It is time we shed the spotlight on another amazing yogi who is doing amazing things in the yoga community. Last year we found each other on Instagram and did an interview. Click here to read about our 2018 Interview. This year is a follow-up for my new podcast From My Mat to Yours. (If you want to listen to the full interviewScroll down) Meet Yoga Instructor Victoria Gibbs
SFCY: For those who do not know who you are, can you please introduce yourself? Victoria: Hey listeners!!! My name is Victoria Gibbs, I was raised in Princeton, NJ, grew up dancing classical ballet, and went to Dartmouth College. I’m a three-time New York Regional Champion, a participant in the 2018 International Yoga Sports Federation (IYSF) championship, yoga instructor, meditation coach, and Lupus Foundation of America Ambassador. SFCY: During our last interview, you mentioned you wanted to be more determined in your yoga practice. Have you succeeded? Victoria: I absolutely have succeeded in that endeavor! My practice has reached new levels and I didn’t think that was even possible. Furthermore, I was only able to achieve that through the daily inclusion of meditation practice. Changing my mind, changed my practice, providing me with a different level of seriousness, and providing me with the resources to breathe through life’s most difficult challenges. Most importantly, while challenging myself, I’m also having the very best time practicing, and I’ve never felt that much joy before. I’m growing and enjoying the process. It’s a win-win!! SFCY: How did it feel to participate in the international yoga championship? Will you consider competing again? Victoria: It was an incredible experience to compete in the 2018 IYSF championship. For the first time, the competition was more than just about competing for one's self, but it was about competing as a representative of the United States of America. A rare and priceless opportunity. Also, traveling to China and exploring was nothing short of fabulous. My yoga practice gave me the opportunity to blend two things together that I love, yoga and travel. China was incredible and I hope to visit again in the near future.I absolutely intend to compete again this year. I wasn’t able to finish the competition season last year so I’m very much looking forward to this year's competition season.
SFCY: What have you been up to in 2019? Victoria: 2019 was a whirlwind. I stopped working at my cushy hedge fund job on December 31, 2018, I had a true definition of a fresh start. I spent a few months applying for new finance jobs, which was an interesting and exhausting process. The more that I interviewed the more that I realized I didn’t want to work in finance anymore. Then bears the question, what’s next?! I didn’t know and that was scary but something told me to follow my intuition. Despite following my intuition, I was getting really stressed out and having severe anxiety, which while it’s not good for anyone, it’s a trigger point for me and can cause my autoimmune system to flare up and attack itself. I have lupus. The months of May and June my health was deteriorating and I just kept telling myself it would get better. It didn’t. In July, I was hospitalized for a week and a half and when they discharged me I was so broken. Prior to my hospitalization, I had just signed up for teacher training at Lighthouse Yoga School and I wasn’t sure it was going to go. I was mentally and physically broken. My parents could see the distress that I was in and while they didn’t understand what teacher training was, they begged me to go, as they thought it would help get me back on track.Truthfully, it changed my life. Since mid-July, I’ve been working on the mental and physical development of my practice, teaching, and working to make yoga my life.
SFCY: Where do you teach?
Victoria: Right now I’m about to begin teaching at Lighthouse Yoga School in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, my first class is this coming Monday, November 25th at 8:30 pm. I also offer private one-on-one or group yoga instruction and meditation classes. Definitely reach out to me if any of your listeners are interested.
SFCY: Do you have any advice to give for someone who is thinking about embarking on their yoga teacher journey?
Victoria: I highly recommend embarking on the teacher training journey. Make sure it’s your passion and really make sure that you find a teacher training that is a good fit for you. I watched the studio owner at Lighthouse Yoga School, Jared McCann, for years and really respected him and his practice. Likewise, a fellow competitor had done the teacher training at Lighthouse and raved about it and I definitely noticed how much his practice improved. I knew that teacher training at Lighthouse, with Jared, was the best place for me. I was right!!
SFCY: Is there anything that you set out to do but did not achieve this year 2019?
Victoria: Absolutely not. I began the year with an open mind and didn’t really have a specific course of action. I let it be and took it one day at a time. The year turned out beautifully. I made the choice to follow my passion and as of year-end approaches, I couldn’t be happier.
SFCY: What plans or goals do you have for 2020?
Victoria: I’m really excited for the new year. My plan is to continue teaching both at Lighthouse and privately. I hope to build my presence in the wellness community. Clean eating, meditation, and asana have changed my life and I want to share that. I’m currently in the process of planning two yoga/wellness retreats. Something local to New York in February and then a destination retreat in August or September, the location is still to be determined. I plan on continuing with my lupus advocacy, and I’m actually working on producing a wellness podcast. I have a lot on the horizon, I’m planner though, and will be able to complete my goals. I try not to overwhelm myself so I prioritize accordingly. I’m excited, it’s going to be an awesome year!
SFCY: What is your favorite way to prep to achieve your goals?
Victoria: I write everything down. I figure out what I need to achieve my goals, create a realistic time frame, assess who I know that might be able to help me achieve them, and only share with my closest friends and family. While embarking on new endeavors, it’s important to only surround yourself with positive and supportive people. Lastly, believe in yourself, be patient, and trust the process.
SFCY: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Victoria: There are three things that I try to always remember that one of my teachers shared with me, and I’d look to share it with you. They are the following:
Allow What Is
SFCY: How can someone connect with you?
Now you can listen to our interview on apple podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify and more...
About the Author:
Kenya Marsh is the founder of SimplyFitandCurvyYoga (SFCY), Course Creator for Elevated Yogi Academy, and Host of "From My Mat to Yours Podcast." As a wife, stay-at-home mom of two, and yoga teacher. Kenya knows how challenging and beneficial a steady yoga practice can be. She understands it can be hard to start a new yoga journey alone. She created this website, along with courses, books, and more materials to help provide support to help busy yogis elevate their yoga practice.