Student Feature: Valdis Vitayaudom

Valdis (aka Victor) was our #1 attending student in 2017 - attending 325 classes! And he's on track for being #1 in 2018 as well! I guess it helps that he lives just a few houses down from TULA. His energy and incredible dedication to yoga is admirable, so choosing him for our very first Student Feature was an easy choice. I ask him all the time who are his favorite teachers or classes and he always replies that he likes them all - he just loves yoga. Here's a little bit more about Victor and why he's one of our most interesting and cherished students.

Hometown: Too many because I’ve moved often during my childhood.  Logan Square is my longest residence for two decades. Doubling down here has been a therapeutic counterculture to my parent's pursuit of their ideal home.

Sign: Gemini. Enough said and maybe too much already.

Favorite Color: Orange because I’ve gotten over gray years ago

Favorite Movie: Too many, but owe it to yoga for clearing my plate of thoughts into the present possibilities rather than explore cinema. So I would have to say documentaries about food/environment is my new love.

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What would your last meal be? Any great 3+ course vegetarian meal will do (preferably Michelin star). I respect the chef that much more for bringing out the flavor from produce. It’s a difficult feat to manage.

What brought you to yoga? A book about Kundalini. 

What brought you to TULA? GasLight Coffee hours are later on weekends than weekdays so I didn’t have a place to journal my thoughts. I thought I'd try TULA's 8am Saturday class one morning instead of walking around the neighborhood. 

What is your favorite yoga pose (and why)? Ones where one hand is grounded and the other finger tip pierce the sky. I like to imagine a beam of energy sent to the universe.

What are the benefits you have experienced from a regular yoga practice? Posture. Body alignment is so important to the flow of blood, nerves, chi, prolonging the joy of life. That and absorbing more yin to balance out my yang.

What is your Least favorite pose (and why)? Tree pose because my balance it’s off. Interesting how yoga knows me so well with its ability to transmute between the physical, mental, and spiritual like a philosophers stone.

What advice you would give someone just starting yoga? Relax and Breathe.

What is your favorite after-yoga activity? My contrarian reply would be cooking breakfast for the kids before morning class. It is a creative kind of time stress management. Yoga gives me a natural high with its post rewarding sense of accomplishment for me to unwind from during yoga. This way I have less thoughts and more in the present during class with less post worries to get them to school on time.

List 3 fun facts we don’t know about you: 

- In Logan Square, I’ve done extensive camping indoors in the most comedic ways.

- My wife was by my side the entire time so she’s quite a trooper and I love her for accepting me with all my faults to guide me toward the light.

- I always known I can learn more from others early on in childhood but just recently starting to learn to drop my filters so I can try better process my kids viewpoints to embrace them as they are.

 Victor's family. 

Victor's family.