Yoga and meditation teacher, Magali Rodriguez, will be at the forefront of your wellbeing during your next visit to Villa del Palmar Cancun and is a leading participant in this month’s October Wellness. Find out in this interview what inspires Magali and how attending one of her classes could make you feel refreshed and ready to face life’s challenges once again.
How would you describe yourself?
At 23 years old, I consider myself to be a happy and fulfilled person. I have made radical changes in my life so that I can dedicate myself to what is now my biggest passion: yoga. I have always leaned towards activities related to wellbeing — whether in terms of physical, mental or spiritual wellness.
How did you find yourself on the yoga path?
Before training to be a yoga instructor, I studied nutrition and gastronomy, during which time I took my first yoga class and began to awaken spiritually and mentally. Ever since then, I knew that this is what I wanted to do and share. Yoga gave me a bigger engine with which to direct my life and so I didn’t hesitate to start my first studies within the discipline. I joined It’s Yoga, a studio with amazing teachers, and by the end of one and a half years I was certified as an instructor. My teachers could see my great desire to learn, because even on Fridays, on my day off, I was there first thing. One of my guides in this process was Liliana Mejia with whom I completed the certification.
How do you keep yourself up-to-date with current trends?
Since my certification, I have continued to attend different workshops and courses, seeking new techniques within the discipline, making sure that I remain at the cutting-edge of what is happening in the world of spiritual well being. Amongst other courses, I studied Reiki with Fernando Fernandez, tui na massage, acroyoga and became certified to provide yoga classes for children. I also took a two-month retreat in India, where I connected with its temples and beauty, learning how to meditate effectively. Today, my yoga practice is strongly influenced by meditation especially those techniques encouraged by Osho.
When did your passion for wellness, yoga, meditation and the art of living begin?
Many people are surprised that someone so young has this level of awareness about life and health; however, ever since middle school, I have felt a strong attraction to alternative healthcare, nutrition, massage and meditation, especially as my mother is a healer who uses alternative techniques. The harmony between all these aspects of my life made me want to do this forever, so that yoga is not only a lifestyle but a career that is more like a hobby because it is something I enjoy so much. It doesn’t feel like a job to me.
Is yoga a common pastime where you grew up?
It’s funny because in the small town where I am from in the state of Mexico there is no such discipline; however, there is a great tradition of alternative healing. All the women in my family on my mother’s side, especially her sisters, work as healers in some way. One of my aunts is an iridologist (diagnosis by reading the iris), another aunt is a Reiki and energy healer, while my mother is a therapist. Of the next generation, one of my cousins is a physiotherapist, and then there is me seeking balance between the body, mind and spirit. We are a family dedicated to wellbeing; I am so blessed.
What is it like to be in charge of the hotel’s wellness department in a large city like Cancun?
No one has asked me that question before, not even myself; but I can say that I show my commitment to the job by example, looking after my body, diet and thoughts. When you lead any project, especially one dedicated to well being, there must be integrity with what you teach and how you live your life so that you can positively influence your team.
What do you do to pamper yourself?
It’s very important to make sure that our source of energy is vibrant so that we can share it with others, so I make sure I find time to reconnect. I really enjoy pampering myself by taking a massage at least once a month (more if I can), which energizes me and strengthens my resolve. I usually choose relaxing massages or reflexology, as well as therapies that help realign the spine, which is essential in the work that I do. Also, as the saying goes, “you are what you eat!” so I am drawn towards eating food that is “alive” like raw fruits and vegetable. What we eat influences our thoughts, which has an effect on our health and well being. For example, if we eat heavy carbohydrates, our thoughts become heavy too, that is, they have a more negative charge. And finally, but most importantly, daily meditation is a habit for me as important as getting dressed.
How do you create the WOW effect in your department?
For me, an honest gesture or smile is always noted, and is a way that I can connect with our members and guests. I smile from my heart, emitting the happiness and peace that I carry inside, to transmit my feelings in an authentic way, which convert into energy that influences others so that everything flows. I think that when you are aware of life, and how wonderful it is to be in the present moment, then you connect with a higher power, allowing yourself to be a channel through which energy can flow, helping others to enjoy themselves fully too.