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 Vivian Mach.

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED WITH YOGA?

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Vivian Mach:

I started practicing yoga when I was in college, trying to find new workouts to add into my routine. I’ve never worked out in a heated space before, so to me that was absolutely mind-blowing! I found such energetic peace after my first hot yoga class, I knew I had to go back.

WHAT KIND OF TRAININGS HAVE YOU PURSUED?

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Vivian Mach:

When I moved to Seattle I enrolled int a 200hr Vinyasa Teacher Training in Winter and was certified early Spring of 2016. I am certified in Yin Yoga.

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

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Vivian Mach:

Yoga has taught me that my practice goes well beyond the 4 corners of my mat. It’s more than just moving your body and the shapes that you make. I’ve learned about self-love, tolerance with myself for things I can’t control, and various paths of actions to take so that all beings everywhere can be happy and free. Especially since COVID-19, yoga has taken on a whole new meaning for me. It has helped me find my truth, my genuine aspirations and goals, in my career and life.

 

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

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Vivian Mach:

Enjoy the spaces in between, the time from one stepping stone to another, because that’s where life happens.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE THAT YOU HAVE FACED AS A YOGA TEACHER?

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Vivian Mach:

Having to shift from in person teaching to virtual teaching has been quite the hurdle. For a while I was challenged with how I couldn’t offer physical assists and adjustments while only being able to see my students through a screen. But this hurdle has allowed me to gain a new layer of depth in my cueing, which I feel has turned me into a more well-rounded teacher.

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

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Vivian Mach:

Most inspirational moment as a student:

As a teacher, my students always inspire me to create more diverse flows that can be versatile, unique, and most importantly accessible for all bodies.

Most inspirational moment as a teacher:

When I took my first Vinyasa class without chaturangas, as a student I was blown away. Up until then I thought Vinyasa had to have chaturangas in the flow. As a teacher, I now try to be purposeful with my chaturanga placement and for the most part won’t use them. I remember receiving positive feedback from my students on my flows with no chaturangas in them, and I knew then and there- move how you want, not how you think you should.

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

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Vivian Mach:

Whenever I’m feeling out of sorts, something that motivates me to get back on my mat is the notion of protecting my peace. My mat is first and foremost my safe space-not only a space for physical movement. My motivation varies from making the smallest of movements, bumping the most upbeat songs, or utilizing all the props- anything to make me feel better.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE YOGA RELATED BOOK?

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Vivian Mach:

So many to choose from! One of my favorite parts about yoga are the Chakras, so my
favorite yoga book would have to be The Wheels of Life by Anodea Judith PhD.

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

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Vivian Mach:

I absolutely love face masks, so I tried to come up with a routine where I can mix and match all my skin-care products throughout the week. I love everything from jade rolling my sheet masks, Glossier masks in the evening, vegan tree oil masks immediately post workouts, to my all-time favorite “cold plunge” mask from Ole Henrikson (feels exactly how it sounds!). I also got a Peloton so I could integrate daily cardio workouts in-I love a good spin class to get me going!

WHO IS THE YOGI WE SHOULD FEATURE NEXT?

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Vivian Mach:

The next yogi who should be featured is Frances Hammond. She has a great wealth of knowledge on yoga and has accessible classes. She cares about her students by always making them feel welcomed and seen, and has been in the Seattle yoga community for many years.

Vivian Mach’s Bio: I’m Vivian, a SoCal girl living in a PNW world. I’m obsessed with Seattle’s amazing coffee! Standup Paddleboading in South Lake Union is always the highlight of my PNW summers. I solo backpacked Europe for 3 months last summer, trying to hit my goal of traveling to 30 countries before turning 30 (I’m currently 3 away!).
When I started my yoga business, Machasana, the purpose of my platform was to create accessible, lively, and energetic Vinyasa classes for every yogi, no matter their experience with yoga. I strive to make my online community an inclusive and diverse place where students, especially POC students, can unapologetically hold their space and protect their peace.
I love taking my yoga practice off my mat. Since adopting my senior mini schnauzer Jake 4 years ago, rescue animals hold a special place in my heart. So, I came up with Down Dog Donations-weekly live classes that donate proceeds to various animal shelters in need, especially during times of COVID. Through Machasana, I’ve been able to donate to numerous local and nationwide rescue animal shelters, as well as sponsoring a senior dog’s hospice care during his final refuge. I also raised money for social justice causes, such as the ACLU and Mona Relief (a charity in Yemen to help those affected by famine and COVID). Lastly, I created #FianceFriyayGiveaways, partnering up with wedding and bachelorette vendors to giveaway goodies and a free bachelorette yoga class to lucky COVID Brides. As a COVID bride myself, I wanted to spread joy to those who were also experiencing heartbreak in postponing weddings.
Come flow with me! You can find a variety of classes offered on www.machasana.com where you can schedule one in a time slot that works for you! Make sure to follow me on Instagram and Facebook @machasana to get the latest updates on classes, newest $7 yoga recordings, and all the dog yoga videos of Jake! Catch you on the mat!