MAIRA RIVERA

Throughout my life I admired athletes. Watching athletes at their best in sports — especially in the Olympics — was a thrill. Though I never pursued any sports seriously, I dreamed of being capable of the wonders athletes accomplish through training and dedication. That is what attracted me to yoga; the rigor, practice, concentration and dedication gave me the illusion of being an elite athlete. My time on the yoga mat was “my moment in time”. Later this physical attraction evolved to the joy of being, the joy of peace.

I took my first yoga class in 1997, with Carla Raushenbush, a recent graduate of Bikram yoga. I was hooked. I trained with Bikram Choudhury and got my certification in 2000. I began to teach soon after that, later for Marit at Bikram Yoga Madison.

The commitment to my career in public education pulled me away from yoga for some years. I should’ve known better. Not having the downtime yoga provided to my mind, thoughts raised day and sometimes night, adding unnecessary stress that took a toll on my overall health and joy of living.

I knew there was no other solution but to return to the yoga mat, and practice in a community of dedicated yogis. This I found at Inner Fire Yoga. At first I was weak, but slowly my body recovered and I found myself thinking, “Why did I ever stop my yoga practice?” Resolved to never turn my back on my body, mind and spirit again, I committed to my practice and now return to teach HOT Yoga.

When I teach I encourage students to stay present; to give their best while being thoughtful of their body. As a teacher I see my self as the voice that helps the mind guide alignment and movement of the body to safely enter, remain and exit the posture at hand. I believe in the wondrous intelligence of the body and the interconnection of all things. I believe a regular practice brings benefit to the whole person, whether it is through the satisfaction of feeling like an elite athlete or through the immeasurable joy of living, learning to be present and choosing to be at peace and happy.


TRAINING l CERTIFICATES

  • Mini Yogis Foundation Teacher Training, Shana Meyerson, Madison, June 2015
  • Yin yoga certification, Inner Fire Yoga, Madison, November 2014
  • Reiki Certification, The Magnificent Living Institute, Mary Preuss Olson, Madison, March 2013
  • Basic Hatha yoga for Educators, Cloud Nine Yoga/Breath for Change, Madison, July 2001
  • Bikram Yoga College of India Certification, 2000

Maira’s class schedule »