We had the good fortune of connecting with Viviana Gago and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Viviana, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
When I first started to practice power yoga, I felt this fire light up inside of me which led me to feel empowered. I realized then and there that my passion for the practice had grown to something bigger that I felt compelled to share. At the same time, I noticed how so many people around me felt that yoga wasn’t for them because of the way they looked. Growing up, I struggled with confidence and weight issues. I grew up in a Latinx household and being the right weight was always a mission. It was easy to get criticized by family like my tia’s and even neighbors. It was so common that I carried the struggle into my adulthood and even today, it likes to creep back in. Yoga has been the main thing that gets me back to feeling great. Which is why I want to be able to make others feel happy in their skin no matter what they look like or going through-that they belong. . However, we must acknowledge that as humans, we are allowed to change and shift as we please when we are feeling unfulfilled. Sometimes we just need a little boost of confidence from an outside source. I like to bring real life issues and feelings to my classes in a way that can be relatable. So it’s not just a physical workout but also a mental release. This also helps remind me that my feelings and thoughts are valid and I can continue to grow from there. When pinpointing what gets people through the door, I’ve been told that my personality mixed with my love for music and devotion for yoga is what drives people to my class. Once they are on the mat, it is my goal to make them feel empowered through my guidance in the practice and most importantly to have fun.. I want everyone to leave my class a little lighter however that term resonates with them-I aim to leave them feeling like they let something go that no longer serves them.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I have been in the yoga business for 3 years. After being introduced to many classes and forms of teaching, I’d like to think my classes stand out. My classes bring spice by adding fun music, personality and realness! I am also bilingual so when I need to mix in my Spanglish, it’s on! At first, I started teaching in a studio and then ventured out to other studios as well as doing pop ups in other spaces. For me, making the decision to step out of my set routine with a specific studio in order to grow my following was a bit emotional. Even though I loved the space I was teaching at- I felt that I needed to expand. In the yoga industry, there are times this can be very conflicting. Instructors like myself are sometimes met with the challenge of not being able to grow on our own because some organizations believe we will violate their policies. But we need to grow. We need to explore our passions to the full potential without being penalized for it. No hard feelings though. I still have so much love for everyone that has given me the opportunity to teach. I recently finished my 300 hour yoga certification which now makes me 500 RYT. Someone recently asked me what I got from this training and it was definitely the relationships I created with the other teacher trainees. I am also so much more confident in the teacher I am and the style of yoga I teach. I used to think I had to tame my vibe in order to fit in and now I realize that I am who I am and if you like me, you will come to my class. I shouldn’t have to change. I love mixing my love for music with a sequence. I create a playlist for each class depending how I’m feeling that day. Music is healing. Yoga is healing. Letting go is healing- So why not mix it all together?
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would definitely start in Jersey City, NJ. I grew up in Hudson County, NJ and lived across the river from NYC. Downtown Jersey City is a vibe. I love how diverse it is. I am so grateful for growing up in a place that has a mix of all types of people. One of my best friends moved to LA and when he comes to visit, we always hit up a restaurant in J.C. There is so much to do in that area. The path and the Holland Tunnel which gets you the city in 5 minutes are right there. The city is also interesting any day of the week. You can just go, walk around and see where the day/night takes you. Williamsburg, Brooklyn is also one of my favorite spots-so many restaurants/ bars.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to shout out every yoga studio owner that has given me the chance to step into their space and let me be me, every yogi that has taken my class, and my family that has supported me in this journey.
Facebook: Viviana Gonzalez Gago
Other: tiktok: @yogitawithvivita