Tell us a little bit about yourself :)
Hi, I’m Vera :) - a dreamer in love with life who deeply believes in the expression of the Self through music, art and body movement.
Yoga is my greatest passion and I’m consistently working towards my practice, challenging my limitations and striving to be a better version of myself. I was born and raised in Italy but after falling in love with an English man, I followed him all the way to South Africa. In this beautiful country together we raise our two wonderful children.
How did you get introduced to yoga and when did yoga get serious?
Fitness had always been part of my lifestyle but I experienced the magic of yoga for the very first time while expecting my second child, almost by chance (a friend persuaded me to try it); I was going through a very emotional pregnancy and that first class was a revelation... it wasn’t just my body responding, but my mind too.
It was almost like my soul awakened. And so I wanted more and never stopped practicing since, really. Things got even more serious when I decided to become a certified yoga teacher; today I run my own studio in Johannesburg and it feels like a dream come true.
Can you share your biggest challenges?
My biggest challenge was to overcome fear of judgment while encouraging the celebration of self love on my Instagram page. I don’t always wear much in my pictures as I believe my body is the primal instrument of my practice and for that reason it deserves nothing but a deep feeling of gratitude and respect. Pure acceptance. All I’m saying is - be yourself, always. Love the essence of your being, don’t hide your feelings. We all need to be more real and raw in this unforgiving society we live in so free your energy and let it flow. Choose to inspire and be inspired.
It doesn’t really matter if you keep your clothes on or off as long as that’s what works for you, but stay authentic to your core and celebrate other’s uniqueness rather than bring them down. I chose to bare myself (physically and emotionally) and found it extremely liberating. And I’m overwhelmed by how much love and support I have received from the IG yoga community.
How do you handle pressure and where do you find your motivation?
I never put pressure on myself when it comes to yoga. We all follow our own personal journey and to compare yourself to others is the biggest mistake one can possibly make. Your body talks to you all the time, all you need to do is to learn how to listen to what it has to say.
I work hard to push my limits and improve my practice but I never forget to be kind towards myself; I accept my failures and celebrate each victory with the exact same compassion. I am extremely lucky to have bonded with some amazing yogis on Instagram and they are my main source of inspiration - I’m so grateful for their influence in my life.
What was your most embarrassing moment (in regards to yoga, of course)?
I cannot recall any embarrassing moments related to my practice I’m afraid... it’s either because I’ve been lucky so far or because I don’t get embarrassed very easily... or both!
How did yoga influence your life in other ways?
Yoga has literally changed the way I live for sure. I often say that my practice is the glue that keeps my body and my mind together, the nest of my spirituality; each day I’m learning more about patience and compassion towards myself and others, I remind myself about my blessings and how far I’ve come already and my outlook on life is definitely more positive.
What does your typical day look like?
My life is crazy busy but I love it! When I’m not teaching yoga I spend quality time with my family and friends... more than anything I love being a wife and a mom and that is my number one priority. However it doesn’t matter how tired I feel at the end of the day I always make time for my own practice, including weekends... that is something I never neglect.
And what about your flexibility training? Where does that fit in?
Flexibility training is definitely a favorite of mine and it’s part of my daily routine. I’m definitely not where I want to be yet but if I look back I’ve come a long way in the last few months so that’s encouraging. Improvement goes hand in hand with consistency and dedication and that’s exactly where my practice stands at the moment. Other than yoga, pilates and most of all acro are helping me immensely to achieve my goals.
What are your future plans/goals/dreams?
I have so many dreams/goals! They keep me alive! As far as my practice goes I’m definitely going to keep on working hard to reach further improvements... I would also love to start getting involved in retreats and workshops, and have a couple of ideas already. Other than that, travel and explore the world with my loved ones and build more beautiful memories together.
Any tips for passionate people who are starting to practice yoga now?
Embrace your passions fully and enjoy every step of the journey. Learn from a bad day, celebrate the good ones; be kind and patient towards yourself and never give up. You are beautiful and unique, don’t ever forget that!
Anything you’d like to share?
Check me out on Instagram @yogicbynature !