

    What’s your favorite meal to make at home?

    ANYTHING GREEN VEGGIES ESPECIALLY FRESH JUICES SALADS

    What do you like to do for fun that’s non-yoga related?

    ANYTHING THAT IS FOOD-RELATED I LOVE TO COOK AND EAT OF COURSE…

    Who is your greatest inspiration?

    BKS IYENGAR GURY MAYI SIDDHA YOGA MEDITATION DR JOE DISPENZA

    Do you have a favorite podcast?

    I LOVE ANYTHING ON TED TALKS AND ALSO I LOVE HOMEBOUND AND NO TOILET PAPER PODCAST.

    If you were stranded on an island what 3 things would you bring with you?

    WATER, FOOD, YOGA MAT

    When you were a child what did you want to be when you grew up?

    A STOCK BROKER

    What’s your favorite movie?

    DEATH IN VENICE DIRK BOGART

    What’s your favorite TV series?

    DO NOT HAVE A TV.

    Do you have a favorite band/singer?

    EARTH WIND AND FIRE

    Favorite song to dance to?

    HIGHER LOVE BY WHITNEY HOUSTON

    What’s your favorite quote/affirmation/mantra?

    TODAY I WELCOME INFINITE POSSIBILITIES WITH OPEN ARMS, I ACCEPT SUPPORT OF THE UNIVERSE, I KNOW THAT ABUNDANCE OF HEALTH WEALTH AND LOVE ARE AVAILABLE TO ME NOW.

    What is your life’s biggest question?

    HOW DO YOU BECOME A GENIUS????

    By Allaine Stricklen

    By Allaine Stricklen is an accredited Master Yoga Instructor with the Yoga Alliance and IAYT -International Association of Yoga Therapists. Allaine teaches and offers meditation sessions, workshops, and Teacher Training programs all over the world including Miami. Her unique style of teaching derives from her extensive studies in many different styles of Yoga, including Iyengar Yoga. Allaine is the creator of Gentle Therapeutics Yoga, a method utilizing props to restore the body’s balance and vitality. She currently teaches at many studios in the Miami area About Gentle Therapeutics Yoga is the Yoga of non-doing and the core practice underlying the essence of all Yoga. Even those with an active dynamic practice will benefit greatly from the inner peace and deep release of this Restorative class. Gentle Therapeutics Yoga is the practice of entering into Yoga postures using an assortment of props: blankets, bolsters, blocks, straps, walls, chairs, eye pillows etc. Supported and stabilized by various props, one experiences the Yoga postures as profoundly relaxing and deeply rejuvenating, invoking a natural state of healing rest, renewal, and equanimity. Supported and passive yoga postures allow the body to naturally release, letting go of held tension and stress. The results are a balanced state of being from the inside out. Gentle Therapeutics Yoga is a life-enhancing practice and is appropriate for anyone at any age or stage of life and in any physical condition.

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  • An Interview with Anamargret Sanchez

    Funny, Irreverent, Loyal

    Where are you from?

    I’m a Jamaican living in Miami.

    How did yoga come into your life and what has that journey been like for you?

    The profound practices of Yoga helped me get through the grief of losing my elders one year apart. The journey has been deep, magical, and life-changing. Yoga has connected me to so many different people, supported me in joy and sorrow, and brought me to a revolution of consciousness. I’d say it’s been an amazing journey so far with more surprises to come.

    How has yoga changed and what do you feel it creates in your daily life?

    Yoga has taught me to go inward. To uncover the voice of intuition and trust it. To have courage to look at my shadows. To understand that compassion and radical self-love are necessary to be able to offer the same to others. It creates a space for authentic joy.

    What is yoga to you?

    Yoga is my north star. It helps redirect me when I fall off the mindfulness wagon. There is no longer a difference between my Yoga on the mat and off the mat.

    How did you feel after your first yoga class and how do you feel this influences or impacts the space you create for your students?

    I felt so embodied after my first yoga class. Like I had finally arrived home in my body and the space around me. I had never felt so whole before. That feeling is what I try to provide for students. Everyone is welcome. Everyone is seen. Everyone is safe. You are home.

    Why did you decide to start teaching yoga and what qualities do you feel are important to build and work on as a yoga teacher?

    When I experienced the profound healing qualities of Yoga I felt the need to share that with others. It’s important as a teacher to SEE the student in front of you and not the idea of what a pose should look like. It’s the most important to have your own practice so you have something rich and authentic to transmit. You have to do the work before you can teach the work. Remember you are a student before you are a teacher- always.

    What has been the most inspirational moment you’ve experienced as a yoga student?

    When my intuition very strongly led me to my Himalayan Tantric lineage. I had never heard that inner voice speak so loudly or clearly.

    What has been the most inspirational moment you’ve experienced as a yoga teacher?

    I’ve had many. But the most recent one was when a student told me that her yoga practice brought her back to her spirituality. That made my heart soar.

    Why do you practice?

    To stay awake to Life.

    Why do you teach?

    Because I love to share the rich beauty of Yoga. And I feel blessed every time I teach that I can be a conduit for the teachings. I can get out of the way knowing that any transformation that takes place is the grace that happens between the student and their practice.

    What is the single most defining issue facing the global yoga community today?

    Holding the space between Namaste and activism.

    Do you have any recommended yoga reading?

    Loving the simple, yet thought-provoking, message of the Yamas & Niyamas by Deborah Adele.

    What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out on their yoga journey?

    Student first. Teacher second. Consistent practice is key. Fill your toolbox. Be the light.

