Where are you from originally?
Originally from Atlanta, GA, I spent my first 28 years of life there and I’ve lived all over from OTP to ITP (“Out of the Perimeter & Inside of the Perimeter” local lingo lol).
How long have you lived in Chattanooga?
Chatt is still really new to me! As of writing this in Dec 2021, it’s been 9 months, though it’s honestly felt like I’ve been here for lifetimes.
Tell us about your childhood or self:
My childhood was an interesting one. I grew up as the first generation Venezuelan-American to my immigrant family which set me on a very specific trajectory, so I am bilingual in English and Spanish. Growing up in an immigrant family has its specific set of pressures and challenges – things like needing to set yourself apart, being opportunistic every chance you get, and developing an exemplary work ethic are the bottom-line in that kind of culture. So as a kid, if I wasn’t in school, I was either competing in a sports or academic event, or I was with my dad doing contracting work internalizing what it means to have a grandstanding work-ethic. To. This. Day. My old man works harder than any person I know on this planet lol.
Funny enough, having grown up this way has resulted in me being more counter to my culture. Now I prioritize rest over work, I work purely when inspired to do so, and I aim at creating a life for myself that flows with ease instead of being derived from force and effort.
Do you have a nickname?
“Ant” – Soft “T”
When were you introduced to Yoga?
My journey and the start of my practice began at the start of 2014. It was a dreary New-Year’s Morning post-festivities, and I begged my friend Julie to help us recover our bodies. She came around with comfy pillows and props and guided us through my first ever yin-yoga session and I never looked back. “Love at first stretch,” as the saying goes.
How do yoga and the community play a role in your life?
My yoga practice is the #1 priority in my life. Everytime I “drop in” to that special inner sanctuary that yoga helped me to cultivate and become aware of, I am further nurturing a beautiful, life-long relationship with myself. Yogic communities are special in that we all understand what it means to find and nurture this self-loving space, and to be seen and understood in that way is priceless. We’re all teachers for one another.
What pose do you love the most and why?
Down-dog lunge! Hip openers are my faaaavorite thing. Our fight or flight response is tucked away inside of our hip space, and when it comes to finding rest and ease, there is nothing like getting deep into some yummy hip openers. They’re also just really approachable because there are so many ways to modify them! I love accessibility.
What is your favorite quote?
“You have to lose your mind to come to your senses” – A reminder that no one’s journey is linear and that we all have permission to go off the trail as far and as many times as it’s necessary in order to find our way to becoming our most authentic versions.