Alicia Villanova

Alicia Villanova

I was born in early Spring: October. It happens when you are not from the northern hemisphere. In my case, I’m from Brazil. My native language is Portuguese, so that’s why I have an accent when I teach.

Just like the best relationships in my life, my relationship with yoga started badly. Very badly. I thought we were not a good match. My legs were bent and my heels couldn’t reach the floor in downward-facing dog. I used to think my body was sending me an important message: I was not made for yoga. Of course, the inevitable happened, and I abandoned yoga for a while.

When I turned 29 years old, I decided that I needed to do something healthy with my body. Meaning: exercise it. So, yoga showed up again. I was working in advertising and my routine was very stressful however, with this new mindset of focusing on my health, I jumped into the yoga world. As time passed by, I was finally able to straighten my legs more and more in downward-facing dog.

During my first-year practicing, my goal was to put my palms on the floor next to my feet in Uttānāsana. At the time I wasn’t sure I’d ever be able to achieve it. What helped me reach this goal and all the other goals I’ve set in my practice was the Ashtanga sequence. The fact that I was going back to the mat regularly to do 10 sun salutations and the standing sequence, transformed my practice and my body.

At some point I decided to go to India to do a yoga retreat, where I finally got in touch with a deeper dimension of yoga. I began reading sacred texts, chanting mantras, practicing meditation, and having the yoga Nidra experience. After the third retreat, I felt like trying a teacher training in Rishikesh, North India. I stayed for 2 months to study Ayurveda, astrology, palm reading, and of course, to get my yoga teacher certificate. When back in France, I started teaching right away. 

After practicing at Ashtanga Yoga Paris for 2 years, I finally felt ready to deepen my studies in the Ashtanga sequence. I took Linda and Gérald’s Teacher Training, and I had the chance to learn from them. I was very happy because both of them helped me a lot in my practice and guided me in different ways, including how to be a better teacher. 

In addition to teaching yoga, I am trained as a Naturopath at Cenatho – Daniel Kiefer school. 

My favorite pose is Paśchimottānāsana. My goal is to reach samadhi in this life. Just kidding. Calming my monkey mind a little bit is good enough.

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