Moments With Warriors… Rona Aquino
How did you first get into yoga?
I discovered hot yoga when I was in my late 20’s, after a friend invited me. You could say yoga found me. In the beginning it was a workout and that was it, but the more I practiced I started appreciating it as something more than just a fitness activity. I noticed something in me shifting mentally and emotionally. Yoga helped me find mental calmness and clarity, and it also helped me become more focused and energized.
What has been the most difficult part of your yoga journey and how did you overcome it?
In the beginning of my yoga practice I used to get frustrated when I couldn’t get into certain poses. I learned that the frustration of not being able to do some asanas meant that I was no longer practicing yoga. The frustration I felt was my ego wanting to preserve a type of self-image and sense of competition. To continually overcome this, I pause whenever my ego attaches itself to a pose and I give my body the patience, compassion, and kindness it deserves to open when it’s ready. Yoga is a practice that will transform you in every way, but you must allow it to happen in divine time, not when you expect it to.
How has your relationship to yoga evolved since you started practicing?
Yoga used to be something fun to do as a workout. Now I see yoga as a practice that helps me nurture the relationship I have with myself, which is the most important relationship we all have. My self-practice has been an amazing journey of spiritual and mental growth. It is no longer just about fun, but about sharing that fun and growth with my community, so I am always looking for ways to collaborate and continue learning so I can share what I learn with others.
How has studying and working at the intersection of yoga, meditation and tantra influenced your life and offerings moving forward?
It has helped me expand my perspective as well as see other perspectives. Yoga can be very physical, but there is an important element of feeling and thinking that really rounds up and elevates the experience. The movement during a yoga flow is meant to move stagnant energy and prime our physical bodies for meditation. Meditation and tantra allow us to look deeper, to feel more sensitively, and be more aware of ourselves and our surroundings. In essence, they are all one and the same.
What would your advice be to someone looking to begin their yoga journey who might be feeling a little overwhelmed or intimidated?
Show up and take your time. Go to a beginner class led by a teacher that you feel comfortable with. Have fun and let go of expectations. Yoga is a very personal practice that connects mind, body and soul. It is not a sport or a competition and the practice looks and feels very different for everyone. Have fun with it at first like I did, and stay committed to it. If you stay disciplined, the subtle changes will begin and yoga will become something you cannot live without.
Our Shakti Warrior tribe members are a beloved part of our community, as well as inspiring role models locally and online. Thank you again for your continued commitment to spreading love, positivity, and empowerment through your presence and work!
Rona Aquino is a CYT 400 Yoga Teacher and is here to guide and learn along with you on how to find more ease and joy through the practices of yoga, meditation and tantra.
I would like to formally thank Rona Aquino for her time, viewpoint, and wonderful commitment to the yoga community.