We all started somewhere. Before we made amazing progress in our yoga practice we had to learn how to start.
Today, I am putting the spotlight on a yogi. I hope their stories will inspire and motivate you in your yoga practice. This Month the spotlight goes on ……. Victoria Gibbs.
She is an amazing yogi who I recently connected with on Instagram. She will be representing the USA at the international yoga championship being held in Beijing, China. Click here to read her follow-up interview for 2019
SFCY: Tell us a little bit about yourself :)
Victoria: A little bit about me is that I clearly love yoga!! I spent the earlier portion of my life dancing classical ballet and once I stopped training, yoga was the only thing that satisfied me and my love of movement. I started my yoga practice six years ago and it has really changed my life both mentally and physically. Aside from yoga, I work in finance, I have a serious love of fashion, I’m very close to my family, and I spend a lot of time giving back to the Lupus Foundation of America as a member of the Youth Leadership Committee. One thing a lot of people don’t know about me is that I was diagnosed with lupus two years ago, and since then, it’s become very important for me to raise awareness and give back to the lupus community.
SFCY: How did you get introduced to yoga and when did yoga get serious?
Victoria: I was introduced to yoga one day after work. I was walking to the subway and noticed a sign for Hot Yoga. I decided to try it out the next day and I fell in love with it immediately. I got serious about the practice right away, I truly loved the way that it made me feel like I had really completed a full-on workout. Over time my practice has become so much more than a workout, it’s meditative, mentally cleansing, and where I go to release stress and just forget about the worries of life.
SFCY: Can you share your biggest challenges within practicing yoga?
Victoria: Right now my biggest challenge is getting out of my Bikram yoga routine and finding other practices to immerse myself. I realize the need and importance of diversifying my practice and trying other forms of yoga. I think being well rounded will inevitably enhance my practice.
SFCY: Where do you find your motivation to keep practicing?
Victoria: I find my motivation to continue practicing because the benefits are so significant for me. It helps my body combat any joint pain or inflammation brought on by my lupus, it helps me clear my head, it has introduced me to an amazing community of people, it has given me a platform to share my life with others, and it helps me stay in tune with and understand what my body needs. My practice brings everything to the forefront, both good and bad, and allows me the ability to deal with those things.
SFCY: What was your most embarrassing moment during your yoga journey?
Victoria: The most embarrassing moment for me was during the 2016 Yoga Asana National Competition which was held in Jackson Hole, WY. I was very sick at the time with lupus and was unaware that I actually had the Autoimmune disease. Being the headstrong person that I am, I decided to compete, when really I should have just stayed home. During my routine, I feel out of two postures and was completely mortified. Being under the lights and the pressure to perform my body literally collapsed underneath me. It was more sad than embarrassing given how sick I was at the time but that whole experience I will never forget.
SFCY: How did yoga influence your life beyond the mat?
Victoria: Beyond the mat yoga has been very influential. It has helped my life a more balanced life. It has helped me to understand what my body needs and doesn’t need. It has helped me to get rid of the things and people that don’t serve me. It has helped me stay in tune with my body and actually listen to it now. It has also helped me mentally, I’m much calmer, patient, positive, and understanding to both myself and others. Yoga is truly a blessing.
SFCY: What does your typical day look like?
Victoria: My days are like clockwork. I’m up at 6 am, I catch the 7:12 am train from Huntington Long Island, and I promptly begin my workday at 8:30 am. I work until 5/5:30 and after work, I head to my routine 6 pm yoga class for 90 minutes. I usually spend an extra 30 minutes in the studio stretching before heading off to catch the 8:42 pm train. I’m home by 10 and in bed by 11:30 and then do it all again the next day!
SFCY: What is your favorite style to practice?
Victoria: My favorite style of yoga to practice is Bikram yoga. I love the consistency of the practice and I enjoy the heat most of the time. I’m currently exploring other forms of yoga and classes, such as vinyasa, and handstand/flexibility classes. I realize that I need more diversity in my practice if I’m really going to continue to improve and take my practice to the next level... (whatever that may be 📷️). SFCY: What are your future plans/goals/dreams for your yoga practice?
Victoria: My future plans for my yoga practice are to be determined. I know that I will continue exploring other forms of yoga and will continue to practice seriously. I take it one day at a time and aside from wanting to nail down new postures like a handstand scorpion, I prefer to just release everything to the universe and be open to what is ahead.
SFCY: Where can they find you?
Victoria: You can find me in New York, NY. I do all of my yoga in the big city!
SFCY: Anything else you want to add?
Victoria: Follow me on IG @whatgibbs 🖤 Cheer me on as I represent the USA at the international yoga championship being held in Beijing, China this December 1st and 2nd!!
***Update**Check out our follow up interview for 2019
Well, that sums up this Week's Yogi Spotlight. If you want to be featured send an email to Info@Simplyfitandcurvyyoga.com Namaste!
Don't forget to join the Elevated Yogis Facebook group to share your journey and get extra support
About the Author:
Kenya Marsh is the founder of SimplyFitandCurvyYoga (SFCY) and Author of several books including Your Yoga Journey: A Great Way to Start. 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 busy yogis elevate their yoga practice.