What year did you attend training? Why did you go?

Spring 2010 Las Vegas. I had been practicing for 2 years, but I knew within a year I wanted to teach. I did work-study program, worked overtime , and became extremely aware of my spending habits. I knew going to teacher training was going to be transformational for me and my long term goals. The truth is the transformation happened even before training. During the process of saving, eating cleaner, taking yoga everyday to prep for training I became a better  human being. 

What is your favorite thing about being a Bikram Yoga instructor?

  1. The people. We have a special Bikram yoga community!
  2. The ability to travel and teach anywhere.
  3. It is an honor to say I trained for 9 weeks for something I whole-heartedly believe in.

Tell us about your own practice. Which posture is most challenging for you and how do you get through it?

My bikram yoga practice and I have such a special relationship. We go through so many ups and downs! I like to push my body in other areas of fitness so I go into the hot room to heal. I heal physically from the high impact workouts and emotionally from – life. So at the moment I have to say Standing Head to Knee is challenging for me. Yes, physically because of tight lower back and hamstrings.

But also emotionally …the ego loves to creep in on me in the posture. Sometimes the voices in my head are reminding me that I am a teacher and that I SHOULD be killing this posture every time, or that I did the competition in 2014 and it is a disgrace that I am having trouble even grabbing my foot now. I IMMEDIATELY interrupt those DISCOURAGING and sabotaging comments (in my head) by smiling, or just repeating ‘I am doing my best today and my best is enough.’

I silently remind myself that forcing will only hurt me, and it is more POWERFUL to recognize what my body needs and listen.  I also remind myself whatever challenges I face on the mat will allow connection with my students and help me be more compassionate.  And that’s it. I mentally make a deliberate shift in perspective. 

Outside of yoga, what projects are you involved with? What do you do for fun?

I love running, weight lifting, and  I teach intenSati (high impact class with positive affirmations) 

I lead workshops on resilience, and how to become your own “wellness warrior” 

I LOVE to travel. I am leading a retreat in Australia in Feb 2017. 

I have a “Soul on Fire Wellness” Program that helps women become their own wellness warrior so that the can have the courage, confidence and vitality they need to pursue the life they truly desire. 

Making Motivational videos are part of my daily routine!! I go live on Periscope M-F at 8:15am to motivate and help my tribe have a powerful day. 

Working out, reading, attending seminars on self-improvement, dancing , travel, teaching, and Grandma (her food in moderation)  are all things that truly fill up my love tank!! 

Do you have a favorite inspirational quote or saying?

“I am safe in the universe all life loves and supports me.” – Marianne Williamson

It comes in handy when fear comes up or moments of doubt. 

What are you currently reading or listening to?

I am reading The Enzyme Factor by Hiromi Shinya, MD and I the one before was Power vs. Force by David Hawkins (game-changer). 

I am ALWAYS listening to motivational videos by Tony Robbins, Les Brown, Eric Thomas. For my workouts I mix up my playlist with all types of music or I go to youtube and search for “motivational workout music” or “bodybuilding motivation music” … they have hours and hours of free music! 

You’re a performer, can you tell us what you’ve worked on lately or when your next gig is?

I am the star IN THE NEWEST HIT ROM-COM called “What if it works out” It is about this Bronx born Puerto Rican raised by a single mom who refuses to settle. She goes for what wants fearlessly all in the name of love. Instead of living in fear and not taking risks … she takes on the challenge and reminds herself… “What if it works out” 



I AM a performer in life just dancing , playing and doing the best I can!! ;0)

I would love to see you in Australia: http://www.tranquilpoint.com/wakeupthewarriorwithin

AND if you want to hear my full story feel free to checkout some of these videos: 

Awaken the Warrior within You: 


Soul Camp: 


Any final words?

Bikram yoga changed my life. 

This practice has been there for me during the good, bad, and the ugly. 

I say this from the bottom of my heart… all you have to do is SHOW UP with an open heart. 

Show up on the mat for you, your heart, your mental and physical health. 

Honor yourself with 90 minutes of self discovery, awareness without judgement, and love. 


Natalia Maldonado’s Social Channels

instagram: @nywellnesswarrior

twitter: @nati_curlygirl

periscope: nywellnesswarrior

Facebook: New York’s Wellness Warrior 

Youtube: New York’s Wellness Warrior

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