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A conversation with Gina Caputo: Read our interview with sandwich-loving " Yogini on the loose"

 Yogini on the loose

Beautiful Gina Caputo is from Colorado, and has been a yoga teacher for 14 years, she’s teaching a playful vinyasa that’s mainly inspired by the group of people she’s guiding. We meet this sandwich-loving yogini on the loose, to a little talk about the deep shit, the bull-shit and the not-so-deep-shit.

Q: So where do you place the needle on the "yoga as a spiritual practice" versus "yoga as a body shaper" scale?

Gina: Hatha yoga for me is a practice in which we use our physical body as the main tool for spiritual revolution. There are many types of yoga, but with Hatha Yoga it allows us to go from a very ordinary consciousness to extraordinary consciousness by studying our bodies, understanding our bodies, and then go deeper than that. So within your body is your breath. Even subtler than that are the movements of energy, the shapes we make with our bodies. So I would definitely say that I fall on the side of the spectrum where yoga is a very spiritual practice, but at the same time I think it would be silly to miss the opportunity to work with your body. Maybe sometimes it means you work quite hard. Maybe sometimes it means you suffer a little. Maybe it means you experience great joy in your body. But the relationship between the body and mind is very evident to me, and so I think it is important to embrace yoga as a physical practice, because that is the pathway of hatha yoga, to the spiritual growth. If yoga is a path of transformation, which we say it is, the way we hold our body, has an impact on that transformation. So if you want to shift from sadness to joy, from anger to peace, I think it’s important to realize that what you do with your body has an impact on that.

Q: What drew you to yoga?

Gina: Being in my early twenties I was a college student and working full time at the same time – I was 100% financial independent, paying for school, paying for my living. It really meant I was very busy all the time and quite stressed. At the time, one of my teachers at college decided to start every class with about 10 to 15 minutes of yoga, and I remember being in three pose on one of the first days, and had a very profound moment where I finally found inner quietude for the first time in as long as I can remember. And as I put my foot back down I realized that this was something really quite special.

Q: Do you do any other form of exercise/meditation?

Gina: Oh yeah! I’m a very avid hiker, and it’s just as important to me to get outside, as it is to practice yoga. If I’m travelling to places where I can’t hike, I try to get outside anyway every day, to just walk. Hiking for me is my main mediation practice – you are moving in a steady, rhythmic pace. The other thing I do, is snowboarding. Sowboarding, for me is also like a moving meditation, you are moving really fast and you have to stay focused all the time. I’m in complete presence.

Q: Who inspire your yoga practice?

Gina: My inspiration mainly comes from my students. I travel a lot, and in many different time zones, which means I’m often very tired, but what will wake me up, is the fact that people are actually showing up. The fact that they made the time to be right here at this moment, that’s what inspires me. I step into the room, and it’s like I had the best night’s sleep ever, I’m feeling excited and innovative. In this day and age, I realize that it’s difficult for people to have the time; you MAKE time – you don’t find it accidentally – you MAKE the time to practice yoga. So when I look out at the group of people that made the time to be here – that fills me up, much more than any other teacher, book or anything could do. I’m trying to meet people where they are, so that continues to help me want to be creative.

copenhagen yogafestival Gina

Q: Have you ever felt so attached to someone or something that you couldn't let them or it go, even though they/it didn't serve you any purpose?

Gina: I’m participating as a teacher in a teacher-training program with various other teachers. And sometimes I have to let go of my control to collaborate with other teachers who are thinking differently than I am. So how did I to learn to let go of this attachment? Well to be honest, I had a strong emotional reaction, and I got upset, but this is where the yoga comes in, I get upset, but I’m also noticing that I’m getting upset. So yoga has giving me the inner witness to say: “Look how angry you are right now”. It’s not judgment, it’s just noticing. Then I try to zoom out to get the panoramic vision, to see that my attachment is to control the quality, maybe it’s okay to just experience something different.

Q: Do you have any advice for us to become less dis-connected to ourselves and more in tune with what goes on in our body/mind?

Gina: First and foremost: Have a fearlessness about self-enquiries – the noticing. Sometimes you notice that you are being an asshole, or that you are not so good at asana and we immediately go to a place of, maybe shame and guilt. So my advice is, to recognize that we all have these shadow-aspects, and to be fearless about revealing them. First to yourself and then even to other people. Because the fact is, we all have them. We are all dealing with something. Don’t be afraid to acknowledge bullshit and don’t be afraid to slice through it (*). When we are fearless enough to be authentic, the easier the process will be to stay connected to ourselves and to continue to grow and evolve.
Secondly, part of being fearless and being in revealing is to have a sense of humor about it. Stuff that you are not good at and struggle with, just keep your sense of humor and you’ll be okay.

Q: How do you eat? What foods do you include most? What do you avoid?

Gina: I love sandwiches – I think sandwiches are perfect. I don’t have special diet, but I love home cooked meals, I like food that are very clearly prepared in a loving way. The thought and energy that goes into the food, for me, is more important than what it is. So I never eat process food – it’s dead energy.

Q: If you could only do one pose, which one would it be?

Gina: The profound answer would be seated meditation or shavasana. But my first thought is to go to a pose that brings me great joy to do. Also I like poses that are absurd, because they’ll make me laugh. So I’ll probably go with Titibasana (Firefly). You feel absurd when it’s right, and you feel even more absurd when you are loosing it. It makes me laugh – you can’t loose with Titibasana.

Q: Do you have any heath rituals you would like to share with us?

Gina: My number one health ritual that I do every day and everywhere, no matter where I am, is tongue scraping. I see it as helping my body to remove the waste it gathers while I’m at sleep at night. It removes the waste and the bacteria, and it also cleans the breath.

(*)Those of you participating on Gina’s workshop on Saturday, knows that she’s referring to the bullshit sword.


This article is written by:

Yogalove.dk Finest

Pernille Lekic
Zenia Santini

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