Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Interview with Rina Jakubowicz

Rina Jakubowicz will be holding a yoga retreat at Jicaro Island Ecolodge from July 16 - 22, 2011.  She received her BS degree in Advertising and started working in the Production of films, commericals and music videos after college. While it was exciting and different every day, she found that she had to make production her life and realized she didn’t want to give up everything else for the production industry.  Rina now owns and teaches in several studios in Florida and recently authored a book, Choose Peace, which empowers others to feel the potential that they have within and instill motivation for deeper healing.

What first brought you to the mat?
Honestly, my ex-husband told me I should try yoga 12 years ago. He thought I would really like it, and he was right! After my first class with Swami Bua, who was said to be 108 years old at the time, I was hooked. I went back the next day to take another one of his classes and I never looked back.

When did you decide to become a yoga teacher?
After starting and finishing my first full feature, Out of Time with Denzel Washington, I decided to take a teacher training at an ashram for a month and figured that that experience would make me realize if I loved it or I hated it… and I loved it!

What is your style of yoga instruction?
I love to teach Vinyasa Yoga and the philosophical background of yoga. I have coined the term, Vive Vinyasa, which emphasizes my approach to life; live from your heart, empower from your core. My classes tend to be both relaxed and challenging but with a focus on self-reflection in a fun way as well. It’s a great balance.

Why did you choose to focus your practice and teaching in the Vinyasa style?
Personally, I’m a big fan of movement and dance and when I experienced the Vinyasa style that is able to change and morph into whatever may be the body and mind’s needs for that moment, I connected to it immediately. I also felt that working with the breath was one of the most direct paths to turning inwards and reflecting on what helps one heal and grow. Plus, it’s fun!

Since yoga is both a practice on, and off, the mat, what tools do you provide your students with to learn how to take their yoga practice into their daily lives?
Yoga is mostly a practice off the mat, but one is able to reveal what needs to be tweaked in one’s daily life by observing oneself on the mat. How you are on the mat is how you are off the mat…and the first step is observation. I try to create parallels for my students in order to see characteristics that may or may not serve them while practicing and questioning a similar pattern in their daily lives as well. I invite my students to observe their thoughts during practice and have them categorize whether or not those thoughts serve them. I often ask them to try replacing the negative or harmful thoughts with positive, beneficial ones. That is the premise of my book, Choose Peace: A Practical Guide into Consciousness.

Why did you select Jicaro Island Ecolodge and Nicaragua as the location for this retreat?
Adrienne Ward from BigWorldSmallPlanet introduced me to Jicaro and Nicaragua.  It was her passion for the people and the country that got me interested in wanting to experience this new place.  When I visited Nicaragua last year, I found this beautiful oasis that allowed me to feel connected to all aspects of nature including myself. I felt Jicaro was a perfect place for a longer stay which opened its doors and windows to whatever gem could be discovered within and through the beautiful landscape of Nicaragua.

What experiences can your retreatants expect from your yoga retreat at Jicaro?
Participants can expect to get recharged and refreshed by delving into nature and into their practice on and off the mat. Stepping into the island of Jicaro and experiencing your first yoga class will immediately bring them into the present moment which only promises relaxation, bliss and an enjoyable time with oneself and others of like mind.

What are you most looking forward to during your retreat at Jicaro?
I am looking forward to the beautiful connections I will create with the people in the retreat and of the country, the nature that surrounds me and of course, with myself. It’s all part of my continuous journey too.

Visit BigWorldSmallPlanet for information on how to register for this retreat and learn about other upcoming retreats at Jicaro.

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