Mirian Alonso Cuenca is by far the only certified Prana yoga teacher in Spain. She is one of Shiva Rea’s favourite students and a real yoga, beauty and love ‘’warrior”. Riding the wave of Prana and life, Mirian is a source of pure inspiration for yoga practitioners all around Spain. Despite her busy schedule, Mirian found the time to give a brief interview for 2 Health Blog, in which she talked about the magic of Prana Flow, Shiva Rea’s influence and love, and what being a real yoga teacher means to her.
2HB: When did you cross paths with yoga?
M: It was 18 years ago. My mother used to practice Yoga, but at that time I thought of Yoga in a completely different way. In my mind Yoga was only for old people with physical injuries or reduced mobility.
Later on, I found that the Yoga practice could be a way to balance my body and mind, and to connect with my heart. This is when I rediscovered Yoga. I started practicing the Yamas in order to balance my mind and heart. The asanas came around much later, about three years ago. Thanks to the conscious practice of the Yamas and the Niyamas for such a long time, my current asana practice is built on a better understanding and a firm foundation.
2HB: What was the reason why you decided to go from 'being just a yoga practitioner' to 'becoming a yoga teacher'?
M: I have always known that my destiny is to become a Yoga teacher, as Yoga combines all the things I love in life.
When I turned 30, I decided that the moment had come to travel to another part of the world and pursue my destiny. I chose India. There I did 200 hours of Ashtanga Yoga. A little bit later I got to know Shiva Rea and I started studying with her. When a great Yoga school like Samudra is interested in your teaching and believes in you, you have to jump right into it. And this is what I did! I started teaching the moment I realized that I needed to put into practice all the things that had learn.
2HB: Is there a cliché about yoga teachers? And what does being a real yoga teacher mean, in your opinion?
M: When we ask yoga teachers for how long they have been practicing Yoga, most of them would respond: “I started 10 years ago”, “since I was a child”, “for 18 years so far”, etc. Yet, the most important thing is not how long we have been practicing Yoga, but how much we have learned. We can be practicing Yoga all our lives, but when we are practicing it in the wrong way the whole experience doesn’t mean anything at all. This is true for any path we take: the most valued thing is how we use our experience to help other people in the simplest way.
To me, a good yoga teacher is someone who practices consciously and focuses on her/his devotion to teach and help. A good teacher should be open to share with others what he/she has learned and should always be passionate about continuing learning.
2HB: You are Shiva Rea's student and follower. What did the communication with her give you: as a person, as a practitioner and as a teacher.
M: Shiva is a very devoted person. She always dedicates time to each of her students or followers. She really listens to what people tell her and she makes each and every person feel unique. To simply be in her presence illuminates your path and charges you with pure inspiration and wisdom. Shiva gives you the power to connect with your inner flow, your own rhythm and creativity. All the things you learn from her are valuable for you as a person, practitioner and teacher. I am so glad the universe made sure Shiva and I met each other.
2HB: What makes Shiva so special and extraordinary?
M: The way Shiva observed that the traditional Yoga practice needed an evolution made her a real game-changer.
She knew by experience how to choose the most important aspects of Yoga and how to change them in a creative way in order to build a Yoga practice connected to the natural cycles of life. This is how the style Prana was born. Prana Flow allows us to adapt our practice to the changes in life; changes that are natural to us as human beings and natural to our surroundings too.
2HB: Why did you choose Prana? What is the magic of Prana?
M: In the beginning I didn’t know what Prana Flow was. Yet, I decided to trust my intuition, so I signed up for one of Shiva’s advanced workshops of Rasa Vinyasa in London.
After participating in the workshop for five days and inhaling Shiva’s knowledge, I found Prana was spectacular. Although I was quite overwhelmed, I enjoyed the experience in every way. Keeping up with the rhythm of the class, however, was a challenge. So I dedicated to start taking pictures and making videos in order to stay on track and not miss out on anything.
This made it possible for me to also enjoy the beauty of hundreds of bodies full of magnificent prana: vital energy, dancing in the rhythm of the breath waves.
Prana makes you move with the rhythm of life and in that way it helps you connect to your own rhythm too.
2HB: What is the biggest misperception about Prana?
M: Before entering the class a lot of people would ask me: “Is this a pranayama class?”.
After the class they would come to me again to tell me enthusiastically that they have never experienced a class like this and that they have never flowed with so much liberty before. They feel like they are dancing to the rhythm of their hearts and feel a great connection to their true self.
Prana Flow can be a bit confusing if we don’t specify how the class will go. Because even if we follow a good structure, Prana yoga is like life: we flow in the class with the rhythm of our hearts, which influences our breathing and movements. So every class is and feels different. It’s like the pulse of life.
Moreover, we on top of Shiva’s teaching experience from the last fifteen years, in Prana we also have influences from Krishnamacharya’s traditions, Tantra, Ayurveda, Bhakti and Somatics. All that makes Prana such a multifaceted practice.
2HB: How famous is Prana in Spain and how are people responding to that style in yoga in your country?
M: At the moment I am the only certified Prana Flow teacher by Shiva Rea in Spain. However, hopefully soon we will be more as some of my friends are currently studying with her. And I believe that little by little Shiva’s style will become even more popular. Spain would need Shiva to come over more frequently, so she ould share her power, knowledge and energy in person. In the meantime, I will do everything in my power to reach more and more people, inspire everyone around me and spread Shiva’s wisdom.
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