Interview with Natalia Tabilo

Interview with Natalia Tabilo

Interview with Natalia Tabilo

Founder of Yoga For all Bodies

By: Ingrid Baqureo

PROFILES

You are originally from Chile, is yoga popular there? What differences do you notice in how yoga is practiced and taught in Chile vs in the US?

Yoga is becoming more and more popular in Chile and I would say the biggest difference is that the styles in Chile are really determined. For example, the teachers are really focused on teaching in the tradition in which they studied or were formed as teachers, so there’s a lot of Ashtanga, Vinyasa, and Iyengar in a really purist way. This sadly focuses on making the student fit the teachings, shapes, and postures rather than what I happily see more and more in the USA and adapting the shapes to fit the student (and not the student adapting to the posture).

You did your YTT in English, and you are one of the few platforms that shares yoga classes in both English and Spanish. Was it challenging to adapt your teaching and sequences into Spanish? 
Ohhh yes!! Especially because in Spanish we have so many ways to say one word, and it varies from country to country. So definitely it has been a learning curve, but a fun one! And I’m always learning from fellow yoga teachers, so muy agradecida.

What resources do you recommend for anyone interested in teaching yoga in English and Spanish? 
I invite everybody to check out the Accessible Yoga Association (IG: @AccessibleYoga), they are doing awesome work! And they have part of their work and training in Español.

Also, please check out the book “The Science of Yoga” (IG: @scienceof.yoga)  written by Ann Swanson (IG: @annswansonwellness) which is available in English, Spanish, and more languages! It is an amazing resource.

What is one piece of advice you would give to someone who is new to teaching yoga?
Always remember your why. Why you decided to become a yoga teacher, why do you want to teach the style of the population you are teaching. If you remember your why, it will inform the way you teach, the words, the cues, the trainings you need to take, the classes you need to say yes to and those who you need to say no to. Remember your why and go for it!

You have been named a “changemaker” in yoga, who would you consider a changemaker in yoga? 
First of all, the teachers who almost anonymously are everyday changing the narrative around yoga and making it truly accessible and welcoming to all no matter their students’ size, shape, abilities, age, health or experience with the practice. These teachers are truly making the difference!

Also, Everyone on the faculty of the Accessible Yoga Association (@AccessibleYoga) and Rodrigo Souza, the Founder of Allihopa Yoga (IG: @AlliHopayoga), he is from Brazil and specializes in sharing yoga with people who are wheelchair users.

Who would you consider a changemaker in the Spanish speaking yoga community? 
Fer Arnaud (@FerArnaudYoga), she is from Mexico, and she is a teacher in a larger body who is sharing the message that everybody can practice the more active and physical styles like vinyasa and ashtanga! Check her out!

And Krystal Perez (IG: @TuMovimientoSensible) quien está haciendo un trabajo maravilloso y tan necesario compartiendo Yoga Sensible al Trauma en español.

The theme of our issue is JOY, how do you create JOY in your life?
I create joy by trying mindfully and consciously to be present where my feet are. Enjoying and cherishing all the moments in real-time, not focusing on the past or planning the future. Playing with my cat Luka Modris and my dog Trixie Pixie, loving my husband and my family in Chile and of course staying true to my mission on this earth that is sharing yoga with all bodies and minds and doing it with all my heart!

LATINAS WHO MEDITATE – Interview with founder Natalie Valle

LATINAS WHO MEDITATE – Interview with founder Natalie Valle

LATINAS WHO MEDITATE

Interview with founder Natalie Valle

By: Ingrid Baqureo

PROFILES

How did you end up on this wellness journey? 
In high school, I had an unhealthy relationship with food, and I became very curious about food and fitness. It began as a pretty intense journey with disordered eating and even teetered into a little bit of substance abuse. In college, I really hit a low point. I needed an extra credit for my degree, so I thought I’d just take an exercise elective. I’d do something easy, something that won’t be any work.

