At the age of six or even younger, I was first introduced to yoga through zen meditation by my Dad. Growing up, I was the kid hanging out in an ashram playing with other kids and eating tofu while our parents studied yoga philosophy and asana with their guru; a real guru. To me this was normal. I never thought anything was different in my life until I grew up.
My Dad made meditation seem like a very special thing; something that everyone should do but few actually did. In preparation, he’d take a shower and wear specific clean, white, comfy clothes, set up a special spot in our living room lighting a candle ringing a bell to begin. He did this everyday for an hour at a time, sometimes twice a day. Back then, meditation was fun for me. I was required to do it once a day for a half hour, the longest my tiny six year old body and busy mind could handle. My biggest challenge was staying still. My legs would fall asleep and my feet would cramp but I continued to sit there listening to my breath, clearing my mind to be in the moment in spite of all of the discomfort.
As I grew, up this structured life became annoying. I no longer wanted to meditate or do yoga. I hated only eating bananas and oatmeal in the morning; that we couldn’t drink coffee or watch tv and most of all, that everyone outside of our yoga bubble thought we were weird. As much as I didn’t like a lot of things, there was always something special about movement and I realized “it” kept me sane.
This love for movement brought me to sports. My parents always promoted being active through play and martial arts. My dad would teach us but they never signed us up for any classes or promoted sports at home. At home, arts, philosophy and science were the centre of our education. Weekends offered us so much more; museums, plays, music, dance - we saw it all. It was great, however, I always had the movement bug.
At the age of 8, my journey on a swim team began. For the first time, an activity was my choice. Joining the team wasn’t mandatory. I had to be responsible for attendance and doing homework. This responsibility was enforced by my parents. Not only did I have to stick with the team, but I also had to keep up my school work. Swim practice took place the two hours before classes, which was tough. Concentrating on school work was harder than I thought. I always loved school. My Dad recalls me crying about missing school on the statutory holidays, so this struggle to focus on my work was new for me. As a kid, I was stubborn; some called it dedication but the stubbornness was there in many ways. In this case, it worked in my favour. My stubbornness helped me stick to training despite how hard it got.
At the age of 14, I decided to play basketball which then lead me to playing soccer and volleyball. I later got a degree in Dance and Humanities while still playing basketball on the boys team, as a girls only team didn’t exist. It was challenging playing with all boys; they would tease me and treat me like a puppy but I stuck through it all. Months later, another girl joined the team and she stuck with it as well. Slowly a girls team was built and we were talented; the boys learned to respect us and play us on the same level.
This love for movement carried with me and still does. It has led me to becoming officially involved in the fitness industry as a pilates and yoga teacher. I’ve expanded into kettlebells and weightlifting, with weightlifting as my new passion. It has given me so much joy that I know there will be a barbell in my life forever.
Follow me on my journey
- Bachelor of Humanities, Specialty in Dance from Mexico City (Ballet: russian technique, Choreography, Contemporary dance techniques: Limon, Graham, Horton, Folklore) main teachers: Gabriela Gonzalez, Maricarmen Uribe, Tanya Villanueva).
- YOGA (Hatha, Vinyasa, Restorative, Pre/post natal) main teachers: Kathryn Beet, Hali Swartz, Sasha Padron.
- PILATES (Mat, Equipment, Rehabilitative protocols: lower body/upper body, Scoliosis and Handedness patterns, Osteoporosis/Osteoarthritis, Breathing Mechanics, Anatomy of movement, Neurophysiology) main teachers: Margot McKinnon, Andra Wochesen, Bonie Jeng, Nancy McKinnon.
- FITNESS: Kettlebells: Hardstyle with RKC trainer Jeff McAleer.
- Softstyle and Hardstyle with Shawn Mozen of Agatsu Inc.
- Current member of the Senior Instructor team teaching Joint Mobility and Movement Certifications.
- Creator of the first and only Agatsu Mobility for Olympic Lifting certification.
- BARBELLS: Powerlifting through Agatsu with Will Albert.
- Weightlifting through Agatsu with Pierre Auge.
- Learn 2 lift through Mash Elite Performance with Travis Mash.
- Member of Varbanov school of weightlifting with coach Alexander Varbanov 2012-2016.
- Current member of Team Mash Mafia and Team Gridstyle with coach Travis Mash.
- MOVEMENT/CALISTHENICS/GYMNASTICS:Aerial Dance (bars, silks) with Humanicorp Dance Company. Ido Portal Method with Ido Portal. Joint Mobility and Movement with Sara-Clare Lajeunesse and Shawn Mozen. Basic handstands and upper body strength with Sean Lind.
- NUTRITION: George Brown College Nutrition and Lifestyle management continuing education course with Anthony Di Pasquale. Currently enrolled in Precision Nutrition Level 1 and 2.
- Co-founder of Tune-In Nutrition along level IV Poliquin coach Lovedeep Dhunna