Seattle Yoga News is on a mission to find and highlight all of the hidden, and maybe not so hidden, gems in our yoga community and beyond. We want you to learn about their experiences and perspectives, but also a bit more about their personalities, so we have a few fun questions for them. This week’s spotlight is turned towards Tera Bucasas.

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED WITH YOGA?

Tera Bucasas

Tera Bucasas:

The first time I went to a yoga class was with my parents, in my college years. They had begun going to hot yoga and although this style didn’t really inspire me, it did peak my interest. I started exploring on my own a bit more, going to classes with friends, and practiced while in India, but didn’t have a ton of consistency. Then during a time of huge life changes and health challenges I dove into holistic wellness and was drawn to both yoga and nutrition. This led me to a regular practice and then my first 200hr training.

WHAT KIND OF TRAININGS HAVE YOU PURSUED?

Tera Bucasas

Tera Bucasas:

My first 200 hrs of training was a very modern fitness focused variation of yoga. I knew as soon as it began that it wasn’t my personal style, that I wanted to explore yoga more deeply, but it was a start and the timing was fortuitous. I got the basics and found my voice. It served its purpose. Since then I have gravitated to trainings focused on inclusivity and teaching to diverse body types, such as the Eat Breathe Thrive Facilitator Training, which focuses on prevention and healing of eating disorders and negative body image. I’m also really drawn to holistically based wellness and movement. This has led me to a Nutritional Therapy course as well as exploring movement from various perspectives such as Barre Bohemian methodology, by Adrienne Rabena, and the Mobility Project movement teacher David Gallina.

HOW HAS YOGA INFLUENCED YOUR LIFE & WHO YOU ARE AS A PERSON?

Tera Bucasas

Tera Bucasas:

It teaches me self-compassion (over and over), gives me a creative outlet, constantly humbles me, shows me places for growth and places of strength. It’s a mirror in so many ways. It has influenced how I approach all other movement practices, I have a much stronger sense of intention, proprioception and mindfulness. Yoga allows me to share my heart and to connect to people in a way that brings me so much joy. I have a tendency to be pretty high strung, anxious and perfectionist and yoga helps me wrestle with those things. It’s also led to my interest in biomechanics and energetics.

WHAT’S THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?

Tera Bucasas

Tera Bucasas:

I can have a pretty hard time making decisions and tend to spend a lot of time in my head. Weighing options, finding arguments for all sides and all together just spinning my wheels. In these moments my partner always encourages me to ‘make the harder choice.’ I find this really helpful, of course there’s a lot of nuances to it, but it has been a valuable guide. 

WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST INSPIRATIONAL MOMENT YOU’VE EXPERIENCED AS A YOGA STUDENT? AND HOW ABOUT AS A TEACHER?

Tera Bucasas

Tera Bucasas:

As a student, the first class I ever took from Seane Corn was really inspirational for me. Her teaching spoke to my heart and soul. It moved me. I was inspired by her class’s coinciding simplicity and depth. This class helped me see beyond the physical practice.
As an instructor or facilitator, I think the most inspiring moments are witnessing students connecting to themselves, and each other, in a new way. When I get to facilitate small group workshops or series I’m always inspired by the courage of the participants to be vulnerable and honest with one another. We all may walk in strangers, but we leave with a deep connectedness. That ish makes my heart warm.

WHAT HELPS YOU GET BACK ON YOUR YOGA MAT WHEN YOU ARE FEELING DEMOTIVATED?

Tera Bucasas

Tera Bucasas:

There are a few practices I have when this happens.
1. Asking myself ‘why?’ What’s standing in my way? And also, what would truly best serve me? Sometimes not getting on your mat can be the yoga that needs to be practiced.
2. Knowing that yoga can be practiced in so many ways that it will always be accessible, it doesn’t have to look or be any particular way. It’s easy to not want to come back if we set high expectations for what yoga must be or look like. For me, being unmotivated often comes from feeling stiff, tired or overwhelmed….which means a super physically challenging practice does not sound appealing. Often we associate yoga with the one way we usually practice or the most common way we see it practiced, but there’s freedom in acknowledging the many ways we can practice. Whether that’s lying in savasana, taking a restorative class or sitting with our breath for 5 minutes. Yoga has taught me over and over that, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. I can just show up, be honest with myself and do what nourishes me at the moment.
3. My energy is pretty cyclical and when I get down on myself for being on the downturn of that cycle I stay there longer. If I can surrender to it and trust, it will usually pass eventually and in the meantime, I have the space to practice how I need to, instead of holding the guilt I am not able to practice how I have in the past.

