Yoga teacher: MARÍA MACAYA
Yoga style: Jivamukti Yoga & Yoga as complementary therapy
Teacher training: 800 hour advanced Jivamukti teacher / Yoga for trauma / yoga for depression / yoga for anxiety / yoga for addiction
Yoga guru(s): I’d like to clarify what Guru means, so that things don’t get lost in translation. “Gu” means darkness and “ru” means remover. Guru essentially means “remover of darkness” – he, she or that which makes you see things clearly. It can be a person, an event, it can be the stone you trip with because you were not paying attention, it can be one self.
My most influential yoga teachers, from whom I have learnt a lot about yoga but also a lot about many other things, are Jules Febre and Yogeswari. I am grateful for the time and teachings they have given me, and the patience and kindness with which they have done it.
Where do you teach: Jivamukti Yoga Barcelona, Zentro Urban Yoga Barcelona, and specialized therapeutic centers for mental disorders or risk at youth.
Future retreats: a couple are cooking – I’ll let you know when they’re ready.
– COFFEE OR TEA? Herbal tea. I have so much energy the last thing I need is anything that gives me more
– WHICH ASANA DO YOU WANT TO SHARE WITH US TODAY AND WHY
Savasana, the corpse pose, relaxation pose – Because it is proven that it is the pose that makes people come back to yoga.
Because I once had a teacher who said that no yoga teachers posted pictures of themselves in savasana because it is not a pose where one can say: “Look how well I do savasana”.
I think I have a great savasana. I post few pictures of myself in asana, but when I do, it’s often savasana.
– WHAT DO YOU LIKE THE MOST ABOUT TEACHING (BESIDES WATCHING US SUFFER)?
I like that it is a meditation for me. The moment I start teaching a class I forget myself and just become the voice that is sharing a practice. I, as Maria, cease to exist.
– WHO/WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
I am inspired in people who overcome difficulties and take advantage of the qualities they learned along the way.
– A MOVIE/BOOK THAT MOVED YOU
When I was about 13 I read Papillon and I could not put it down. I would not say it is my favorite book, but I would say that it was the book that made me discover and love reading. I tell my children “If you read and enjoy reading, you’ll never feel alone”. Papillon made me discover that, hundreds of books have proven that right.
– WHICH HAS BEEN YOUR MOST SPECIAL TRIP AND WHY?
As corny as it may sound, the trips to, from and on my yoga mat. I always say I am a better person after being on the mat – there I manage to look at my life from a distance, disattached. It’s like my Aladin’s magical carpet. Cambodia, Brasil, Cuba and the North Pole were not bad too.
– ARE YOU A VEGETARIAN? AND IF YOU ARE, DO YOU MISS BACON?
I’m vegan and I have basically found recipes that fulfill all my comfort food needs. Bacon.. I was never a huge fan.
– WHICH IS THE MEAL YOU ARE ALWAYS IN THE MOOD FOR?
Avocado toast with sliced tomatoes. I have a mix of grains and seeds that I add to it. I could eat that every meal, every day. In fact I am surprised (and glad) my skin is not avocado green.
– IF YOU WERE AN ANIMAL, WHICH WOULD YOU BE?
I’ve asked a few people and polar bear seems to have come into several of them’s mind. When I asked why (quite surprised, I had hoped for a slender and patient giraffe or an elegant and agile puma) they said because of the way I move, and that I am at once graceful and strong. I think that maybe like a polar bear I look sweeter than I actually am.
– IF YOU WERE A TREE, WHICH WOULD YOU BE?
I thought of saying a tree that can’t always hold tree pose because it seems we put ourselves into roles that we cannot always fill. We give ourselves labels that give us unnecessary limits. I like to think that the tree I am depends on the day, but that the roots and elements of my inner core are constant.
– WHAT DRIVES YOU CRAZY OR MAKES YOU GO INSANE?
Lack of consideration for others
– SHARE A QUOTE WITH US
“If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.”
– WHAT OR WHO MAKES YOU LAUGH OUT LOUD?
Luckily a lot of things and a lot of people, including myself. I love to laugh.
– A MAGICAL PLACE TO PRACTICE YOGA WOULD BE…
Srei Beantey – a temple in Cambodia I had trouble pulling myself out of. I could have stayed there.
– TELL ME ABOUT YOUR CURRENT PROJECTS OR DREAMS
I just founded “Fundacion Radika” a foundation that brings yoga as complementary therapy to those suffering from mental disorders – including trauma, addiction, depression and anxiety. It is based on the scientific proof that somatic movement can help one heal, can make a traditional therapy more effective. I have been offering this type of yoga to people in private classes and at specialized centers for a while and have seen the results. Through the foundation I hope to train other teachers in this method, and if they want to join me at Radika so we can offer it to more and more people.
Through Radika I also hope to make these disorders more accepted. They are a huge part of our society and I believe that one of the first steps to heal is by losing the shame that often goes with it. I’m also studying psychology and neuroscience to enhance what I can offer students and patients.
– WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?
I should say “Too late for Oklahoma” because I already grew up. However, if growing up means being curious, wanting to learn, having as an ongoing goal the desire to improve as a person who is passing through this planet, then I hope to never stop.
– IF YOU COULD START AGAIN, WOULD YOU CHANGE ANYTHING?
I’d go backpacking for a year in my late teens or twenties. I think everything else I could have done or wanted to do, I either did or can still do. I may still go backpacking with my children and husband but I’m not sure I’ll be as patient with the smelly clothes and youth hostel bed bugs as I would have been when I was younger.
– LAST BUT NOT LEAST, WHICH TIP CAN YOU SHARE WITH US, THE LEARNING YOGIS
Oh! We are all learning yogis! Listen to what your body tells you and what your intuition tells you, and when in savasana (or not), let go.