The teacher ended up being a yoga instructor, so for a whole semester, I dove headfirst into yoga. I’ll never forget my first savasana. I’ll never forget laying down and feeling so much compassion for my body and such a connection with my body, because historically, my exercise routine was out of almost punishment, right? Like, I want to look this way, so I need to work hard to look this way. Yoga gave me this approach of feeling my body and moving my body and doing it in a way that incorporated gratitude. After I graduated college, I was already on my healing journey. I learned about meditation and that I could soothe my nervous system and find ways to feel better. 

I took a sound practitioner course and on day one of that training, something sparked within me that completely shifted the trajectory of my life. Even though yoga was my first love as a practice for myself, when I stepped into teaching, it was actually sound baths. 

What is unique about being a Latina healer? Do you notice anything different?
Being a Latina in the wellness space, my experience has been unique in the sense that I feel very blessed and privileged. I had a lot of people rooting for me and supporting me. Not everybody has that experience. While I may have carved a seat at the table for myself and I feel comfortable in those spaces, sometimes being the only Latina woman or sometimes the only BIPOC person in the room, not everybody feels comfortable in those spaces. Not everybody feels welcomed.

There are some incredible healers, and we all have indigenous roots. As a Latina woman, pulling from the wisdom of my ancestors has been so potent. We think about smudging, burning a sacred herb like palo santo, tobacco, or sage—this is something that our ancestors did to cleanse the energy, to clear for ceremony. It’s been a really beautiful thing to honor the ancestral teachings and learn about them. When I practice them, I feel connected to them.

I feel proud that as Latinos and Latinas, there is so much medicine that we can tap into from our ancestral roots that is unique to our DNA and our bloodlines. I feel like these practices were gifted to me from my ancestors. As a Latina woman, there was a craving to see more folks that looked like me so I could relate to them. There’s a lot of religion and Catholicism within the Latino culture that perhaps can be a barrier of entry to some wellness practice, so it helps if we can find solidarity and not feel so alone going through it.

Our culture does have religion as an institution and it could cause conflicts based on the ways of our ancestors. So how can you find a balance between both? And at the end of the day, whether it’s religion or spiritual practice, it’s all going to the same path of the divine, of the divinity, of being connected, and just being the best human you can possibly be.

I think the other part of being a Latina in the wellness space that maybe doesn’t get talked about as much is the paradigm that a lot of children of immigrants live in. If you are a child of immigrants or an immigrant yourself, there’s almost this badge of honor of working hard—of earning your place, earning what you have. Because of that, my parents worked really hard. They were immigrants. They had nothing so they really value hard work. Wellness and self-care were never a part of their lifestyle. They were never things that they considered necessary in what they consider a good life. For them, it was like having a good job, a home, a healthy family, food, and really survival. For children of immigrants, it also can be challenging to adopt the mindset of self-care when all our parents and grandparents have known is survival, and that can sometimes hinder people’s self-care. It wasn’t taught at my home because my parents were busy surviving. 

It really is a privilege to be in a place where my whole life revolves around taking care of my mental health and my body. I’m standing on the shoulders of my parents and my grandparents and great-grandparents who sacrificed their lives to make sure that their children had everything that they needed.

Children of immigrants now have that privilege to change the narrative and their wellbeing. How did you come up with Latinas Who Meditate?
The name Latinas Who Meditate came to me at the height of the pandemic. It was almost this spark of inspiration. But I did nothing with it for years—it sat dormant and I forgot it existed. Last year, I was signed by Nike and during my onboarding, we had a diversity, equity, and inclusion workshop. It dawned on me that after five years in the industry, there was a gap in the demographic of clients that I was serving, primarily due to accessibility and inclusivity. I was inspired, and felt now through Nike, I was supported and I had the resources. Latinas Who Meditate popped back into my mind again, and I was like, “That’s it!”

So that’s kind of the creation story of it. It’s very clear now what it was meant to be: a community that lives within the love and alchemy offerings, but takes more of a being of service to the community, to the collective, to empower Latina women on their journeys. It’s so sweet because once you have your network, your network continues to have a network, and it  widens up opportunities.

