This month we are proud to launch an Intermediate Yoga Series with Maria Basualdo. Maria has been teaching at The Yoga Centre regularly for the last few years. Our students are drawn to her energetic spirit and solid teaching experience. Maria’s dynamic and diverse teaching style draws both from the different yoga methodologies she has studied and also from her background as a modern dancer. She studied and worked as a professional dancer in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and in New York City for over a decade. It was after a severe injury that she decided to follow the path of yoga. Maria has been practicing yoga since 1985. We spent some time with Maria discussing her career and the upcoming series. Visit our Class Series page for more information or contact Diana Shea (DianaS@tenandfit.com) to register.
YC: How did you first get exposed to yoga? and what made you want to become a teacher?
MB: I was exposed to Yoga at a very young age by my mother who was my dance teacher. She used to introduce yoga poses and yogic breathing techniques in her dance classes to help us focus and create flexibility. Later on, at the age of 18, when I decided to become a professional dancer, my mother and I started attending private lessons where we learned yoga poses, Pranayama (breathing techniques), and meditation techniques. Yoga helped me a lot through my professional dancing career in New York, where I learned from amazing yoga teachers. It was the perfect complement to my dancing. However, after a severe back injury caused by the stressful dancing training, it was clear to me that becoming a Yoga teacher would be the most commonsensical path to follow.
YC: Our students are really drawn to you and your style of teaching, what do you think makes your classes stand apart from other yoga class experiences?
MB: I could only imagine that it is the almost two decades of training and teaching that draws students to my classes. Experience is always a big asset, and people register that in any profession. Once I was committed to becoming a Yoga teacher I put a lot of effort into training with the best teachers available. My most influential teachers in the Americas have been the creators of the Jivamukti Yoga method, Sharon Gannon and David Life, and senior Iynegar teachers Marina Chaselon, Gabriel Halpern, Lois Steinberg and John Schumacher. I also made sure to travel to India several times to get the knowledge directly from the source, and I can now say that I have been fortunate enough to study directly from Ashatanga Yoga Guru Pattabhi Jois, together with the Iyengar-method creator BKS Iyengar, his daughter Geeta, and his son Prashant. Ultimately, the rigorous guidelines and training that I followed in the Iyengar system to get certified, created a very strong foundation for me as teacher, giving me the knowledge that I can now share with all my students with, I think, ease, confidence and understanding.
YC: The Intermediate Series that we are offering is an opportunity for students to deepen their practice in a methodical, progressive way. What are some of the benefits that students will experience from this?
MB: The idea behind the Intermediate yoga series is to allow those students who already have a solid beginner foundation to deepen their understanding of the basic poses, and also to experience some new and more complex poses. This occurs in a continuous learning environment with the same teacher, very much like it is traditionally taught in India. Sticking with the same teacher over a long period of time enables both the student and the teacher to build a solid relationship, a mutual understanding that ultimately makes progress in the practice more efficient, safe and productive.