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Last month, I featured the “Fab Five,” in an interview with the mentors to talk about the most meaningful part of being a mentor with the Kaivalya Yoga Method and what yoga means on and off the mat. Being a part of the first online yoga teacher training comes with so much learning about yoga content and virtually connecting. To that end, over the next few months, I will be profiling each mentor to share with you more about them, including what makes them tick and “aha” moments they’ve had throughout their journey. I asked them the same questions, and I can say that it is interesting to learn about their different perspectives. This month, mentor Alyssa Arroyo shares more about herself, her process as a yoga teacher, and TKYM mentor living in NYC. 

Read the interview below to get to know more about Alyssa Arroyo. 

Eric: Before we talk about the official mentor business, can you share a little bit more about yourself? Spill the tea — where are you from? What does home mean to you? What would we be surprised to know about you/ who are you outside of your mentor role?

Alyssa: I’m born and raised in New York City. I am a lover of dance and movement. It may be surprising to others to know that I have been studying circus acrobatics and aerial arts. That is my passion I pursue when not teaching.

Eric: Can you tell us about your wellness journey?

Alyssa: I found yoga towards the end of high school, and by the first year of college, I was already going to classes at a donation-based studio twice daily. My wellness practice involves the physical, spiritual and philosophical aspects of yoga and includes mindfulness in all areas of my life- in what I consume physically and mentally, who I spend time with, and what energy I allow myself to sit in.

Eric: How did you get to this moment? What is your yoga thing/ “zone of genius”?

Alyssa: I don’t think I have a “yoga thing.” I really enjoy sequencing and working with new teachers; other than that my goal is to find a balance in my yoga so I am not overly focused on any part of the whole picture.

Eric: Tell us about your practice on and off of the mat–the real nitty-gritty. In what ways does it support you? Do you have any moments of frustration or obstacles that you experience? Do you practice everyday? Are there routines or rituals that you are willing to share?

Alyssa: I practice some sort of yoga, whether it be physical asana, or meditation, or mantra every day. It doesn’t feel like practice because I have to get up and do it. It has become a natural part of my days… welcomed moments of my daily routine. It is something to turn to when the waves of Chitta Vritti or my emotions start to get the best of me. This practice is my grounding rod.

Eric: Do you have any “aha moments” that resonate with you that you think might help a current student in the program? Anything really pivotal that either reshaped your views of yourself or the world that you accessed through the practice? Be as personal and specific or as general and abstract as you’d like.

Alyssa: We are always beginners, and we will always have more to learn. I realize that I will never, nor should I want to, “know it all” and I embrace that! I live to learn. 

Eric: Thank you Alyssa for taking the time to answer these questions. I know that our readers will feel more connected to you and inspired by what you’ve shared!

Alyssa will also be leading TKYM’s inaugural live Karma Yoga class on Sunday, October 18th at noon on zoom, and I’ll be her lucky student. You all can also take class with us via zoom! Each month, the mentors will be teaching a live class for our community, while raising awareness and funds for an organization of our choosing. This month’s class will benefit Black Boys Om, a non-profit that provides yoga classes for Black Men and their families free of charge. You can register for class here!

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