Say hello to our newest Village Yoga family member, Olivia!
In 2013 Olivia attended Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado, where she studied under Nataraja Kallio and Sree Devi. She received her Bachelors degree in Traditional Eastern Arts with a concentration in yoga, as well as completing 1,000 hours of yoga teacher training. Upon graduation in 2015, Olivia registered with Yoga Alliance, and used her yoga teaching as means to travel throughout Central America, where she drew on inspiration from local culture, nature, and surfing. Feeling at home within the beach lifestyle, Olivia came to the Outer Banks in October 2016 to complete the Kunga Yoga Lifestyle Program through Village Yoga and Wilmington Yoga Center, studying under her teachers, Jessica Moody and Kristen Cooper.
Olivia’s classes are inspired by music, nature, playfulness, and meditation. By using Kunga teachings of service through yoga, she seeks to guide students of all levels, through exploring their mind, body, and soul in finding self love; So that all can step off of the mat feeling balanced, nourished, and inspired to share that love with the world.
Name: Olivia Muscatello
How many years have you been practicing yoga?
I have been practicing yoga consistently for about five years, although my fist ever yoga practice began when I was probably 6 or 7, and my mom had a ‘Yoga for Kids’ video, my favorite pose was vrksasana, lots of ‘Look mom, I’m a tree!’ moments.
How many years have you been teaching yoga?
I have been teaching yoga for just over a year now! My first teaching experience was at a surf camp in Costa Rica called DreamSea, it was incredible! I got to teach classes on the beach during sunset, or morning sessions under a mango tree… I would love to go back and participate in some of my first classes, to experience where I was at then versus now.
Why do you teach? I teach yoga because I love yoga! I believe then when learning anything (cooking, painting, history, gardening… anything!) we learn the best by studying with people who truly love what they teach; it comes with such an authenticity, and I feel that it inspires those studying or practicing to want to learn more! When I am teaching a class, I strive to ignite the same inspiration within all students so that they feel as excited as I am to explore their own yoga!
What is your favorite class to teach and why?
My favorite classes to teach are super juicy, deep stretchy, slow flow, or yin classes. I feel that many yogis, self included, tend to want to rush through a class or go full speed ahead, and power up! Which is totally awesome and fun! But to be able to guide students into slowing down, and spend some serious time in just a few poses is so special to me. My favorite part of teaching a slow flow or yin class is at the very end, after savasasa, and after we close, when everyone begins to roll up their mats, and almost literally ‘float’ out of the room. Seeing the students eyes relaxed, and a small smile on their face as they exit gives me the best feeling knowing that I helped guide them there.
Describe your personal practice…
My personal practice has two sides, one is hot, fun, fluid, and playful; the other is super slow and stretchy. I tend to favor the playful side, but there are those early mornings, or late nights when all my body wants is some deep stretches, deep breaths, and relaxation. I love to dance and move my body, so when I practice asana I like to play some fun music and just flow! Inspired by the music and what my body is craving, it’s exciting to see where the present state of mind will take me! (which oftentimes really just ends up as a dance party haha!)
What does yoga mean to you?
When I read this question, my brain initially goes to the word ‘union’ because that was it translates to in Sanskrit, but to me personally… It simply means love. Yoga has brought so much love into my own life, that I want it to bring even more love to the world! I want to unite the world through love, by using yoga! Through practicing yoga, I have found the love for myself, which intern has allowed to me to turn on my love light outwards to the world! All beings deserve to feel loved, and I believe that through a mindful yogic lifestyle the love will become contagious! (Plus its totally fun!)
When you’re not practicing yoga, you are…
One of my greatest passions and inspirations is listening to, and experiencing, live music. If Im not practicing yoga you will find me seeking out local live music, dancing barefoot at music festivals, or inviting you over to listen to old records and having a dance party! I live through movement, it recharges my soul and makes me feel alive! Especially with other people! Whether old friends, or complete strangers, sharing the experience of a live musical performance is powerful, it brings people together, feeling comfortable, loose, groovy… If I am dancing next to you, to the same song, we now have the present moment in common, which in turn is uniting us, together, through doing something we love! (Which is totally yoga!) >I get excited just thinking about it!
Who or What inspires you?
Mama Earth!! If not live music, my first and foremost greatest inspiration is this beautiful planet which we are so lucky to inhabit! The wonders of her power and beauty are mind-blowing.The tides of the ocean, being pulled by the moon shifting across the entire globe. A sunflower chasing the sun throughout the entire day. Butterflies transforming from one stage of life to another embracing every step of the way. Trees shedding their leaves in preparations for winter, and budding again every spring. Birds singing in the morning, flying together as a unit, migrating with the seasons. Cacti storing water in their body, because they understand that they live in the desert. Everything works harmoniously exactly the way it needs to.
Tell us a unique fact about yourself…
I am crazy about coconuts! Coconut milk, coconut oil, shaved coconut, coconut water… the lot. I am allergic to tree-nuts, which started the craze when I was looking for a non-dairy milk alternative, and landed on coconut milk! Now I can’t get enough! (I even like to use coconut essential oil to smell like one!)
Find out when Olivia teaches here!