    Are there any current projects you’re working on that you can tell us about?

    Bringing the linear and the spiritual together.

    What’s your favorite book?

    Siddhartha

    What’s your favorite meal to make at home?

    Vegetarian Picadillo & Parmesan crisps

    What do you like to do for fun that’s non-yoga related?

    Dance, swim, draw, write poetry, go boating, host dinner parties, read, laugh with friends, go on road trips, be out in nature with Fonzie.

    Who is your greatest inspiration?

    My Grandmothers

    Do you have a favorite podcast?

    Right now I’m listening to Lama Rod.

    If you were stranded on an island what 3 things would you bring with you?

    Books, my dog Fonzie, my favorite knife

    When you were a child what did you want to be when you grew up?

    A teacher- lol

    What’s your favorite movie?

    The Man That Fell to Earth

    What’s your favorite TV series?

    Sense8

    Do you have a favorite band/singer?

    David Bowie

    Favorite song to dance to?

    Salsa music in general

    What’s your favorite quote/affirmation/mantra?

    “Look for the rainbow after the rain.” my personal quote

    What is your life’s biggest question?

    Who is the I?

    By Anamargret Sanchez

    Among Miami’s most experienced and sought-after yoga teachers, Anamargret Sanchez is a global citizen of Jamaican, Cuban, and German heritage. She is a dedicated teacher and student of the yoga tradition, and has been blessed to study with many respected teachers, including Rod Stryker, creator of Para Yoga, Manorama, founder of Sanskrit Studies, T.K.V. Desikachar, Leslie Kaminoff, Marlysa Sullivan, and Judith Lasater. She is Cofounder of the Enhanced Healing Yoga Studio, located in Miami’s Upper East Side, and Cohosts YOGAMI, a podcast originating in Miami and focusing on “yoga and stuff.” As part of her commitment to giving and service through yoga, Anamargret also founded the Legion Park Community Yoga class, East Miami’s most successful and long-running yoga outreach effort. Anamargret’s classes are challenging, fun, compassionate, and create space for students to shine in their own light.

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  • An Interview with Angelica Wilson

    Unicorn, Ambivert, Different

    Where are you from?

    I’m a born and raised New Yorker that’s still in NYC.

    What is yoga to you?

    Practice for how to handle life’s wild situations.

    What has been the most inspirational moment you’ve experienced as a yoga student?

    Honestly, there are too many to count. But all of them have a common theme of making me feel seen in the yoga space. So many times (pre-covid) I’d walk into a class and automatically be asked if I’ve ever done yoga before or if I know that I signed up for a non-beginner class. While other students who were actually new weren’t asked the same questions. Anytime a teacher let me practice or motivated me to go farther gave me an inspiring moment to remember.

    What has been the most inspirational moment you’ve experienced as a yoga teacher?

    I don’t know if this is inspirational but one time when I was teaching at a donation-based studio a student came in who didn’t look as “neat” as the other students and the manager on duty looked a bit nervous about them being in the room. They came in, paid for the mat rental, and set up in the back. The manager looked kind of confused as to whether she should ask the student to leave. I wasn’t bothered nor were the other students. She asked if I was okay with having them in class and I said “yes”. It felt great to sort of be a deciding voice at that moment to not turn away someone for wanting to practice. Needless to say, the class went well and everyone was fine. But it was kind of funny to me that after the class the manager called me brave for letting them practice. I wasn’t brave I was just doing my job.

    Why do you practice?

    To keep myself sane-ish.

    Through your own personal journey, what do you feel is your path and offering to the community- local and global?

    My offering to the community is to provide as many options as possible so people can realize yoga is for them. Whether it be physical variations or offering options during a meditation no matter what I’m guiding I want to always offer options.

    What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out on their yoga journey?

    Yoga is not easy but it gets easier. Unless you stop for a while then it gets hard for a little bit but then it gets easier again. Also, there’s more than one way to do most poses. (Speaking from a vinyasa point of view.)

    What’s your favorite book?

    the life changing magic of not giving a fuck by Sarah Knight

    What’s your favorite meal at a restaurant?

    Grilled Pork Belly

    What’s your favorite meal to make at home?

    Seaweed Soup

    What do you like to do for fun that’s non-yoga related?

    Learn K-pop Dances

    Do you have a favorite podcast?

    K-pop Daebak with Eric Nam

    If you were stranded on an island what 3 things would you bring with you?

    Phone, Phone Cable, Portable Charger

    When you were a child what did you want to be when you grew up?

    Singer, Fashion Designer, Forensic Scientist

    What’s your favorite TV series?

    Great British Baking Show

    Do you have a favorite band/singer?

    SHINee

    Favorite song to dance to?

    Anything that isn’t country haha

    What’s your favorite quote/affirmation/mantra?

    “Stop trying to impress everybody. You don’t even like everybody.” – Anonymous

    What is your life’s biggest question?

    Why?

    By Angelica Wilson

    Angelica Wilson has been guiding bodies through space for over a decade. At 15 years old she became a dance instructor for her local studio. At age 18 she was convinced by a friend to take a yoga class and fell in love with savasana. The feeling of rest after so much movement was euphoric. Over the years she’s found movement to be her escape, second home, and source of comfort. As she began teaching yoga, she found that there weren’t many teachers that looked like her but there were plenty of students that did. That realization led her to become a full time yoga instructor. Through teaching, Angelica is the representation that she wishes to see on and off the mat, to show that everyBODY can do yoga.

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