A: I was born in La Havana, Cuba, raised in Miami, Florida and I have been adventuring through the United States since I left Florida to go to college. I have a degree in Human Rights and Visual Arts from the University of Dayton, and I am both a RYT 500 yoga teacher and an ayurvedic yoga specialist. I am interested in exploring the models of consciousness and the mind as they appear in the Vedic scriptures. Before living at the Himalayan Institute I was a freelance medical translator, yoga teacher, graphic designer, and photographer. I also worked seasonally on a small organic farm.
Q: How did you find the Himalayan Institute?
A: The Himalayan Institute, and specifically the tradition of the Himalayan Masters, was a subtle aspect of my spiritual path since I first stepped into a yoga class. I began by studying within the Sivananda lineage, and I was in the process of making arrangements to spend time at the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm. During that time of preparing to uproot from Ohio to California, I applied to the residency program at the Himalayan Institute. Shortly after submitting my application I knew that the Himalayan Institute was my next home.
Living at the Himalayan Institute is a process of coming home to remember who you are
Q: What inspired you to join the community?
A: I was looking to truly ground my practice within a lineage, and the teachings of Swami Rama have guided my path throughout the years. Coming to live where he lived, where his students and Pandit Rajmani Tigunait live felt like a natural progression for me. When I walk the grounds of our campus, I often contemplate on how privileged I am to learn from this lineage that is alive through the teachers here at the Himalayan Institute—my teachers.
Q: What have you learned during your time here?
A: In conversations we residents often joke that we are in a karmic furnace, and in this process of transformation we are like the Phoenix, ever reborn. Living at the Himalayan Institute is a process of coming home to remember who you are—to dive deep within your practice and face yourself. The beauty is that everyone you live with is also engaged in this process; they serve as your mentors, friends, and teachers.
Q: If there was one thing you could share about the Himalayan Institute, what would it be?
A: If you feel a sense of longing to be here then come explore that curiosity. Being in an ashram where the practices of yoga are alive is an exceptional experience.