Name: Alyssa Kuzins Instagram: @sunflowergirlie
Where does your yoga story begin? It was May 2013, and I had just graduated college with two degrees in History and Communication. That month I began participating in Instagram challenges as a way to begin dabbling in yoga, which I had been wanting to do, but wasn’t sure how. I think I had a fear of being bad at it, which is totally ridiculous! That whole summer I did challenges and played in my backyard, and by August I decided to join an Iyengar studio, which ended up being the best decision ever because I learned the foundations of yoga and alignment, although I didn’t know it at the time! By January I had switched studios and was practicing 3+ times a week at my current studio, Yoga Flow, a heated Vinyasa Flow studio, whom I am getting certified with. And as they say, the rest is history. May 2013 marked a turning point in my life where I walked away from old ideals and started to follow my daydream: a full-blown yoga career!
What got you hooked? I think what got me hooked on yoga was the sense of belonging that I felt. My whole life I searched for a place that I fit in, and I even searched for something that I was particularly skilled at, besides being a total book nerd, and I found all that in yoga. We are social beings, and although I have never been in a clique and never really liked the idea of them, I now see the benefit of at least being surrounded by likeminded people; it is one of the most refreshing, warm feelings. With yoga I was able to blossom into who I think I always was, but didn’t have the freedom to express before because I wasn’t in a comfortable place that allowed that personality to bloom. On top of that, that sense of security encouraged me to explore new skills and be brave! Headstands were conquered, arm balances took flight, and I learned that I am so much stronger and braver than I believe. I truly found a home in yoga.
Tell us one weird/interesting fact about yourself: I have scoliosis and wore a brace when I was in middle school. Just five more degrees of curvature, and I would have had to get metal rods placed along my spine, and much of the yoga I do today would have been seriously impaired, if not impossible.
What do you love the most about traveling? I love the sense of abandonment I get from my usual self. I am so much more playful and daring when I’m traveling. For example, I swam with eight-foot long nurse sharks in the Dominican Republic, and I am terrified of sharks and deep water where my feet can’t touch!
Where would you most love to travel and why? Almost anywhere! I have a two-page list of countries that I want to visit! Top places are Italy, Greece, France, Morocco, England, Switzerland, Australia, and Bali.
If you were stuck on an island with only one thing, what would it be? This sounds bad, but I would say a phone with a battery that was charged by the sun or something so that I could try and get home!
What’s your number one piece of advice for someone just getting into yoga? Do not let fear hold you back, let it guide you.
Anything else? Live your bliss call!