With each instruction carefully crafted, a lighthearted sense of humor, a spirited intentional practice, and a strong and gentle way to always remind her students to stay in the present moment, we are delighted to celebrate Karla Pinzon, as our Teacher of the Month for August 2020.
When/how did you discover yoga?
I first discovered yoga in South Korea. In 2008 I moved to South Korea to teach English as a foreign language. A friend encouraged me to join her first thing in the morning, every morning, to practice 15-20 minutes. She introduced me to Sun Salutations, and I found it to be a delightful way to start the day. When winter came, I began looking for a place of refuge from the cold. I saw a neon sign on the 5th floor of a building 4 subway stops and a 10-minute walk from my apartment that said “Hot Yoga”. I decided to give it a try and although I did not speak the same language as the instructor, she went out of her way to give me visual cues. I fell in love with yoga when the instructor gave me my first assist. Anyone who has had a proper child’s posture assist knows what I mean!
What do you love about teaching yoga?
Teaching yoga has given me the opportunity to share what I get out of my practice. I teach a lot on disconnecting from the outside world and bringing attention to the current moment, to the now. Yoga provides just as much of a mental refuge for me as the hot studio did from the cold. I find strength in slow, steady, linked-breath movements and I see the value that it can bring to students. My practice is personal but to be able to share it with others and see how their personal practice develops alongside my teaching is so rewarding.
How has yoga and meditation changed your life?
I can find a calm mind where before I found scattered thoughts. I feel stronger physically and mentally than I ever did before. It has also taught me to observe, accept, and flourish in the ups and the downs of life.
Why do you teach at Bella Prana?
Bella Prana is the first studio that felt like home. I feel as though I belong there. The community is beautiful and kind. It truly is Beautiful Energy.
Tell us a fun fact about you.
Oh gosh, I am not that fun lol! I have tandem sky-dived 3 times including back flipping out of the plane. I will probably never do it again. I am the type of person who wants to say I’ve done it but then I won’t do it again!
You can start your Thursday mornings off (in studio or livestream) by practicing with Karla for a Flow Level 1 class at 9:00am. Karla has also contributed to our virtual yoga studio so our students can practice at home with her. Check out our schedule at bellaprana.com for in studio or virtual classes. Bella Prana Yoga and Meditation, Tampa, FL is nominated for Best Yoga Studio and Best Store Staff by Best of the Bay 2020.