…or how all Inspiralia got on their feet in “Tree Pose”.
As I meet Caterina on the office rooftop terrace over a coffee her eyes are sparkling with energy. She just came back after taking a month off work to dedicate herself to one of her passions in life – Yoga!
Caterina works as an accountant at the Inspiralia Group headquarters in Madrid but although she enjoys her job it’s not the company balance sheet that makes her heart skip a beat. She’s just back from a one-month teacher training in India to further develop one of her biggest interest.
Clearly, yoga is something she feels strongly about, so I wanted to know more. Could it be the key to happiness? She sure seems to be happy!
How did you get into yoga in the first place?
Actually, it’s a funny story. I’ve been practicing different sports since the age of 6 and I love it! One day, out of curiosity I decided to try a yoga class even if I didn’t think it was going to be for me. After spending long hours sitting down in the office my body normally asked for a more physically challenging type of exercise. Still, I kept coming back, and shortly after I started to notice changes in my body. The back pain I suffered from sedentary work and accumulated stress was disappearing, I felt stronger and more flexible. My concentration capability increased, and what surprised me the most was that after each class I felt how all the energy that had been drained from my body during the day came back to me. After about a year of practice, I also became aware of positive mental and emotional changes. That is when I decided yoga should be part of my lifestyle!
Do you have a favorite posture, why?
Sirsasana or headstand. It’s the one where your body is located in a vertical position, head facing down and legs up. I enjoy it as it is a challenge to achieve and for the benefits it brings your body as stress relief, increased focus, increased blood flow to the head and scalp, strengthen shoulders and arms, improved digestion and also stimulation of the lymphatic system.
Yoga as a lifestyle teaches you that happiness is our natural state, difficulties and negative feelings are too, but suffering is optional.
I know you would recommend yoga to others, but could you tell us something most people probably don’t know about it?
Yoga is a 5000-year-old tradition (some researchers say 2500 years). It is not a religion, nor a philosophical doctrine or mysticism. It is the intelligent and self-conscious effort of man to achieve peace. Research carried out by the Mind Body Institute, Harvard Medical School and the University of Kentucky, revealed a positive influence of meditation on brain functioning, performance, and concentration. Meditation practice has also consistently been found to increase mind-body coordination to reduce depression, hostility and emotional instability.
What is the number one thing yoga has taught you?
It’s hard to pick just one thing, I have learned so much about myself and my fellow human beings. But if I had to choose it would be that our unhappiness is in our mind. Yoga as a lifestyle (not only physical practice) teaches you that happiness is our natural state, difficulties and negative feelings are too, but suffering is optional.
When practicing yoga I’m in total harmony with my body and mind
So to the key question: Does it make you a happier person?
It is a yes on that question! Yoga helps to understand and control the nature of the body, mind, and intellect of the individual in order to reach an undisturbed state of balance and peace. When practicing it I’m in total harmony with my body and mind. There is no room for the everyday clutter, no worries about meeting work deadlines or things on my to-do-list. It’s a healthy break from all that, something we all need! I found it doing yoga, but for someone else, it could be anything that takes their mind off all those musts that surround us daily.
What is the next challenge for you?
Unfortunately, I feel our society is characterized by stress and anxiety. As I already have my license as a yoga teacher since a while back the next challenge for me is to give back to the community based on what I have learned in order to help others feel better.
As you can see, she already tried to work her magic on the Inspiralia Group staff. 😉
Text by Caroline González