We appreciate Isabel for how steady and reliable she is during the busy weekend mornings. That’s why we nominated her to be Desk Angel of the month for April 2021. She truly stands out with her dedication and commitment to providing professional, efficient, and timely customer service to our students. We know we can always count on her. As mental and physical illness become more prevalent in our daily lives, keep reading below to learn how Isabell combatted her own.
What brought you to yoga? How has it impacted your world?
I was really struggling with my mental and physical health back in September of 2019. My sister suggested I try out yoga to help because she had gone through something similar in her 20s. Yoga had changed her life is so many positive ways that I figured why not give it a try. From the moment I stepped on the mat and went into the first posture, child’s pose to be exact, I felt a singular tear roll down my face. I knew I had to be here. I didn’t know how much I actually needed it though.. so I just continued my practice and now it has been a year and a half. Since starting, I have been able to reconnect with my inner child, work through past trauma, and just be happy again. The best part on top of that is that I have had my boyfriend and closest friends start their yoga journeys as well. I am grateful every single day for yoga and how it continues to shape me day in and day out.
What advice can you give to those who are just beginning their practice?
Consistency is key. Even if some days you aren’t sure if you want to make the drive out, just go for it. You will 1000% feel better when you are done with class. I didn’t think much of it when I started besides trying to get out of my own head space and just get in some form of exercise. Bella Prana is one of the few studios that offers such a wide variety of classes that it actually encourages me to go and take a class for whatever mood I am in that day. When I started yoga, I couldn’t even bend over and touch my toes. Hence why I started by only attending the Beginners, Gentle, Yin, and Restorative classes because I wanted to take it as slow and as easy as possible. Now I incorporate other classes such as Hot 26, Flow Level 1, Flow Level 2, and Power Hour into my practice. It has been so much fun! Even when I fall out of a pose, I’m proud that I challenged myself by trying something new. You’d be really surprise by how much your body is capable of. My goal for 2021 is to get my feet to touch/get closer to the ground during downward dog. Each time I get into that posture now, I have noticed that I’m getting closer to accomplishing that goal and it’s only been a few months.
Why are you a Bella Prana Desk Angel?
A part of reconnecting with my inner child was getting back into doing acts of service. I grew up volunteering at my local church throughout my entire adolescence, volunteered with numerous organizations at UT, but then in my first year out of college I just didn’t do anything besides go to work. I was trying to adjust and figure out this new phase of adulthood that I had entered. At the end of the day, I felt lost despite all other facets of life going well. It was like the universe heard my soul crying out because then my boss had me and a few other coworkers join some associations and I was able to network while also volunteer. That’s when I realized it was just in my nature to do so. So when the opportunity had presented itself at Bella Prana, I knew that I wanted to give back to this beautiful yogi community that had given me more than I could ever think of. I got my peace of mind, my health, and my true authentic self back.
What book or documentary has changed your life in the recent year and why?
“The Color of Law” by Richard Rothstein. To quickly summarize the book, Richard goes in depth about the history of how the US government had implemented tactics against African Americans and continues to actively segregate our country on a residential scale. I was even on a zoom call with him thanks to the Tampa Bay Chamber. This open discussion provided me with more knowledge in understanding that countless parts of society are in fact direct byproducts of systematic racist oppression. More than you may think. In relation to how this changed my life this past year, I could no longer accept the narrative of “it just is what it is.” This made me dive deeper into my activism. I became more involved in all aspects since I am fortunate enough to voice my opinion as woman who is a minority, having those tough conversations with those around me, and working towards initiatives that uplift civil rights for all. This is just the beginning.
Bella Prana offers over 90+ classes a week from Beginner to Hot Power Yoga classes. We are located at 1112 W. Platt Street, Tampa and offer a $39 New Student Special for one month of unlimited yoga.