OY Ambassador Esther Fernandez is a yoga teacher, passionate globetrotter and power woman. In this inspiring interview, she talks about her principles, finding peace and the key to happiness.
OY: Body and mind alignment is a central aspect of yoga. How do you best transmit that to your students?
Esther: Mahatma Gandhi said that “Happiness is achieved when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony.”, this is for me, the basis of an aligned mind. If you act this way your life will be aligned, and you’ll be happy. It is imperative to know your body and to be mindful of it. You have to listen to it and feel it. You should act on what you think, not on external influences. This is the basis of my teaching and I try to transmit it in each and every one of my practices.
You currently live in Zarautz, Spain. In 3 words, what do you most love about the city?
I love the sea, the mountains and the sunsets.
For someone who travels so much, do you have a favorite place in the world, like a beach or a town?
I have visited Indonesia quite a few times, and I always go back. I cannot pick a single place, from Papua, passing through the Moluccas and Timor to Sumatra: I love every corner!
Do you believe in mystical or magical places?
Yes of course. There are places in Bali, Peru or India, that have a special energy for me. But mysticism and magic are created by people and the situation at the right time.
You recently went to Shanghai. In such a busy city, how and where do you find peace?
Finding Zen in the midst of chaos simply means slowing down, focusing on the moment. Instead of escaping all the madness and chaos around you, be at peace with it. Just press the pause button, get a grip on your thoughts and let them flow.
Tell us about your eating habits and how they influence your lifestyle.
I grew up in a family that likes to eat. For some years now, we’ve been growing the vegetables we eat at home ourselves. When I travel I also try to keep healthy food habits. I do not eat sugar, little red meat and fish and mainly fresh and organic products of which I like to know the source. I also enjoy wild, natural ingredients that are of ethical origin, local and seasonal. In this way, the nutritional power is preserved intact. Once you start eating healthily, it becomes a habit, almost like a drug, one feels good and can no longer eat differently. Eating healthily should be a pleasure, not a punishment. To summarize my philosophy, I like food that is good for me, good for the planet (low waste, recycling, working with local producers etc.) and delicious at the same time.
What does traveling, meeting new people and cultures mean to you?
I cannot imagine my life without traveling. A trip is made by people and cultures. All of this has an influence on your life and makes you who you are.
You’ve made some big changes in your life in the past couple of years. Tell us about that.
After 9 years of yoga practice, the year after moving to Zarautz, I decided to train to develop a style of yoga that I liked and did not bore me. Before that, I had been in the same office for 9 years, working in the largest group of cooperative companies in the world. Today I give about 15 yoga classes a week, between studios and companies and I organize events and retreats.
I have a great project in progress that will see the light very soon… I will keep you informed 🙂
Thank you so much, Esther, for giving us insight in your inspirational way of life!
For more info, check out Esther’s website