We are delighted to have had a Q & A session with Zamanta Archibold, a yoga teacher in Miami, Florida. We loved hearing her journey to becoming a Yoga Teacher and how it has transformed her life and the life of her clients. Her story and perspective as a Yogi is unique to her and captures the truth of how Yoga ascends us. Read below to be inspired.
1. Why did you become a yoga instructor?
It was 2008. Amid the economic housing crash, my husband lost heavily in the market, and suddenly we were broke! Forced to leave Europe, I moved back to the States with our daughter and two dogs to find work. With nothing available in my field of Interior Design, I needed a career change. Something with a flexible schedule to be available for my young child and four-legged critters. Fundamentally, I wanted to find something that I enjoy.
I had a regular yoga practice, but it never crossed my mind to teach. Initially, I considered pet sitting, but when I saw an advert for a Yoga/Fitness instructor, I thought, why not? After all, I have a love for all things Yoga and a Black belt in Karate. Thankfully, I got the gig. I soon realized, teaching yoga, and practicing yoga are two very different things! Nevertheless, it did not stop me from learning, growing, and becoming the teacher I am now. There have been many challenges, but there hasn’t been a single moment of regret. I love teaching and enjoy living my yoga life. Every day, I feel honored
to share this practice.
2. How has yoga changed your life?
In every way possible, that is the short version. My life as a yoga teacher has never been a dull moment. It has been a blessing. For me, a truly significant “Before & After” transformation was in “How” I react to things, regardless of whether they are good or bad. I have an energetic, wholehearted, and persistent personality. “Before,” I tended to push to get things done. This pressure created tremendous worries and stress in my life.
There is a verse in the Yoga Sutra describing the practice of Yoga as “Sthira Sukham” “Steady and Ease” So, how do we live a life where we are balanced and not on edge? For me, the answer came from understanding that Yoga is about seeking one highest self, regardless of the result. This revelation became my How-To-Live, my “After.” Now, each day I strive 100% without focusing on the outcome, which allows me to live a life steadily at ease, with no doubts or regret.
3. What are some of the transformations you have seen in your clients since committing to a yoga
Clarity, Acceptance, and Patience are the three things I see time and time again.
In the aspect of Clarity, Yoga is a continuous learning process. At first, it’s all unfamiliar words and awkward movements. It can feel overwhelming, confusing, and even a little frustrating. Then from one moment to the next, you get the “AHH!” It all becomes clear, and I see clients move fluidly through postures or react calmly to challenging poses. For me, it’s priceless when clients transform from the lack of awareness and understanding to a complete grasp of what it means to practice Yoga.
Acceptance is always tricky because we come into every situation with expectations. I always ask my new clients why do they want to try Yoga? Of course, they have various reasons, but each one comes with pre-requisitions, ideas, and beliefs. I have a plaque in my yoga space that says, “It Is What It Is,” A simple yet profound statement. Before we can
take the next step, we must first accept what is right in front of us. For example, when a student attempts a pose that may not be appropriate for them or cannot find balance in a pose. That acknowledgment, which is an acceptance of what is true, allows you to break away and transform. When I see that transition unfolding in a client's practice, it brings joy to my heart.
Finally, we are a work in progress, and progress takes time and patience. Some of my clients are A-type personalities. They are vibrant and determined. It is breathtaking to see them transform into calm, relaxed yogis.
4. What are some of your favorite yoga poses, and why?
This answer will resonate with my students very well. As I teach, you will often hear me say, “Oh, This is one of my favorite poses!” So often, and to so many poses that I have been told by everyone, “ Zamanta, you say that about every pose!”. LOL! It’s true. I believe each pose is unique and serves a purpose. Not only to heal the body but to discover something about yourself. It doesn’t matter if the pose is easy or challenging. Each pose has a lesson to teach. The same goes for all aspects of yoga meditation, breathwork, philosophy, mantras, and the yoga way of life.
When I meet a new client, I learn so much about them through the first few minutes of their practice. The asana practice sets the foundation for reaching your highest self, but you first must understand your strengths and weaknesses. I think the question to ask is, what are my least
favorite poses? There you will find the work cut out for me!
To learn more about Zamanta Archibold, Miami's yoga instructor, click on her website below to learn more about Zamanta and ways to work with her.
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