What are you looking forward to for the future?
I look forward to the reintegration and honoring of the elders. Moving into a place where we don’t learn from the person who has the most followers on social media, we learn from the person who has the most years of wisdom, who has lived studying the teachings of those who came before them. The reintegration of the medicine people into our culture, into our practice. Social media has been such a beautiful gift to give these elders and these wise medicine people a platform to share the medicine that they know now that it is safe for them to come out and be in the public space again.

If you had to pick one word, how would you describe the future?

Regenerative. Regenerative is traditionally known as the process of renewal and restoration, whether that is through the ecosystem or  our own cells and tissues. The way that we’re moving as a species, as a collective, is we need to embrace the natural process of regeneration, to not only heal ourselves from a physical, emotional, mental, spiritual perspective, but also heal our species and our planet. I would like to describe my work as regenerative, to give people space to restore, to renew, and also to contribute to the whole of regeneration.


Learn more:
loveandalchemy.com
@latinaswhomeditate

LATINX IN WELLNESS – Part 3

LATINX IN WELLNESS – Part 3

Latinx Community & Wellness

By: Ingrid Baquero

PROFILES

Welcome to our three part series celebrating the Latinx healers, creators and wellness advocates making an impact in our communities. Wellness is multi-dimensional, as it consists beyond the physical, but also mental, spiritual, financial, environmental, and social aspects of our lives. These are the stories of role models making bienestar (wellbeing) una prioridad (priority) for all. 

I recently attended a community run to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, NY. Our guide, Nicole Espinosa, took us through several iconic Hispanic/Latinx landmarks to share the history behind each one. She made a remark que me impacto (made an impact) and inspired this piece.

“There’s a space for everybody, and if it doesn’t exist, create it”. 

It is important to share the stories of Latinx individuals beyond Hispanic Heritage Month, as it inspires others to create their own narratives. This series consists of real stories of inspirational Latinx individuals creating safe spaces for connection, community, and self-care through the power of wellness. Before we kick this off, let’s start with some self-reflection.

How does wellness show up in your life? 
How are you creating spaces of wellbeing for others? 
What does the future of wellness look like? 

EVOLVING BEYOND THE ASANA

Julie Villa

Julie Villa, Sui Yoga Café mama (co-founder)

Ecuadorian, living in New York City
IG: @suiyoganyc

COMMUNITY IMPACT:
I focus on actively nurturing the Sui Yoga community, cultivating meaningful relationships with students, teachers and team members.

WELLNESS JOURNEY:
When I started practicing yoga in 2009, day by day, practice after practice, I slowly started to understand what it meant to truly feel healthy. I became motivated to make small changes that I needed in my life. I was fortunate to find a beautiful community at Modo Yoga NYC, which encouraged me to deepen my practice in a safe space surrounded by wonderful humans.

After doing my yoga teaching training with Modo Yoga, many seeds were planted which awakened my desire to dedicate my heart and soul to create a safe space for others to experience connection and transformation. The name Sui comes from sui generis, in Latin, it means ‘one of a kind’; we honor and embrace each person’s unique qualities and accept everyone as they are. After meeting my partner Sven, 4 years ago, we started dreaming together about how we would birth Sui Yoga, by joining our skill sets, intentions, aligning our offerings and practices with many values and philosophy of yoga, Sui Yoga was born. Our focus on community and connection is one of our strongest driving forces. We envision to continue growing our community and contribute to the creation of more conscious wellness spaces around the world.

THE FUTURE OF WELLNESS
Our team and students are a beautifully diverse group of humans, many are latin people. I love and appreciate how much Spanish is spoken around the studio. We have become a chosen family and we have the opportunity to create wonderful memories everyday on and off the yoga mat. Some people came to discover yoga for the first time, seeing them come back again and again is a very fulfilling feeling.In the near future, we will offer yoga in Spanish. It is one exciting project to work on, the intention is to bring more awareness and accessibility to people that either may not speak English fluently, or to people who simply enjoy the Spanish language. We are also working on supporting ways that make yoga and wellness as accessible as possible to our latinx community in NY.


