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Life & Work with Joy Scola

Today we’d like to introduce you to Joy Scola.

Hi Joy, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
Originally from California, my transition into fitness and Yoga started when 24 years old. I was walking up the stairs to my second-story apartment in San Antonio, TX carrying all of my groceries and when I reached the top, I was so winded that I had to take a moment to catch my breath. There, I had an epiphany! I am supposed to be in my prime physical condition right now but if I had to run or fight for my life, I’d die!

That day, I messaged a friend about joining a gym together and we began to workout. It sucked and was brutal at first but after three months, I started to see and feel the results! Then when looking into trying a rock climbing Groupon offer, I called the facility to see if they’d be open since it was Valentine’s Day. They said yes and to come early because they were also having an Acrobatic Yoga class. “It’s where you pick people up on your feet and do cool balances and routines!”, they said. So I thought, ‘why not?’

My first experience with being in the air was amazing! I thought, this is the bees knees and was instantly hooked. From there, I gave up my gym membership and dedicated all of my available time to training in Acro Yoga – sometimes spending 5-8 hours a day training with ex-gymnasts, aerialists, and rock climbers.

After about six months, I quit my sales job in SA and moved to Austin where I started coaching gymnastics, leading fitness videos on YouTube, and teaching private aerial lessons. There, I took my first Hatha Yoga class and while struggling in Down Dog, the teacher made an adjustment that instantly clicked and made sense in body. I began to dive deep into Hatha Yoga, taking many classes and studying the 8-limbs until I decided to become a certified Hatha instructor,

My teacher training was a beautiful, intense, and healing journey. The course focused on trauma-awareness and how to release trauma from the body. It was fascinating to explore all the ways I had pushed down and forgotten about things from my past. It opened my eyes to how we all carry trauma within us and how most don’t even realize it. This taught me to always be patient and loving towards others – especially those who were angry.

Now, living in Miami, having just completed Barre Training for Exhale Spa. While teaching in person classes and private lessons, I continue to create a variety of YouTube videos that focus on healing while remaining playful. I also recently designed an online Yoga course that helps beginners and instructors on how to sequence flows for themselves or their classes based on a different needs.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The journey was not always easy! There were many times when I questioned if this was what I was meant to do in life. However, teaching yoga has brought some of the most beautiful and rewarding moments such as hearing that I’ve helped bring peace and calm to those going through extremely difficult situations. Being deeply determined to serve others, getting that kind of feedback really warms my heart and inspires me to keep going.

Through all of this, I have found that it’s our trials and setbacks that make us uniquely capable to help others going through similar adversities. It’s about seeing the blessings in disguise by turning all experiences into learning opportunities. My dream is to help all others realize this in themselves so that they are able to love and honor all the parts of themselves to create lasting healing. Only then can we live truly fulfilling and healthy lives.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
My Yoga practice and teaching style are what make me unique as a Yoga instructor. Being an artist my whole life, I feel that creativity applies to teaching so I adapt my classes on the spot based on who’s in the room and the events happening in the world. I weave together many forms of Yoga, breathwork, and meditation to create flows that meet the class’s needs by first meeting the energy where it’s at then blending the modalities to influence that energy in the direction it needs to go.

My goal when teaching is to leave students feeling more open, fluid, and relaxed in their bodies. My hope is that they soften to all experiences in and around them so that they are more capable of releasing stuck energy and pent-up emotions. In class, I emphasize that Yoga is not just about stretching but is actually a practice for life. How we meet and deal with a difficult pose is how we meet and deal with a difficult situation or person. By learning to slow down and forge greater distance between the trigger and our reaction, we’re able to have the mental clarity to think about what outcome would be a win-win for all.

Alright, so to wrap up, is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
I believe that when a person establishes ways of staying calm and centered, always that then ripples out when interacting with others. By always coming from a place of love and listening, we demonstrate to others how responding vs reacting can create the best end result for any situation. This then produces a safe space for us all to come together to be seen, heard, understood, loved, and accepted – realizing there is no such thing as “other” for we are all connected.

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