Yoga Inspiration: Vio
The beauty of yoga is that one feels its magical power instantaneously – you suddenly feel better in your body, start noticing the way you move, begin to pay attention to your posture. The real beauty of yoga, though, is hidden deep down in the core of the practice. There is that rare type of yoga teachers who show us how to connect the breathe with movement, not only on the mat, but also in real life where the essence of yoga should be applied. One such inspirational yogi is Vio. Just an hour practice with her and you will not only feel better physically, but would come out of the yoga studio refreshed mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
Who is Vio?
I am Violeta – a girl with hopes and dreams of a peaceful world . . . on the outside and mainly on the inside of each person.
How would you describe your yoga journey?
My journey into yoga started in a very early stage of my life. I know it sounds like a cliché, but I really feel like IT found ME and not the other way around. I was 10 or 11 when I stepped into my first yoga class – a fat burning one. I was a very skinny kid and didn’t need this form of exercise in any way, but I kept with it because I felt like I should have a hobby like every other child. Little did I know that these physical classes will have such a huge impact on me. I changed drastically in my behavior and way of thinking both at school and home. Later on as a teenager I realized that there is so much more behind the postures and the sweat. I wandered around the yoga studios, teachers and methods in town until I found that special soul which I consider my first teacher – Julia. She took me on a whole new path, introduced me to the ancient teachings of yoga, made me realize the subtle effects that it brings. After a while I got certified as a yoga teacher, but was terrified by the thought of teaching a class. However, I knew that this is what I wanted to do with my life or at least to try it, so I didn’t stop there. Not long after this, I met my second teacher – Trevor Hawkins to whom I owe everything that I am as a teacher today. He opened a whole new chapter in my yoga education and I am forever grateful. After learning more about the practice, the biomechanics of the body and the subtleness of things, I continued looking for more knowledge – traveling all around Europe and India to gather more information, I met and learned from amazing teachers such as Julie Martin, Elena Brower, Janet Stone, Leslie Kaminoff, David Keil, Dylan Werner and more. I am sure that this journey is actually just in the beginning as I deepen my knowledge and practice every day. I am excited to see what is up next.
What does “yoga” mean to you?
It is a method that helps us know more about ourselves. To meet ourselves as vulnerable, real, scared and confused as we are. To accept our bodies as imperfect as they are and feel completely comfortable with our true nature. In the same time it reveals the best out of us, it shows us that we are capable of much more than what we think and it makes us work for a better, more genuine and aware self. But it is such a long and rough process . . . it is a full time job for some of us.
How does yoga fit in your lifestyle?
Uh, this is a tough one. I make it fit. Even when I am tired or lazy, I make myself roll out my mat and move for a while. Even when I don’t feel like it, I make myself sit, close my eyes and be quiet for a moment. It makes me want to take better care of myself, to be kinder to others, to be more compassionate and loving, to recognize the good side of things but to be aware what lifts me up and what keeps me down, to accept things as they are and to observe my reactions to everything that is happening. I don’t know a person that will say “Ah these yoga teachings fit so well into my corporate life, my busy days and all my relationships”. No, it doesn’t work like that. YOU should make it fit so you can be a better person for yourself and others. And I don’t mean the practice on the mat – this is easy. The real practice starts once you step out of your mat and step into your everyday life. It takes some effort.
How often would you recommend your students to practice yoga?
I always say that it is better to move your body for 20 minutes every day than to show up for a two hour class once a week. You need to build a connection with your body and it requires sustainability and discipline. It is like a relationship – you don’t just meet your partner once a week to share your love. You have to work on this relationship every day with dedication and passion. So I would recommend any practitioner to have a home asana practice at least 5 days a week if she/ he shows up at the studio once or twice. This doesn’t include the meditation – these are another 15 minutes (at least) that your mind and spirit need every day. But of course, everything is subjective and there are no strict rules. Every student knows best for himself.
What does it take being a yoga teacher?
It takes everything and nothing really. It takes time, knowledge, creativity, awareness, devotion, courage and faith. But at the same time I get all of these back from my students, if you know what I mean J It is a never ending cycle of giving and receiving.