About Ingrid Baquero: Ingrid envisions an inclusive, joyful world, inspiring her community through the power of well-being.As a Colombian-American, and Queens, New York native it is an honor to serve the people of Queens through yoga, running and mindfulness. She is a dedicated runner, wellness program curator, community leader and dance and music aficionada.Outside, catch Ingrid on the run. She co-leads a 5k community social run within the Astoria/LIC area. All bodies and paces welcomed. Right now, Ingrid is dedicated to her wellness work, passion project: SOL YOGA PROJECT, and volunteer work with Yoga Love Magazine

If you have a story to share or know someone you’d like to celebrate reach out to us for a Latinx in Wellness: solyogaproject@gmail.com

BIG BEAR YOGA FESTIVAL
BIG BEAR YOGA FESTIVAL
LATINX IN WELLNESS – Part 2

LATINX IN WELLNESS – Part 2

Latinx Community & Wellness

By: Ingrid Baquero

PROFILES

Welcome to our three part series celebrating the Latinx healers, creators and wellness advocates making an impact in our communities. Wellness is multi-dimensional, as it consists beyond the physical, but also mental, spiritual, financial, environmental, and social aspects of our lives. These are the stories of role models making bienestar (wellbeing) una prioridad (priority) for all. 

I recently attended a community run to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, NY. Our guide, Nicole Espinosa, took us through several iconic Hispanic/Latinx landmarks to share the history behind each one. She made a remark que me impacto (made an impact) and inspired this piece.

“There’s a space for everybody, and if it doesn’t exist, create it”. 

It is important to share the stories of Latinx individuals beyond Hispanic Heritage Month, as it inspires others to create their own narratives. This series consists of real stories of inspirational Latinx individuals creating safe spaces for connection, community, and self-care through the power of wellness. Before we kick this off, let’s start with some self-reflection.

How does wellness show up in your life? 
How are you creating spaces of wellbeing for others? 
What does the future of wellness look like? 

SELF-REFLECTION THROUGH ART & CULTURE

Spotlight: Victoria Fernandez Forero

Victoria Fernandez Forero

Motion Graphic Designer
Mexican, living in New York City
@making_air

COMMUNITY IMPACT:
I’m a motion graphic designer who loves sports. One of the things I enjoy the most is to create connections using my strengths to create visually captivating designs. I recently completed a project ’24 Days of Yoga’ where I illustrated 22 people (me included) practicing yoga. These illustrations are on display in a yoga studio in LIC. The connections created were magical!

WELLNESS JOURNEY:
Wellness has played a significant role in my life, starting from an early age.
My mom encouraged me to engage in physical activities creating the habits of exercise and healthy eating. By being part of a team and community, I have experienced the benefits of social connection and support. Nowadays, I have a better understanding of what my body needs to feel good. I love helping people feel the same. Creating a goal or intention at the beginning of a yoga practice, race or workout is my way to help others to a path of wellness.

THE FUTURE OF WELLNESS
One aspect is the emphasis on community and family support. Hispanic communities often prioritize spending time with loved ones and engaging in activities together, which can contribute to overall wellbeing. In addition, the connection with nature and the use of natural resources for wellness can be traced back to indigenous cultures like the Mayans, who had a deep understanding of the environment and its impact on health. I would like to create an impact by continuing learning and observing past cultures, honoring their wisdom, and actively participating in community engagement.

