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Everybody started somewhere. In the My Journey posts we ask an accomplished athlete / star / thought leader how they got where they are now. We hope their stories will inspire and motivate you.

In this twenty seventh My Journey post, we had a chat with Sylvia Garcia who is a yogi. We hope you enjoy Sylvia's journey.
Sylvia Garcia
Tell us a little bit about yourself :)

I'm originally from France but have lived in London most of my life. I mainly teach here and around the UK but also teach abroad extensively. I have been practising yoga for 16 years and have been hand balancing and doing acrobatics for 4 years. I love training hard and teaching people the things I learn.

How did you get introduced to yoga?

I first did yoga with my mum as we thought it would be a nice way to bond. I haven't looked back since. It's been a huge part of my life and I feel so grateful to have discovered it when I did. I enjoyed doing things with my body that I didn't realise I could do and also seeing so many things that became fun goals to work towards.

When did yoga get “serious”?

I used to be a dancer so for many years was practising yoga alongside that to maintain and improve flexibility. I then had a vegan restaurant for 5 years and was practising yoga twice a day to cope with the stress so when I decided to change careers yoga seemed the natural place to turn to. Since my first teacher training I started teaching almost immediately and have done many subsequent teacher trainings in other styles of yoga and meditation. I love to teach but also need to be a student so I can continue to grow and develop.

Can you share your biggest challenges ?

Finding enough work as a yoga teacher in London was challenging at first as most studios want their teachers to have 3-5 years experience which is hard to get when no one wants to hire you before you have that under your belt. I was very persistent with every studio I now teach in ranging from taking classes every day to volunteering to working on reception for a few years. It paid off and I got hired by all of them!

How do you handle pressure?

I don't feel much pressure in my job especially compared to my previous lines of work! I stay in shape because I like to and not because I feel my job requires it. There are yoga teachers of all shapes and sizes which is something that I love.

Can you share your thoughts on self consciousness?

I don't feel particularly nervous when I have to perform or demonstrate. If mistakes happen, they happen. I feel that shows human side to people so I don't put that sort of pressure on myself.

What was your most embarrassing moment (in regards to yoga of course ;)

I had to teach an event for Nike NTC week and I had a really bad cold. There were 250 people in a huge cold church in January and I had to teach a class with a microphone on without wheezing really creepily each time I gave an instruction!

How did yoga influence your life in other ways?

I feel grateful to have found the thing that I know I am meant to be doing with my life. Having purpose and direction has been a great thing and I have met so many wonderful and inspiring people both students and teachers through this.

What does your daily routine look like ?

Make tumeric latte and smoothie bowl , teach, take a class, have juice and snacks, teach again, swim, lots of snacks, take a class, train handstands and/or acro. Eat a lot

And what about your flexibility training ? Where does that fit in ?

I practise yoga at least twice a day and have also worked with contortionists. My best top if you want to get flexible, stretch a lot, it works.

What keeps you motivated?

When I started to feel like I'm tired from teaching a lot, I booked some time off to go and train circus, handstands and acro. Some people like relaxing holidays, I like to be a student.

What are your future plans/goals/dreams?

To keep doing what I'm doing.

Any tips for passionate people starting out ?

Practise, practise, practise. The more you do something the more it becomes part of who you are and people who want to learn that will come to you for it. I wouldn't do anything differently other than start younger so I would have had more time to do it all! I wasted so many years being the right way up!

Anything you’d like to share?

Instagram @sylviasyoga
Facebook Sylvia's Yoga

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