The Euphoric Yogi
Dallas Yoga Magazine is so happy to be have Marisol Bazaldua as part of our magazine this month. Marisol is a beautiful soul and is known for her euphoric groovy vibes that you can’t help feeling during her class. The best yoga teachers are continual learners and Marisol believes in learning as much as possible to enhance not only herself but also her students. She says, “I’m a student of life.” Let’s find out more about her.
DYM: Are you originally from Dallas? If not, where are you from?
Marisol: I’m from South Texas. I was born in Harlingen, lived in San Antonio for a little bit but grew up in Corpus Christi. I’ve been in Dallas for some time now, it’ll be 19 years in August.
DYM: How do people react or what do they say when you tell them you are a yoga teacher?
Marisol: The most common reactions I get are; “So that’s why you’re so fit, good for you!”, and “I can see that about you.”
DYM: Do you have another career?
Marisol: I’m currently working in corporate world. My current position is in the accounting department for a law firm. When my co-workers discover I’m a yoga teacher, their responses are; “Well that makes sense, you’re very calm and positive!”
DYM: What prompted you to attend your first yoga class? What were your thoughts about it at the time?
Marisol: I didn’t take an official yoga class till a few years back. Instead I bought relaxation yoga & Pilates DVDs for the days I wasn’t working out at the gym. When I did take my first yoga class, it was at a holistic festival. And at the time I was researching the teachers and where to obtain my 200 YTT.
DYM: What lead you to the decision to become a yoga teacher?
Marisol: It was a few months before my 36th birthday, and I was wondering to myself, “What’s my next move? Do I go back to school to obtain my LPC? Do I become an RN?” I began to meditate and just listen. Then the words “yoga instructor” popped into my head. That was the second time it came into my head and it stuck. I thought “Ok God I hear you, Thank you!”
DYM: What certifications do you have?
Marisol: I obtained my 200 YTT in February 2017 from Dhyana Yoga Center.
DYM: Is there a specific style of yoga you prefer to practice?
Marisol: I love Hatha yoga and I’m studying Kundalini. My preferred style of yoga is Traditional Hatha sprinkled with my euphoric groovy vibes. I’ve noticed Vinyasa or flow is pretty much taught at all studios/gyms which is great. I just tend to enjoy Hatha more. Hatha yoga is not always moving to each breathe you take but instead, stopping to marinate in that asana (pose), just breathe into your body and make space. In life I’ve found we’re so frequently on the “go, go, go” mentality. I like to slow it down by being present in the moment. But that doesn’t mean you won’t sweat in my class. Each class is different, and the direction of the class is entirely dependent on the energy. Sometimes in classes, you need a little more. I’ve found from time to time less is best and that’s okay.
DYM: Do your friends and family support your dedication to yoga?
Marisol: Yes definitely! My friends and family have been 100% supportive of my yoga journey. It took me a good while to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up but when it came to me, it was with lots and lots of knowledge. Thanks to my teachers Peggy Breeze and Anju Parihar whom were not greedy with their knowledge and willing to share.
DYM: What can someone expect when they go to your class for the first time?
Marisol: I studied from BKS Iyengar’s Light on Yoga and proper alignment is the foundation. This can a bit tricky at the same time. As we are learning more about the human body we are also learning how much there is still left to discover. And not everybody is made the same, so it’s important for one to listen to their body. Biomechanics is debunking some of the information we have been taught about asanas. So, if I see my class consists of new students, (which I love, they’re a clean slate to teach), I take the time to give cues when needed and assist with the necessary adjustments in order to ensure my students learn the asana correctly for their body type. By doing this my students can take the mental notes so they can practice correctly and most importantly without risk of injury. Ever go into chaturanga dandasana too quick and incorrectly? I have, and it wasn’t fun.
DYM: What do you want your students to accomplish or “take away” from your class?