’24 Days of Yoga’ project – instagram.com/reel/Cty5BZXABC5/
Website – holavicky.com


About Ingrid Baquero: Ingrid envisions an inclusive, joyful world, inspiring her community through the power of well-being.As a Colombian-American, and Queens, New York native it is an honor to serve the people of Queens through yoga, running and mindfulness. She is a dedicated runner, wellness program curator, community leader and dance and music aficionada.Outside, catch Ingrid on the run. She co-leads a 5k community social run within the Astoria/LIC area. All bodies and paces welcomed. Right now, Ingrid is dedicated to her wellness work, passion project: SOL YOGA PROJECT, and volunteer work with Yoga Love Magazine

If you have a story to share or know someone you’d like to celebrate reach out to us for a Latinx in Wellness: solyogaproject@gmail.com

BIG BEAR YOGA FESTIVAL
LATINX IN WELLNESS

LATINX IN WELLNESS

Latinx Community & Wellness

By: Ingrid Baquero

PROFILES

Welcome to our three part series celebrating the Latinx healers, creators and wellness advocates making an impact in our communities. Wellness is multi-dimensional, as it consists beyond the physical, but also mental, spiritual, financial, environmental, and social aspects of our lives. These are the stories of role models making bienestar (wellbeing) una prioridad (priority) for all. 

I recently attended a community run to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, NY. Our guide, Nicole Espinosa, took us through several iconic Hispanic/Latinx landmarks to share the history behind each one. She made a remark que me impacto (made an impact) and inspired this piece.

“There’s a space for everybody, and if it doesn’t exist, create it”. 

It is important to share the stories of Latinx individuals beyond Hispanic Heritage Month, as it inspires others to create their own narratives. This series consists of real stories of inspirational Latinx individuals creating safe spaces for connection, community, and self-care through the power of wellness. Before we kick this off, let’s start with some self-reflection.

How does wellness show up in your life? 
How are you creating spaces of wellbeing for others? 
What does the future of wellness look like? 

Creating Safe Spaces for Connection, Community, and Wellbeing:
CELEBRATING COMMUNITY THROUGH RUNNING

Spotlight: Julia Azcona

Julia Azcona

@athomewith_julia
@ridgewoodrunners
Founder of Ridgewood Runners

Dominican Born
Brooklyn Raised
Living in Ridgewood, Queens, New York

COMMUNITY ROLE:
I lead a community-based running group in Ridgewood, Queens where we welcome all pace levels.

WELLNESS JOURNEY:
I did not fully understand how impactful wellness was until experiencing two traumatic events in my life: my father passed away due to a brain tumor and two years later I miscarried twins at six months.  When a woman goes through a miscarriage, one often carries a profound sense of guilt and an overwhelming grief that is not only beyond comparison but also truly impossible to put into words.

Running became my outlet. Eventually, I started to educate myself about proper training and was introduced to running groups. I joined Adidas Runners NYC and my life changed for the better. I found a community of beautiful humans inside and out, that because of their energy, my wellbeing improved. It was a heartwarming return to a place of pure joy. I loved it.

In December 2022, I felt inspired to create a running community within my neighborhood. By April of this year, Ridgewood Runners came to life.

THE FUTURE OF WELLNESS

In our culture, when it comes to wellness, we still have some work to do and undo. Hay cosas que no se hablan, there are things we’ve yet to learn how to communicate and process. For example, while pregnancy loss is common it’s not often discussed openly or publicly. As a Latina woman I was taught to “stay strong” and move on. Instead in my experience, I was ashamed and kept so much inside for so long which affected my life in so many ways. It breaks my heart to think of women who suffer in silence.

How does the running community come to play? I found a purpose to create a space for people to just be, for women to feel safe, for a community that can come together and support one another. That is a start. I showed up that one day and it changed my life and I hope to inspire others to show up.


About Ingrid Baquero: Ingrid envisions an inclusive, joyful world, inspiring her community through the power of well-being.As a Colombian-American, and Queens, New York native it is an honor to serve the people of Queens through yoga, running and mindfulness. She is a dedicated runner, wellness program curator, community leader and dance and music aficionada.Outside, catch Ingrid on the run. She co-leads a 5k community social run within the Astoria/LIC area. All bodies and paces welcomed. Right now, Ingrid is dedicated to her wellness work, passion project: SOL YOGA PROJECT, and volunteer work with Yoga Love Magazine

If you have a story to share or know someone you’d like to celebrate reach out to us for a Latinx in Wellness: solyogaproject@gmail.com

BIG BEAR YOGA FESTIVAL