S A N K A L P A
Marisa’s Statement of Intention
My highest aspiration is to practice what I preach -- that I may continue to foster a deep love and connection to these practices so my teachings may come forth from a place of experience and gentle awareness.
There is no "right" or "wrong" when it comes to implementing Yoga and Ayurveda practices, and I want to teach people, not only how to apply these principles to their own lives, but that love and compassion must come first. Every attempt - exciting, botched, eye-opening, imperfect or otherwise - can be used as awareness. In the pursuit of bringing more softness and grace into our lives, we simply cannot resort to labels like "perfect," "correct," "flawed," and the like.
My life has been a journey through crippling perfectionism and a slow walking backwards from that intoxicating vortex; it is my understanding that many people have dealt with similar obstacles around shame and fear of not being enough.
Yoga and Ayurveda, if used in the right way, can offer a way beyond that egoic, small framework of the mind. I want to convey Yoga and Ayurveda with this level of sensitivity, with this intention of helping others - and myself - love themselves, find joy and stillness alongside all that is chaotic and flawed about our lives. Self-love, self-care and awareness are accessible, and our bodies - most importantly, our minds - can feel like Home. It is my aim to help people find their way on a path towards this end.
Full Disclosure: Yoga and Ayurveda both knocked on my door for a long time before I finally answered.
Nearly 10 years passed from the time when I was first introduced to yoga as a modern dance student until the hour where things finally clicked, when my yoga became more than a glorified stretch session. In 2015, I completed my Yoga Alliance-certified 200-hr RYT teacher training under the guidance of two of the most knowledgeable, disciplined, and badass women I've ever had the pleasure of working with, Keri Setaro and Paula Loose. From them, I garnered a true passion for guiding others through a moving practice of introspection and appreciation, and the foundations for my personal teaching standards: safe alignment, integrity, and humility.
While I was a college student studying abroad in New Zealand, a friend introduced me to Ayurveda as a "diet guideline." My interest was piqued, but not until Spring of 2014 did I act upon my intrigue, after several years of silently internalizing Ayurveda's call,
which met my ears time and again like whispers in the wind. I embarked upon a journey of self-study through Kripalu's Foundations of Ayurveda program, fell in love with the science as I knew I would, and two years later received my NAMA certification as an Ayurvedic Health Counselor. A lofty accomplishment, but my years as a devotee and student of the science are far from complete.
That is just one of the many reasons why I love and have such profound faith in Ayurveda: it keeps me humble, keeps me continually in awe of the quiet yet profound intelligence of Mother Nature. Each time I am introduced to a new Ayurvedic concept and observe the tangible resonance, the intuitive "Yes" that springs from my subconscious, I know the science is alive and inherent within me, as it is within everyone and has been since a time before our comprehension.
With deepest gratitude to my teachers and mentors: Joseph Aldo, Norma Nirmala Berrios, Raghunath Cappo, Anisha Durve, Larissa Hall Carlson, Erin Casperson, Dr. John Douillard, Angela Kaplan, Dr. Vasant Lad, Paula Loose, Dr. Rosy Mann, Margrit Mikulis, Kate O'Donnell, Adriana Rizzolo, Deb Rutledge, Satyanarayana Das, Keri Setaro, William Siff, Kristen Rae Stevens, David Harshada Wagner, Dr. Claudia Welch, and Justin Wolfer.
And of course, my beautiful family and friends, forever my roots and my wings.