Marisol: My teachers taught me an important lesson. If I was going through something in life, they would encourage me not leave it at the door, but to bring it to the mat and work it out. I have experienced healing moments of releasing fears and frustrations through my tears on my mat; and it’s refreshing. As a teacher one of the many goals is for students to feel welcome and safe so they too can heal/release, whether it’s through sweat or tears. The classroom is an opportunity to heal, ground, balance and connect. Together we can spread the light and high frequency vibrations.
DYM: What advice would you give to someone thinking about becoming a yoga instructor?
Marisol: To anyone considering becoming a yoga teacher, I would strongly encourage researching all your options and taking the time to find the right school. Take classes with the teaching instructors so you can get a feel for them and their energy. Do not jump into a program because it’s the closest or cheapest one. I live in Oak Cliff, and I took it upon myself to commute to North Plano for my yoga school because it was the right fit for me at that time. Before you walk into a studio, ask the universe to give you a sign if this is where you should be. Also, there are a lot of yoga instructors and I believe there are plenty of students for us to teach and learn from. So, to anyone considering becoming a yoga teacher, be genuine, caring, and thoughtful, have a practice and stick to it. That will make you unique.
DYM: What was the biggest hurdle you have had in your personal yoga practice?
Marisol: Adho Mukha Vrksasana! Aka Handstands of course, this asana is fierce. It’s upper body strength and not so much core which I thought it was at first, its shoulders, deltoids, traps and forearms. My shoulders are tight and it’s due to the jobs I’ve held. It’s difficult to sit with the correct posture and open my shoulders while I’m working. Also, the more advanced binds, those are my hurdles in my personal practice. I will get there in time and completely okay with that. I practice patiently and lovingly. I will not force myself and run the chance of injury. Yoga is not a competition; it’s listening to your body and practicing with self-love.
DYM: What was the biggest hurdle you have had as a yoga teacher?
Marisol: My biggest hurdle is figuring out when & where to open up a studio. I have an idea of the location, but the timing just isn’t right at the moment. I work full time and have a son in college. But when the timing is right, I have full faith the universe will present to me the opportunity I’ve manifested, or better!
DYM: What are some of the biggest changes you’ve seen in yourself since you started practicing?
Marisol: The biggest change is my Zen/Dhyana. Life/people can test you and I’m human, so I’ve found that by slowing down to come back to my breath makes all the difference in how I’ve changed. I’m a lot calmer, easy going which has shifted me to a positive outlook on life. Not to mention my digestion is healthier, and I’m getting more flexible.
DYM: Sometimes humorous situations happen in class, can you think of something that you have seen or experienced?
Marisol: (Laughing) That was me at Yoga on the Bridge last month. If you smelt sage on the bridge before class, that was me! It was a bit windy that day compared to the year before and it was so cold. I was in Salamba Sirsasana II (tripod headstand) and the wind pushed my legs back. I immediately engaged my core to the max, hinged at my hips and brought my legs down into tripod egg headstand. Otherwise it could have been dominos on the bridge.
DYM: We were there also! It was windy…I think everyone was wobbling that day. Do you have any favorite mantras you use?
Marisol: OM was my first mantra to learn and it’s my go to. It’s easy and everyone can chant or use it in their daily lives. When you feel yourself getting frustrated or unbalanced, simply chant OM 3 times on 3 long exhales. Sanskrit is a vibrational language, so it makes sense that chanting mantras can calm, cleanse and balance an individual. OM Namah Shivaya is one I’ve started to practice chanting. It’s a mantra for transformation, shift and change. I feel it’s appropriate for me as I’m entering this next chapter in my life.
DYM: Do you have other practices you add or incorporate with yoga to enhance your practice?
