Maria Elena Baez-Dominguez

Hillsdale, NJ
United States

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Fate often has a way of intervening in our lives when we least expect it. Over Fourteen years ago, tragedy hit the home front, my son; a United States Marine was shot by a sniper and left paralyzed from the neck down. Our life’s changed its course of direction, which in turn, drastically, designed a new purpose of life, still and forever in progress.
While trying to figure out what had hit us, and how to save myself and help my son regain love for living, Yoga decided it would find me - quite literally. A Yoga magazine with an article on
“ Yoga 28 Day Challenge” was left in the hospital cafeteria, and I have been practicing yoga ever since.
A lot of good has happened since that first meeting with Yoga. One of the most important was that, even without completing the 200 hour teacher training, I followed the instructions on that particular magazine, page by page, and took it upon myself to motivate and teach the mothers and spouses of the wounded veterans that had become my newly found family. We needed to become strong and resilient, we needed to have health and faith, we needed to do it together, or we would die Everyday was a new struggle, and I felt my goals crystallized; like a pearl in the making, through pain and fear, we practiced together, we became strong and we were able to face each day and battle with a strong heart and body.
Yoga helped us, and provided solace, spirituality, loving kindness, humility, surrender and courage. I am a woman with a strong and faithful and heart, I am positive, compassionate and passionate. I strongly believe in paying it forward and helping others in need. In 2014 I completed the 200 Hour Teacher Training in my hometown of Hillsdale, New Jersey with Mandy Grant, of Juluka Yoga. I’ve taken in numerous certifications with Raji Thron of Yoga Synthesis, Daniel Leven of Kripalu, & Kelley Solloway, Yoga Synthesis, and many other great teachers. I continue to seek yoga and spiritual knowledge and have incorporated various yoga modalities, such as Yoga Nidra, Yoga for Trauma, Yoga for Veterans, The Yoga of Dance, Gentle-Restorative, Yin Yoga, Hatha Yoga and Vinyasa Flow in my offerings. My yoga practice and approach is based on Bhakti Yoga, love and service without expecting anything in return or attachments. I have a warm and confident personality which is often described as "soothing yet challenging" by my loyal students. I am a Latina by birth, born in the Dominican Republic. I speak and write perfect Spanish and English and I am of strong character with an excellent capacity to adapt. (Thanks to being born in a third world country)


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