featured yogi

Featured Yogi of the Month: Sara Cueva


  If you've taken a class with Sara (or even overheard her giggling in the tea lounge), you know that she really is something special. Dedicated to sharing love and light, this yogi is bursting with both. Sara has a playful love of arm balances and inversions and has lead various workshops in this area at Yogalife Studios.


Catch her in her regular classes Tuesday 9am south, Wednesday 6:30pm south, Thursday 9am and noon south, Friday 9am and noon north, Sunday 9am and noon south (all hot flow!)


Featured Yogi of the Month: Sara Cueva

How did you get your yogic start? Who brought you to your first class, what was that like, and where was it? I was on facebook one day, and saw that a co-worker of mine had posted that she was going to try out this "hot yoga thing", curious about yoga, I asked if I could join. A few more co-workers jumped on the bandwagon, and the next day we all showed up at Yogalife South. It was a hot flow, and I, not knowing any better, showed up in pants and a long sleeved shirt. Needless to say, I spent a good hour after class laying across the benches in the ladies changeroom, begging my legs to work long enough to get me to my car. I was instantly hooked. After a short period of time, I started to discover that there was much more to this practice than the physical benefits.


Share one of your favourite quotes:


One of my favourite quotes that I teach from regularly is "If having things turn out the way you planned is the measure of a successful life, then some would call me a failure. What's important is not to be bitter over life's 'disappointments'. Understand that not every day can be sunny. So when you find yourself in darkness and despair, remember that it's only in the dark of night that you can see the stars, and those stars will lead you home. So don't be afraid to make mistakes, stumble, and fall down, because most of the time the greatest rewards come from doing what scares you the most. Maybe you'll get everything you wish for, maybe you'll get more than you ever could have imagined. Who knows where life will take you. The road is long and in the end, the journey is the destination" OTH.


Favourite music to teach and practice to:


If you've ever been to my class, you know I'm all over the board when it comes to music. Any given playlist on any given day will move from Green Day, to Sarah McLaughlin, Nirvana to Frank Sinatra or Ella Fitzgerald. But every playlist will always contain a little Bob Marley!

Favourite books - I read a lot of books, but recently read "Yoga for a world out of balance" by Michael Stone and would highly recommend it for everyone! It is a very powerful book that applies yogic philosophy to our world today.


Tell us about your first teacher training:


My first teacher training was with Clare Newman. Words will never be able to adequately articulate the profound affect that the training had on my life. Suffice it to say, it changed my life. It opened my eyes, my heart, my mind to a realm of possibilities that had once been unfathomable to me. It brought me to where I am today, living a life of utter contentment. I say everyday I love my life, and mean it wholeheartedly every time I say it.


Favourite Vacation spot:


I love Maui. There is something so serene about the island. However, last year I took a trip to Thailand with my mother, and if only because I had the opportunity to spend 10 days sharing space with her, I think it may always be my most favourite holiday.


Next place to travel 


The next place I would like to travel? I'm going to Mexico in July, Camping in Alberta in August, Canoeing the North Saskatchewan in September, and have plans for Costa Rica in October, Okotoks in December, Maui in February, Canmore in March, and Belize in April. The world was meant to be seen. Spread the love everywhere you go!!!



Favourite pose/sequence/area of body


Inversions are my favourite poses to work with. I fell in love with arm balances early in my practice. I've always adopted a playful approach to them, bringing out that innocence of play, that freedom to explore and try new things. Learning to overcome the fear of arm balances inspired such a positive change in my life, off of my mat. I love teaching arm balances because I love that moment of clarity, of courage, of light, in a students face when they overcome their fear, when they discover that openness to trying something new and scary, and that victory smile when they realize that they can prevail!


Who inspires you?


My children are my inspiration. I teach based on the things that are happening in my life, and in the lives of the people around me, as I believe that this authenticity really resonates with students, because when that happens, there's that recognition that we are all going through it together. My children inspire a lot of the talks that I have with my students inside and outside of class. It is their willingness to be open, to innocence, to playfulness, to courage, to resilience, to surrender, to make mistakes, to try again, to laugh until their tummies hurt, to live in the flow of the moment, to love with all their hearts that inspires me, and by sharing that with others, I hope they will too be inspired.


Favourite festival to attend:


I love festivals. I attend them as often as I can! In July you'll find me at Street Performers, A Taste of Edmonton, and KDays. I'm really looking forward to the Fringe Festival (where sometimes you can find fellow Yogalifer Vlady Peychoff performing), and Heritage Days because the food is amazing, and I love the way our community pours out to celebrate the many cultures of Edmonton!


If you could study with one person who would it be and why?


I would love the opportunity to study with Paul Grilley. I respect the intelligent anatomically focus that he brings to the practice of Yoga. Also, Michael Stone as I respect his teachings on modern society. Recently I had the opportunity to study under Matthew Remski, who I would also highly recommend checking out if you have time!


Favourite self healing practice:


One of my favourite things to do when I need to nourish my soul is to dance with my children. To get so completely connected in the experience, in the moment, to move to the beat of our music, to hear the laughter in their voices and see their smiles stretching ear to ear. We have a ritual of making food together every day, during which time we dance like no one is watching, and share that space and energy together. The meals taste amazing when prepared in this way! It's a simple way to find that lightness in your heart, in your spirit. I encourage everyone to try!


Share a life goal:


I have found that teaching yoga is my higher purpose. It is that thing that I love to do, that I am most passionate about. I only want to share that with the world. To show people that you can find santosa (contentment) in the every day, and hope that when people can find that, that we can change the world. My goal is to one day teach people how to become teachers, because the more people that are passionate about their lives, the more they live and lead by example, the stronger our community will become for it, until eventually everyone has found santosa. Everyone can find their higher purpose.


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