Marisol: I do! I love to balance the energy by burning sage. I balance and activate my chakras with holistic tools provided by Mother Earth such as crystals, oils and sound vibrations. In my private sessions, I can really add in two or more into their practice. There’s still much out there for me to learn and enhance my teaching so if it’s holistic you can bet that in time, I’ll learn and practice it. I’m all about expanding my knowledge in an effort to enhance my teachings. I’m not quite sure who originally said it but I love the saying “I’m a student of life.” And I’m here to learn as much as possible so I can share with others.
DYM: If you had to use one word to describe yourself, what would it be and why?
Marisol: Euphoric. It took me years to understand that happiness is achievable, and we can be happy without feeling guilty. I’ve worked hard to heal from my past and I’m at peace with my life. I’ve come to accept happiness in all forms; from a feather landing at my feet, seeing a beautiful flower return every year in my lawn, a butterfly coming to visit my garden beds, sharing a smile with a complete stranger, or soaking up the full moon’s energy. I wake up and choose to be euphoric and when I’m teaching my euphoric vibrations radiate the brightest. I am the travelling Euphoric Yogi.
DYM: That word does describe you perfectly. You have happiness exuding from you. It’s apparent the first time we met. If you could be on the cover of Time Magazine, what would be the reason?
Marisol: I’ve always felt a calling to work with kids, at-risk kids in particular. More so because I can relate to what it’s like to be a teenage mother myself. The odds most definitely were not stacked in my favor. Therefore, I studied and graduated with B.A in Psychology, intent on further pursuing my LPC or PhD so I could be of service to the youth community. Life however had different ideas and took me in another direction, and ultimately it wasn’t in the cards. Instead, I’m on the holistic path to fulfill my dreams, and I’m determined to accomplish my goal this time around. It’s now more than ever, that we must shine the light for our younger generations. My feature in Time Magazine would be for my movement of integrating meditation into the school systems. Our generation Z, and those to follow need positive influences and meditation is a powerful passage. By teaching meditation to our younger generations, we can go back to what’s important; being true to yourself, being humble, and kind to one another and Mother Earth. My movement will not stop till the school systems have added meditation into their daily curriculum.
I’m currently in the preparation stages of a meditation workshop for college students. And youth meditation workshops are next!
DYM: That is incredible, our youth need positive messages and to be shown how to live life differently than on technology. What advice would you give someone new to yoga?
Marisol: The same I tell myself; yoga is my own journey and it’s not a race or competition with others. We achieve our yoga goals with careful practice and discipline. It’s one’s path to a healthy life style, inner peace, and self-realization.
DYM: Let everyone know where you teach so everyone can find you.
Marisol: I’m teaching my yoga in the park charka series on Saturdays. The time, location and dates are on my website. I’m available by appointment for sessions. I have a small personal studio for private sessions. And I love to teach classes outside with nature. As we enter into Texas heat, I’m looking for a location to teach classes. Once I do find a spot, I’ll post all the information on my website.
DYM: What else would you like to share about yourself?
I’m very grateful for everything in life. I can’t help that I’m a big kid at heart. I believe humor is great medicine. I love music and I’m a huge Above & Beyond fan. My favorite form of cardio is dancing, and you won’t see me all dressed up either! Instead I’ll have on a pair of converse, shorts, and a cut up shirt customized by yours truly when I go to see my favorite DJs. I also love to travel. My energy and vibrations are of love, light and joy. I practice Karma Yoga daily. I’m a believer in holistic medicines and practices. I practice energy work through cleansing, balancing and activating chakras. Yoga is endless and each class is new opportunity to share what I’ve learned so far, and I’m just getting started! Ask yourself; have you have started your yoga journey? If you’re unsure about the answer, I’m the Euphoric Yogi, and I’m here to help everyone who feels there ready to take that first step! Namaste
DYM: Thank you so much Marisol for sharing about yourself. It has been an honor to have you as part of the Cosmic Yogi Festival and Dallas Yoga Magazine. We are looking forward to having some workshops and classes with you.
Get in touch with Marisol Bazaldua:
Social Media: FB & Instagram @ Euphoric Yogi