COME MEET YOUR SELF
I came to Yoga in 1998 when I lived in NYC working a 9-5 job in a photo agency. My first Yoga class was nothing less than transformational. The experience of moving through postures in order to facilitate the flow of energy inside, rather than performing movement for a spectator, created a huge shift of consciousness in me.
My journey of self-discovery began, exploring the power of breath combined with mindful movement. I dove into the practice because I could feel the benefits of providing more ease and clarity in my mind, while strengthening my physical body in previously unfelt ways. I understood then that body and mind are truly inextricably connected, and that we have the power to create our own environment within by directing prana (life force) through the channels in our body.
Stilling the mind in meditation became a necessity to cope with the stress around me. A whole new world opened up for me and I couldn’t believe there were people out there that hadn’t yet discovered the power of this practice!
After witnessing 9/11 I moved into the mountains north of Los Angeles. My practice grew and evolved under the guidance of many great teachers in LA. I completed my 200 hour teacher training in 2002 with the original founders of Yogaworks, Maty Ezraty and Chuck Miller, and went on apprenticing with Annie Carpenter for 6 months. I have been teaching ever since.
After the birth of my 3 daughters I became a certified Children’s Yoga Instructor through mini yogis, and created a pilot program at Topanga Elementary School, teaching Yoga to kids from Kindergarten - 3rd grade.
My continuing studies have led me to Yoga’s sister science Ayurveda and in 2015 I completed my Ayurveda Wellness Counseling training through James Bailey.
“In my public classes you are guided through a soulful, nourishing flow that is both heating and invigorating, and at the same time calming and self-reflective. I encourage you to inquire within as our bodies move through various postures to allow energy to move through us and to remove blockages through conscious breathing, alignment and the cultivation of awareness.
I invite you to practice at your own pace and to always stay true to your own breath, so that the postures unfold as a result of an inner opening and expansion. My sequences aim to gradually and progressively open the body in order to meet our true Self, confront our limits and transcend them. Yoga is about cultivating Self-awareness and being present in each moment. It is about using the opportunities that reveal themselves to us through mindful practice, allowing emotional healing to take place while we strengthen our physical bodies.”
I currently live in Topanga, CA with my husband Steve Sas Schwartz and our 3 daughters, who continue to remind me that I am a better person when I find time to spend on the mat.
The practice of Yoga, which includes meditation and Pranayama, has led me to it’s sister science Ayurveda. Ayurveda is the science of life and the art of self-healing. Both yoga and Ayurveda originate from the ancient Vedic scriptures and date back thousands of years. The practice of Yoga leads us to self-transformation, the practice of Ayurveda leads us towards health.
According to Ayurveda, health is a continuous and participatory process that embraces all aspects of life: physical, mental, emotional, behavioral, spiritual, familial, social and universal. Achieving balance on all levels of being is the true measure of vibrant health..
Both Yoga and Ayurveda instill a better understanding about ourselves, our place in the universe (we are a microcosm of the macrocosm that is the universe) and they both emphasize the effect of the mind on our bodies.
Our bodies have an inherent wisdom to heal ourselves. The way to maintain health and lead a healthy life style is through self care. The changes that can transform a stressed out, diseased body into one that feels balanced and energetic don’t have to be drastic. Once you start creating an inner awareness of what your body needs to feel at ease, relaxed and strong you are on your way to creating and maintaining a heathy life style.
We are born with a unique proportion of dynamic energies, called the doshas, which is our constitution, or Prakriti. These energetic principles govern all physical and mental processes. The doshas change constantly in response to our actions, thoughts, emotions, the foods we eat, the seasons, and any other sensory inputs that feed our mind and body.
In my two hour Ayurveda assessment sessions you will learn some of the basic principles of Ayurveda, and walk away with an increased knowledge about yourself that will help you transform your life.
We will determine your constitution and your current dosha imbalance. This is done through a conversation, questions, and careful observation that help me better understand your uniqueness.
I will be examining your tongue and reading your pulse to tie it all together and gain a clear understanding of what you need to come back into balance.
You will learn about the Ayurvedic clock, daily self care rituals (dinacharya), seasonal regimen, herbs and other remedies for maintaining good health and prevention and treatment of disease. You will find out about foods that help you heal, foods that are best to stay away from and food that don’t combine well. We will talk about the importance of sleep, the practice of Yoga (Including meditation and pranayama) and you’ll discover the essential role of good digestion and how to strengthen your digestive system. We will look for signs of toxins (ama) in your body and figure out the best way to gently bring you back to a state of health and balance, considering cleansing techniques, eating habits and other life style choices.
Your new self care repertoire will change your life, and the way you feel physically, mentally and emotionally.
If you would like to inquire about an Ayurveda assessment with me, please fill out this form and we will be connected!
"I have been practicing yoga regularly for 7 years now and Vivica’s yoga class has been a transforming experience for me. It is difficult to put into words other than to say that her practice is as much spiritual as it is physical movement of postures. Her combination of tutorial movement, breath and focus on the mat gives me, and I think the class as a whole, a sense of Peace so badly needed in this modern age. If you are beginner, Go. If you are advanced in the yogic tradition, Go. Go to Vivica for yourself and everyone in your life. You will feel better physically and be a better person for having been touched by Vivica’s Yogic path. I promise you."
- Tom Valinote
"I have been practicing yoga for 30 years. I have been lucky enough to experience some great classes, some great teachers. I walked into Vivica's vinyasa flow yoga class about 8 years ago and knew that I had struck gold. I have been taking her classes on a regular basis since. Vivica is the consummate instructor. She exudes the most beautiful, gracious energy. Her sequencing is so intelligent, her cues so precise. I always leave Vivica's classes feeling better than when I entered. She is a natural teacher . She encourages but does not force, she reminds her students that yoga is not just a physical practice, but an emotional and spiritual one as well. I became a certified yoga teacher about 7 years ago and I often find myself just watching her and learning from her as a way of improving my own teaching skills. I can't say enough about what a phenomenal teacher Vivica is. Namaste"
- Claudia Yorke M.A., CYT
"I am new to Yogaworks and to Vivica's class but I am a lifelong yogi and Pilates instructor. I was immediately drawn to Vivica's gentle and instructive narration , her patience and obvious kindness. She clearly embodies all the qualities that one strives to cultivate as a yogi, self awareness, inner strength, tranquility and gratitude.
Vivica is interested in her students and interacting with them obviously has a symbiotic effect on her as she weaves pranayama, drishti and sthira into a physically satisfying series of vinyasa flow poses. Just today I am one step closer to a handstand thanks to the time Vivica took to explain technique to me. I am grateful for having met her and will continue to seek out her classes. :)"