Gina Caputo is an enthusiastic and passionate yogini who believes that life is an evolutionary journey of discovering one's limitless potential! Her inspirational style of teaching is a balanced fusion of vinyasa yoga, empowering insight and humor. She is an uplifting, empathetic teacher known for her clear and playful style of encouraging you to fearlessly navigate your edge, open your mind and boldly explore what's possible!
SS: What was the moment for you when you knew you wanted to be a yoga teacher and why?
Gina: The first class I taught was a favor - they were in a real pinch for a sub and they knew I was always there and that I wasn't shy, so they asked me to teach, just that once. The moment the class was in Savasana it registered how much I really enjoyed the experience and how natural and rewarding it felt. Shortly thereafter, they gave me the class and the rest is history!
SS: How did you get started on your yoga journey?
Gina: In college I was taking some last elective credits and was in a class called "Weight Training". There was a woman in the class, slightly older than the rest of us, and she asked the muscle-bound teacher if she could start every class with some yoga. And he said yes! So we'd start the class on these big fat foam mats doing sun salutations. The first time we did tree pose, I felt my mind go quiet for the first time in memory and that's when I knew that this yoga was something special. Retelling that story just reminds me of how easily I could have not started on this path too. Yoga was nowhere near as popular then so I'm incredibly grateful to that woman for putting it out there and to the teacher for valuing it enough to say yes.
SS: What has yoga taught you about yourself and about life?
Gina: Two of the most potent teachings for me have been understanding impermanence and the kleshas, or hindrances - in particular raga (attachment) and dvesha (aversion). Understanding the impermanent nature of all things has helped me deal with everything that arises with a bit more grace and made me much less likely to cultivate attachment to things being a certain way and aversion to the way they show up, whether that’s in my body during practice, my mind, my relationships or my work. Absolutely priceless jewels of wisdom!
SS: What would you say to someone who has never tried yoga?
Gina: In my teacher trainings I ask the students to develop a broad and deep repertoire of ways to talk about what yoga is particularly because so many people who have NEVER tried yoga have a wrong impression of what it is. So they can't rely on little catchphrases marketers and advertisers use, they've got to really be able to expound on it while meeting that person where they are in their understanding.
What I would say to the person who has never tried it is to first let go of any preconceived notions that might be preventing you from trying. Then I'd ask if they're at all interested in transformation, of any kind? And assuming they say yes, I'd explain that yoga is a holistic transformative practice, meaning, you're not just thinking about change, using the intellect, but that its a WHOLE BEING experience, every cell of your body on board with activating change in your life via this journey we call Yoga practice.
You can begin that journey exactly where you are, knowing that change is inevitable and that change in your body and change in your mind go hand in hand. In my opinion, a key yoga practice mantra for everyone is "Relax around your process..." We really must value the process, not any particular destination, physical goal or superpower.
SS: How do you use yoga when you are facing a challenge?
Gina: When I'm challenged, I go into warp speed! I don't do well in limbo so I blast off in the direction of resolution. But along with that drive also comes incessant mental processing and myopia. So stepping onto my mat or meditation cushion or taking a moving meditation hike opens up space again in my mind and helps me zoom back out and see things more panoramically. Without it, I'd lose sight of everything but the desired resolution and I'd be missing so many important things and relationships. And that's no way to live fully!
SS: Final Thoughts?
Gina: I fully believe in putting yourself out there to the world, just as you are. It’s easy to put things on hold until.... or succumb to the When/Then syndrome: "When X is just so, Then I'll do Y" and I think that's an insult to the life force, this current running through us that indicates our vitality.
When we just show up, without reservation, shame or excuses, things happen. When you drink the nectar of life in this way, you end up deeply nourished.
Oh, and always keep your sense of humor. I think it’s the antidote to fear!”
Connect with Gina here:
Her website: https://www.ginacaputo.com