Today we’d like to introduce you to Ainhoa Acosta.
Hi Ainhoa, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstories.
I first encountered Yoga as a child: my friend’s mum had a book with photographs and we played just by copying the poses: we must have been 11 or 12 years old, and the book was ‘Light on Yoga’, by B.K.S. Iyengar.
When as a young adult I moved to London, I found that book again just by chance in a book store. I bought it and started practicing on my own at home. A short while later, I joined Yoga classes at my local gym, and my interest grew from there.
I visited India and studied with the Iyengar family directly. At some point, the idea of training to teach began to take root as I was already being mentored and closely watched in my practice every week by my teacher. I returned to India three more times, before and after becoming a qualified teacher.
After a successful career in the media and later on as a University Professor, I decided to quit my job as a Media Communications professor and focus on teaching and practicing Iyengar Yoga. I started to teach any class I could in order to get experience and build a reputation and trust. I now run my own teaching practice (Yoga with Ainhoa) while I continue to teach public group classes.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back, would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Not at all! There were a couple of bumps along the road.
Just after I quit my university job, my life circumstances changed: my relationship broke down, I had no job, and needed a new place to live.
There were some very rough times, and the first class I run as my own did it at a loss. But I kept on taking on classes wherever I could and continued my practice and teacher training at higher qualification levels. It was relentless and very hard financially but had I not kept going, I wouldn’t be in the position I am now where I can teach privately.
Then of course, the pandemic hit, and that was a sudden halt to my business just as it was starting to make a profit. But that was a useful time to reflect and consider what direction I wanted my life to take.
I am now at a point where things are running well, now with online classes, which I didn’t offer before. Many studios have had to close so I’m fortunate I am still running and more in demand than before. I am enjoying learning what works for me best when running the business and how to adapt quickly to keep things sustainable and profitable while offering Yoga for all needs and budgets.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I am an Iyengar Yoga teacher running my own freelance business.
I teach Iyengar Yoga and have a special interest in teaching those who don’t consider themselves ‘good at yoga’ and people with some minor health concerns. It gives me great satisfaction seeing people enjoy a better quality of life thanks to practicing Iyengar yoga with me. One of my regular students is 84 years young and very dedicated. I also really enjoy helping new mums regain their fitness and confidence after giving birth in a healthy, sustainable way that is tailored to them. One of my students moved to Berlin, had a baby last year, and we still meet weekly over Zoom to practice yoga!
I am very proud to have been able to survive the pandemic without having to take on another job (which is fine to do at anytime!). It’s very fulfilling to have been able to help people remotely during the pandemic through the practice of Yoga.
Let’s talk about our city – what do you love? What do you not love?
Love the weather. The food… and the people!
- Website: www.ainhoa-yoga.com
- Instagram: @ainhoaacostayoga
- Facebook: @iyengaryogawithainhoa