Carmen’s life changed dramatically at the age of 15, when a friend gave her a yoga book that helped her establish new mind and body connections she’d never explored before. She was a gymnast, dancer and a Tai-Chi student, but in yoga she found a unique practice that become her life’s inspiration. While living in her native Pinar del Rio, Cuba, she practiced alone for over five years, with that book as her only guide. It wasn’t until she moved to Miami in 2008 that she joined a group practice and started to learn directly from teachers. Since then, Carmen has been certified to teach by the Yoga Alliance, recognized by the International Yoga Vedanta Forest Academy of Rishikesh, and the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres and Ashrams. Her classes are based on the 12 main poses of the traditional Sivananda class and what she calls “Hatha Light,” which is an inspirational practice rooted in the Sivananda teachings, involving an organic blend of movement, breath-awareness and philosophy. Each class includes gentle but challenging physical experiences to build strength, endurance and to reinforce healthy postural alignment. The purpose of the class is to relax the mind and balance personal energy levels.