Name: Silvia Mordini
Occupation: Writer, Happiness Coach, Adventure Addict, Spiritual Traveler, Teacher Trainer, Retreat Leader, Yogipreneur, Fashionable Yogi, Travel Junkie, Healer
Location: Seattle, Washington (previously Quito, Ecuador)
Favorite yoga style: If I was on the witness stand and was forced to answer this question I’d have to say something like “spiritual playful mystical vinyasa.”
Favorite yoga pose: Changes and evolves. Right now backbends. And my consistent favorite is Half Moon B besides sitting in meditation.
Yoga is... The Alchemy of Happiness.
What Do You Love Most About Yoga?
In great part depending upon what is going on in my life at the time, what I love most about yoga changes day to day, week to week, year to year. And in my case decade to decade. When I first came to the practice after being in a hit and run accident, yoga retaught me confidence in my own ability to heal. It gave me hope in what is possible.
Later, when I suddenly lost my father at the age of twenty-six, the love of my practice kept me grounded in the full expression of emotion, especially grief, as well as giving me stability during what was a very scary and unstable time in my life. Fast forward to the present, and what I love about yoga is the consistency it gives my personality, and that like a very best friend, it is always bringing me back home.
It strengthens my soul even more than my body, it gives my mind flexibility and grows my spiritual happiness.
How Has Yoga Changed Your Life, Personality and Physique?
I teach from a place dedicated to the Alchemy of Yoga, the name of my DOYOUYOGA blog. If unfamiliar, Chapter 2 verse 1 of the Yoga Sutras sets forth how the Alchemy of Yoga works: “Tapas svadyaya ishvara pranidhana kriya yoga.” Translated, this means that yoga helps us transform our happiness on three levels: mental, physical, and spiritual.
Physical Alchemy: More than twice I have lost the ability to move normally. Even just two and half years ago, I lost my sight as a result of a freak accident. Yoga has empowered me to regain my physical strength. I am stronger today than ever before in spite of the physical challenges I have encountered. I am also more toned and feel younger than ever before. Through this practice I embrace the power of the feminine and see my strength as my moon self. I treat my body as sacred.
Mental Alchemy: So here’s the great paradox: Mentally, yoga was the gateway drug into stillness. When all I desired was to be able to move by myself, put my underwear on, brush my hair, drive a car, yoga taught me how to be comfortable and at ease with total stillness. It is a moving meditation and introduced me to deeper forms of non-moving meditation which I do every day without fail.
Spiritual Alchemy: Yoga has increased my Kindness IQ. It makes me a nicer person. It does not that without removing stress, since life will always have stressors. By teaching me I have a choice in reacting or responding. I feel more calm, I have more space, more time to make that choice. As a result, I don’t over-respond. I stay calm in the face of crisis. I don’t lose my control.
What Everyday Thing Did You Get Better at Because of Yoga?
Yoga inspires ordinary happiness. It makes me better at being in my natural state of joy, contentment, Santosha. My relationship to the importance of my own spiritual happiness is improved dramatically by yoga.
It also makes me better at balance which is easy to find but hard to maintain. I learned how to make the sensitive adjustments necessary each and every day, every breath.
And yoga makes me a better breather. My relationship to the power and unconditional love of my breath is strengthened.
How Do You Keep Your Yoga Practice Interesting and Challenging?
I allow my practice to be the same or different depending on what I need on that day. It’s like a multi-vitamin for my soul. I take what I need without pushing it to be what I want, but more so what I need.
From the incubator of my own practice I bring what I know to teach. I create a different class every time.
What Book, Website, or Person Inspires You?
“Imagine you have permission to be happy and to really enjoy your life. Your life is free of conflict with yourself and with others.” (Pg. 125 The Four Agreements)
What is being described is the Alchemy of Happiness. We deserve this. No waiting. No conditions. We can start today. The Four Agreements inspired my Happiness Program. I am confident it will change your Happiness Set-Point if you commit to it all the way through.
Which Yoga Pose Challenges You the Most?
Constantly being myself.
What Are Your Go-To Yoga Poses When You're Stressed or in Need of an Energy Boost?
Seated Sukhasana (meditation) is my antidote for both stress or calling energy back to me.
What Do You Listen to While You Do Yoga?
My life has a soundtrack. So does my yoga. I choose the music for my practice mindfully. To me, music is medicine. What I need changes daily so does my personal playlist. I invite into my energy field high vibe music played by conscious musicians with positive messaging.
I listen to reggae, world music, chant, jazz, hip hop/rap, singer/songwriter, indie tunes, and electronica vibes. I especially love to play live music for yoga.
What’s The Best Advice You’ve Ever Received?
Growing up, my father gave me the best advice: know the difference between working to live or living to work. Choose wisely between the two.
My healer in Bali gave me the best advice as an adult: Do what makes you happy.
What's Your #1 Piece of Advice for Those Just Starting Their Yoga Practice?
Show up and do what you can. Be gentle with yourself. It took me one year to do an entire yoga class. Set loving expectations for yourself, do 10% in today’s class and little by little let the relationship grow so it doesn’t burn out.
Find teachers who know how to hold space for you and have done the self-work themselves. They can only help you as far as they’ve gone. And ultimately tune in to “how is the yoga working for teacher?” Are they happy, easeful, honest?
Facebook: Silvia Mordini