Hi friends and new readers of our blog! I’m very glad to introduce you to Rita Amaral, she is a Yoga Teacher 🕉 of Ashtanga, Vinyasa and Yin Yoga. She is based in Portugal, Lisboa. I’m so grateful she accepted to feature our new episode of “Living La Vida Yoga” !
Don’t forget to follow her journey on Instagram HERE
- How did you get into yoga?
My first yoga class was in 2008, during a time in my life when I was struggling with lower back pain and lots of changes in my personal life. A friend of mine was practicing and recommended it to me. I practiced for a couple of months but somehow at the time I did not stick to it, I did not feel a connection. A couple of years later when I was finishing my PhD in Australia and under great stress I decided to give it another try, this time by attending a class taught by a friend of mine in a completely different style of yoga. I completely loved it and felt that I needed it in my life.
When I got back home to Lisbon I looked for an Ashtanga studio and started practicing daily right away. That same year I travelled to Mysore and Goa in India and I knew my life had changed forever.
I felt huge benefits from the practice, not only physical but also mental and emotional. And I kept practicing till today, with some modifications through injuries, pregnancies and so on!
- How do you integrate Yoga in your daily life?
For me Yoga is a way of life, so the deep inner inquiring and all the lessons I learn on my mat everyday I try to apply to my life off the mat. I try to live in the present moment, in my body, wth full awareness of what is happening around me. I integrate a lot of breathing, meditation and of course all the ethical values mentioned in the Yoga Sutras. It is not always easy, specially being a mother of two small children, because I can easily loose track of myself and of being fully present. But I keep trying, hoping that one day it will become easier!
I have also found that by sharing and teaching Yoga to others I can more easily keep the yoga flame alive. By this I mean that I really have to breathe and live the practice that I teach and that I share with others, otherwise it would make no sense.
- What or Who inspired you everyday?
I get inspired by several people that I meet and that I follow on social media, but I really do not like to mention names. I also get inspired by my children and by the huge positive effects that a yoga practice has had and continues to have on my life and on those around me. Seeing how it works on so many levels makes me want to share more and help other people feel the same.
- What has been your biggest Yoga Experience up to date?
Definitely my trips to India because they have challenged me to go deep inside myself in so many ways. Not only through inspiring, strong and challenging physical yoga practices but also through everything I learned and felt in the special places I have been to. I would also say that I have had great Yoga experiences on my mat practicing by myself at home. Moments of pure insight and bliss, the so called A-HA moments!
For that I am truly grateful. For having found Yoga and for having embarked on this journey of self-discovery and for all the opportunities I have to share it with others.