Like most people, I was originally drawn to yoga for the physical benefits. It was more than 16 years ago, I was 21 and pregnant, and I read that Madonna (who was also pregnant at the same time) was doing yoga to stay in shape.
Inspired by that news and Madonna’s arm muscles, I bought a yoga video (VHS, remember those?). It was a Kundalini prenatal yoga video, and I started practicing daily. It was difficult, strange, fun, powerful..and that was the beginning of my yoga journey. After I had my son, and for the first few years of my yoga journey, yoga seemed to weave in and out of my life. (Always coming back to my practice when crisis hit.)
Anyways, now, many years later, my yoga practice has become a huge part of my life. Yoga is medicine. Yoga is therapy. YOGA IS MAGIC.
I have been teaching yoga full-time now for nearly 7 years. My first yoga teacher training was truly incredible. Nearly 1 year-long, I learned so much. My physical body changed so much. The way I moved my body changed. The way I sat changed. My eating habits and choices changed. I started healing. But beyond the physical, there were spiritual experiences that I cannot even begin to describe in words, though likely, if you practice yoga or meditation, you understand.
Initially, my life as a yoga teacher took very little effort, things just manifested. A friend of mine owned a popular yoga studio in South Florida, and offered me the opportunity to teach there. For the first few years, all my classes and students, appeared with very little effort. Things just floated into my lap. I was offered so many classes, that I had to say no, many times. Anyways, I showed up to teach, relaxed my mind, and allowed the yoga to flow through and to me.. The best way to describe it, I somehow quiet my mind, and access a place inside where the yoga magic just flows. Intuitive classes.
I took my advanced yoga teacher training and it was difficult mentally, emotionally, spiritually. Trying to use the mind to understand that which is beyond the mind. The written exam took so long. But I did it, I learned so much. I am still learning. In fact, I am still very much a beginner. Yoga takes lifetimes.
Anyways, I moved to another Country, where yoga is still relatively new and strange, And my goodness, my life as a yoga teacher changed. First of all, it was difficult to even find a place to teach. There are no yoga studios on this island. There are 5000 people here. Once I found a place to teach, I had to try to attract students. Not only was I suddenly working with students who were brand new to yoga, but also, I was trying to learn to teach in a new language. PORTUGUESE! Ask any yoga teacher, and I am sure they will agree, that one of the most difficult classes one could teach is a class full of beginners. There is so much to learn, so much to teach, so much to describe, and how does one do that if their vocabulary is seriously limited to a few basic words? (Think vocabulary of a two year old).
Anyways, with great effort, (and some very kind students), I am happy to say, we have built a small yoga community here. The other day, I was teaching a class, and I noticed how strong my students have become. The sound of the deep audible ujjayi pranayama brought tingles of joy to my body and soul. It hit me, I was teaching a room full of Yogis.
During the month of February, I hosted a yoga challenge on Instagram, just a small challenge with a few students, designed to increase awareness about asana and the physical benefits. The challenge was 21 days, 21 asanas, and was called “The Magic of Yoga.” It was a small group but we had participation from Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, Santa Maria, Sao Miguel, Germany, Ohio, and Florida. My students learned and were inspired to take their practice further. The challenge inspired others to give yoga a try. The challenge inspired me! What an honor to share something so special. LIFE CHANGING! Everyday I was excited to see the beautiful photos of my students working on Asana. Everyday I was inspired to share.
I guess if I was a little more organized I should have written about it on my website so my reader friends could join in. BUT, I am happy to say, I am putting together another yoga challenge right now. This new challenge is sponsored by Jade Yoga mats, there will be prizes. I PROMISE to keep the website updated with this challenge! And I hope you will feel inspired to join in. 🙂
I am so honored and grateful to practice, share, and teach The Magic Of Yoga.