Fire only burns as bright as there are flames to continue keeping it alive. Our Blissology Yoga Teacher’s Collective is burning bright and we are so excited to share the first of our Bliss Blogs on some of the amazing spirits and shining lights who are continuing to speak, connect and inspire their Bliss.
Where in the world can we find you?
Hood River, OR (in the Columbia River Gorge one hour from Portland).
What studio do you teach at? (your schedule please!)
Root Down Yoga. I currently teach 5 classes a week, including power vinyasa and a slower flow called “Unwind.” You can find schedule details at gorgepoweryoga.com
What is your life mission?
To inspire presence and courage to make meaningful connections with each other and nature.
What are 3 projects that you are up to?
1) Learning to surf a shortboard. It is so humbling and a constant reminder of the importance of balancing effort and surrender.
2) Converting a van my husband and I just purchased into a mobile camper for snowboard and surf missions (see Project 1!)
3) Developing a yoga class series for victims of trauma (to be co-led with a friend who is a mental health counselor).
What does Blissology mean to you?
So much more than yoga! It’s recognizing the possibility of peace and happiness in each of us, and an approach for connecting to that peace and happiness through mindful, intentional living – the asana is simply part of that approach. And importantly it’s not just a “close your eyes and find zen” philosophy; Blissology celebrates interconnection, not isolation.
What are 2 of your favorite songs for yoga?
Finding and choosing music for class is an aspect of teaching I really enjoy. I discovered East Forest when he played for Eoin’s class at Wanderlust and his work is fantastic (especially live!). I use Toad Lick often, but he has countless other songs perfect for a more mellow mood and savasana. Another current favorite for vinyasa is Blood Flow by Ritual.
What books are you reading?
I’m in the midst of re-reading two favorites. The Fear Project by Jamal Yogis is a really interesting examination of the ways we experience and overcome fear (with an emphasis in the context of surfing). The other is fiction: A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra. It’s a beautifully written heartbreaker about the power of love.
Why do you yoga?
When I first came to yoga I was a stressed-out attorney and my mat was my escape and way to find calm and grounding. As my practice and lifestyle have evolved (I no longer practice law), I see the calm and centeredness as my true nature, not just a fleeting feeling I only experience for hour-long pockets of time. So I yoga regularly to stay in touch with that essence. That gives me greater clarity about myself and others, and then I’m in a mindset to really appreciate what I’m doing and what’s around me, be it riding powder through trees on my snowboard or walking my dog in the rain. I can see the practice ripple out in my relationships and I value how powerful it is.
How do you share Blissology with your community?
Through my practice and my teaching, which are both very Blissology-inspired. I’m lucky to live in a place where nature appreciation is easy – when we find tadasana in class we can actually look at a mountain, and feel fluidity in our movement like the river that flows before us. And I really try to foster a Blissology vibe in class – we laugh, smile, high five and appreciate who we’re practicing alongside.
More about Victoria and how to connect with her on her Bliss Army teacher profile.