OTHER THAN PRACTICING YOGA, CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT SOME OF YOUR WELLNESS & SELF-CARE HABITS?

Tera Bucasas

Tera Bucasas:

There’s a lot of them! Haha. So get ready! Food and cooking are a large part of my self care. Feeding my body with whole nutrient dense foods…while not overthinking it. There was a point in my life where I went from being a junk food addict to swinging all the way to orthorexia, and I finally have a really healthy relationship with food. Over time I’ve found staying away from things my body is sensitive to, eating mostly whole foods, less sugar and an easy going attitude is the way for me…and sprinkle in gratitude for all the things that give their life for mine to continue.
Staying connected to community and really prioritizing time to spend with them. It’s so easy to think we are ‘connected’ in this growing social media world but I find it much more impactful to speak directly with or spend in-person time with people. From spending quality time with friends and family to meeting in womxn’s circles and facilitating yoga classes. Deep connection to my fellow humans is essential for me.
Taking time to head out beyond the city into the more natural world, void of sound and light pollution. This is when I can really feel my nervous system settle down when I feel deeply connected. The nights where I can look up at the billions of stars, days where I hear nothing but stillness and animals, smell sagebrush in the air (I really like the desert), discover new plants, lay on ancient sun-warmed rocks, think about the people that inhabited these places long before me….this is where I feel at peace. It helps that we have a built-out camper van to take us to these places. 😉
Saying no sometimes. This has been a challenge to learn over the years (got those people-pleaser tendencies), but has also been hugely beneficial to my mental and emotional wellbeing. I am more introverted and need time alone, so recognizing when that is and honoring it.
Moving in a variety of fun ways. My partner and I climb, I enjoy dancing, exploring movement culture (a combo of gymnastics, martial arts, parkour, dance, strength training, and exploration of human movement patterns), I teach a strength-based yoga-inspired class, go on walks, and am always trying out new movement styles and techniques. It’s easy to get into a rhythm or routine that leads to repetitive movements or feelings of obligation to some particular kind of movement. What’s been best for me is doing things that I enjoy, and allowing that to change because exercise, or movement, out of obligation hasn’t worked out for me. Bonus that moving in new ways exercises our brain and neural pathways too!
Sleep!! I am someone who does best on 8-10 hours of sleep, and I prioritize this. When I compromise it, I pay, and it’s usually just not worth it.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE YOGA RELATED BOOK?

Tera Bucasas

Tera Bucasas:

Oh goodness, favorites are my least favorite. I love books, especially this genre! The 2 that come to mind are:
1) The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching by Thich Nhat Hanh.
2) Yoga: The Spirit and Practice of Moving into Stillness by Eric Schiffmann.

WHAT IS ONE THING MOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU?

Tera Bucasas

Tera Bucasas:

If someone has read my old blog, ever heard my podcast, or had any longer discussion with me, then they know a whole lot about me. I value being open and vulnerable. But I guess something that doesn’t often come up is that my first job out of high school was working for the street maintenance department with the City of Tukwila. Full days of trash picking, bus stop cleaning, landscaping and street striping. Orange shirt and steel toed boots. It was quite the experience.

WHO IS THE YOGI WE SHOULD FEATURE NEXT?

Tera Bucasas

Tera Bucasas:

Casey Hubbell, co-founder of Yoga Wild in Tacoma…I realize this is not exactly Seattle, but I wasn’t sure how large the range is. She is not only a fantastic instructor, but an inspirational business leader. I am constantly inspired by her, and her business partners,’ uncompromising commitment to their values. They are committed to inclusivity and service and they walk their talk. Tirelessly working to create ways for yoga to be more accessible, from classes for English language learners, sliding scale payment options, storytime yoga for kids and more. Casey, and Yoga Wild, are mindfully working to expand how yoga is perceived and who it’s accessible to. She is rad AF, and I am super grateful to be a part of what she is building.

Tera Bucasas’ Bio: Tera is endlessly curious and loves to constantly be learning. She is fascinated and inspired by the interconnection between all things. She believes yoga allows us time to connect to ourselves and others in a sacred way. An opportunity to not only take care of our physical, mental and emotional selves but a time to connect to our shared humanity. She believes in the power of exploring yoga in and out of postures. What she loves about teaching is the opportunity to connect to people, in person, to create a space that is safe to show up, be real and continually grow together. She is passionate about facilitating small group workshops and leading womxn’s circles. Find out where and when you can gather with Tera next  on her website or take a peak at her IG (although she’d rather just meet you in person!)


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