Yoga and Second Chances
I will never forget a man that walked into one of my teacher trainings about ten years ago. He wrote me a letter about why he wanted to take my training and asked me to be the winner of the scholarship I was offering. He was a recovered addict who had been in prison for 40 years and on drugs for most of his life. He won the spot.
As if reborn, he signed up for this yoga teacher training program in his seventies. His body didn’t allow him to move as easily as the others and his brain didn’t allow him to memorize the content like the others. But none of that killed his spirit. At 70-plus, he had a light in his eyes that could brighten a room and a childlike spirit that made you want to be around him.
He was so grateful to be alive and to have this opportunity before him. He would walk into the training each day and say, “Diana, thank you for giving me a chance – another chance to do it right!” I don’t think he was talking about Warrior I; he was talking about life.
I have heard his words inside my head almost daily since September 2, 2022, when my dear friend Jodi Dillon asked me to start teaching at Zuda Yoga Folsom. I have sat in prayer each day and have said those words to God, Jodi, and each and every one of you.
I would have never guessed in a million years that life would bring me back here, full circle.
For those that don’t know me, I’m Diana Vitantonio, and I’ve been teaching yoga for 23 years. I co-owned my first yoga studio, Cleveland Yoga, when I was 24 years old, and my second one, Zuda Yoga Folsom, at 29. So, yes, that is correct; I am one of the original owners of this Folsom yoga studio. I poured my heart into this building and this community for the first two years of its existence.
For the third time in my career, I am once again the studio owner. My heart is FULL to be reunited with the studio we built 15 years ago; I renamed it Yoga Nyla. My intention is to not make this about me, but about us. May we uncover everything that is beautiful and possible about yoga, community, and the power that is contained here in an effort to build a safe haven for those who desire vulnerability & growth through the practice of yoga and self-empowerment.
I am HERE for it and I am here for YOU!