My Yoga Journey

In my early twenties, I attended a yoga class with my grandmother and my parents in Bogotá, Colombia. That single class included postures, breathing exercises and guided meditation. I went a few times and really liked the effects I noticed. However, I did not establish a regular practice. Soon after graduating from art school, I went to daily zazen meditation practice for a few months and found the simplicity of sitting in meditation simultaneously challenging and settling. The spark was ignited.

Ruben Vasquez

A couple of years later, living in the U.S. I bought a small book, Richard Hittleman’s Introduction to Yoga at a used bookstore for a couple of dollars. The next morning, I started practicing the exercises in the book and quickly discovered how inflexible my body was. Yet despite this, the practice felt soothing and enjoyable. It is the one thing I have been doing longer than any other regular activity. Gradually I wanted to learn more about all aspects of yoga and how to incorporate them into my daily practice. In 2001, I learned about Erich Schiffmann and his perspective on yoga deeply enriched my personal practice. In 2003, I bought my first Yoga Sutra book. Two years later, thanks to the generosity and encouragement of my wife, Camilla, I was able to enroll in yoga teacher training.

In 2005, after practicing yoga daily for more than nine years I immersed fully in my yoga studies and also started teaching. I have enjoyed the ongoing journey of learning with the constant desire to bring yoga into my daily life. I have found many teachers along the way. One of the teachers who has influenced my perspective and practice greatly is Erich Schiffmann. Erich has inspired me to make my own practice and teaching clear and effective. I am also grateful to Rajan Narayanan for his patient guidance through the Yoga Sutras one verse at a time. My understanding of yoga has also been greatly enriched by the teachings of Simon Borg-Olivier and Bianca Machliss that combine anatomy, physiology and yoga into a logical, safe and very effective practice. I appreciate also the common-sense perspective on anatomy offered by Amy Matthews and Leslie Kaminoff. In addition, I would be remiss if I did not mention how much I have benefited from the work of Gregor Maehle, Andrey Lappa, Michael Singer, Michael Brown, Adyashanti, Don Miguel Ruíz, and Yogani, I feel very grateful to live at a time when so much wisdom is available.

I have realized that all of life is an opportunity to learn and grow, and that everything and everybody we encounter offer countless lessons. My heartfelt thanks go to the many teachers and students who have enriched my life with their presence, their support and their questions.

It has been more than two decades since I started practicing daily and I still begin each day with my personal yoga practice because it makes me feel balanced and it encourages to become a better human being.

I am grateful to have offered sessions at many venues and events including:

  • Land O’Lakes Regional Library, Land O’Lakes, FL, USA
  • College of Education, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA
  • College of Business, University of South Florida, St Petersburg, FL, USA
  • Yoga Etc studio, St Petersburg, FL, USA
  • Ziel Marketing, Bogota, Colombia
  • New Tampa Regional Library, Tampa, FL, USA
  • Employee Wellness, University of South Florida, St Petersburg, FL, USA
  • Town and Country Regional Library, Tampa, FL, USA
  • Shen Salud Medical Center, Bogota, Colombia
  • Samasati, Costa Rica
  • Moebius Syndrome Foundation Scientific Research Symposium, St Petersburg, FL, USA
  • RasaLila Yoga Festival Tampa Bay, Tampa , FL, USA
  • St Pete Yoga Festival, St Petersburg, FL, USA
  • PranaYoga ColOMbia, Bogota , Colombia
  • Natural Yoga, Bogota , Colombia
  • Flagstaff Yoga Festival, Flagstaff, AZ, USA
  • Tampa Housing Authority, Tampa, FL, USA
  • Employee Wellness, Quest Diagnostics, Tampa, FL, USA
  • Employee Wellness, Carrollwood Day School, Tampa, FL, USA
  • American Association of Applied Linguistics, Atlanta, GA, USA
  • Jai Dee Yoga studio, Tampa, FL, USA
  • Namaste Yoga studio, Tampa, FL, USA
  • Hip Expressions, St Petersburg, FL, USA
  • Pura Vida, Costa Rica
  • North Tampa Regional Library, Tampa, FL, USA
  • Amatierra, Costa Rica
  • Safety Harbor Spa, St Petersburg, FL, USA
  • Villa Sumaya, Lake Atitlán, Guatemala
  • Claire Ferry Yoga studio, Belfast, Northern Ireland
  • School of Dance, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA
  • Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling Graduate Program, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA
  • Employee Wellness, Benito Middle School, Tampa, FL, USA
  • Jimmie B. Keel Regional Library, Tampa, FL, USA
  • Employee Wellness, Andersen Consulting, St Petersburg, FL, USA
  • St Petersburg Yoga studio, St Petersburg, FL, USA
  • Karma Yoga & Fitness, Valrico, FL
  • Renaissance Vinoy, St Petersburg, FL, USA
  • Treehouse Yoga, Tampa, FL, USA