Welcome back, fam! It’s been a while since our last blog! Excited to get this rolling again….
A little intro…if you haven’t taken his class, been the recipient of one of his all-encompassing hugs or masterful high-fives, you haven’t lived. Gilbert energy is something the whole world needs to experience…it’s truly something special and I’m honored to get to share a bit more about him today. Here’s to hoping you enjoy this feature almost as much as Gilbert enjoys Taco Bell.
Living the dream some would tell you. I’ll agree, I’m living better than most, there are far more dreams than nightmares. I spend most days barefoot helping people do something that makes them feel better about themselves and they are as excited to see me as I am seeing them. I never thought I’d be teaching yoga full time, never thought I’d be teaching yoga in the first place, yet I’m becoming the teacher I believed I could be when I started. Pet watching, house sitting, and people driving, to get ahead and just to get by.
I still want more. Of what I don’t always know. A nicer place, doesn’t need to be big, but big enough for company. A bed that doesn’t sink in the middle. A washer and dryer. Money would be nice, I had it once, and it took more than it gave. I’m better now at 33.
- Gilbert Valenzuela
DM: Let’s just get this out there in the open right off the bat…you’re one of my favorite people for more reasons that I can find words for, so this is an honor to get to show you some love today and share with our community a little bit more about what makes up the extraordinary Gilbert Valenzuela, I think we’d be hard pressed to find a duplicate of you anywhere. So YAY! We’ll get right into it…you’ve been a teacher for a while now. Tell me, what’s your proudest teaching accomplishment?
GV: Proudest moments are small. Someone's first crow. A high five after class. A student who becomes a regular. A regular who brings someone new to my class.
DM: I like that. You’re right, proudest moments are small. They don’t always have to be these huge life-changing pivots, it’s beautiful that you’ve found them in the less noticed moments, the accumulation of the day to day stuff that we can be really grateful for…the stuff that shows us first hand that we’re making a difference in the lives of our students. Very cool. How do you think students would describe your class?
GV: Fun. Challenging. Strong
DM: As someone who has taken your class, I’d agree with those statements. I think your classes have this lightness of heart about them which is a direct reflection of the real-live human-being that you are…I appreciate that you’re just you, every where you go in every thing you do. You weren’t a part of the teaching staff at the Brentwood studio, how’d you find us? What pulled you to teach at Fahrenheit 2.0?
GV: Nora. She took my class at CorePower and came back after that. I'd heard about Fahrenheit from other students, but never had a chance to practice at the old location. Nora invited me to the intensive for the new studio and the rest is history, I'm forever grateful for the opportunity to teach at Fahrenheit and be a part of the community.
DM: The first time we met was the first day of the intensive…I remember you rolling in late through the parking lot, yoga mat in tow. For those of you who didn’t know, last October we invited over forty teachers to learn, practice teach, build community, and inevitably hire our genius teaching staff. You are a natural fit and we’re really grateful to have you! Besides Fahrenheit, where else do you teach?
GV: Besides Fahrenheit, I teach at CorePower, Small World Yoga, Studio 51st.
DM: Let’s switch gears. A lot of new people are intimidated to try yoga…where did you start? What was your first class like?
GV: It was at the YMCA with my friend Colleen. I don't remember too much other than it being harder than I thought it was going to be, but I liked it enough to keep coming back.
DM: And what advice would you have for the yoga newbie?
GV: Listen, to the cues, your breath, your body. Allow yourself to observe the experience, let go of forcing poses to look a certain way, notice how you feel in the pose and go from there.
DM: Yes! It truly is a practice of self-awareness, noticing, feeling, letting go, returning to ourselves, repeat repeat repeat. So, ladies…Gilbert is single, I hope my saying that doesn’t cause a stampede…or maybe I hope that it does! haha. But what advice would you have to give to the single yogi?
GV: …don't sweat it, that's what the hot classes are for. Use this time to become a better you, it's your practice, and you'll be better when your someone comes along.
DM: Did you get that from a taco bell hot sauce packet? Jk. (check out the instagram story for the replay on that one) . Let’s wrap this up with some rapid fire…we’re the same type of weird if…
GV: …you spend significant lengths of time getting a dog to howl with you.
DM: The biggest risk I’ve (you’ve) ever taken…
GV: Leaving my previous job as a project manager and my only plan was to travel the world for a while.
DM: Never have I ever…
GV: …been completely honest playing never have I ever.
DM: lol. Good to know. Usual skills…
GV: Pretty competitive Connect 4 player.
DM: Worst idea I’ve (you’ve) ever had…
GV: …letting my cousin give me highlights in high school.
DM: Oh no. I really hope you have a picture of that!
GV: I don’t.
DM: Dig one up. We need this. Weirdest gift you’ve ever received…
GV: an open/used game of tiddly winks...
DM: Mine was a countertop cupcake maker…it looked like a giant cupcake…but it only baked six cupcakes at a time. Can’t you bake more in the oven? I was so confused. Something you recently discovered…
GV: …someone broke into my car, thankfully, they didn't take anything, not my glasses, not my yoga mat, not my checkbook, or my white tiger jacket. They really missed an opportunity.
DM: I would say so! I’ve seen that white tiger jacket! Don’t hate me if…
GV: I want to take over the speaker and play music for everyone.
DM: I don’t think we would…you’ve got a great taste in music. Speaking of…what are your go-to songs right now?
GV: Raury - Devil's Whisper. John Craigie - Dissecting the Bird. Kanye West - Street Lights
DM: And what’s on your bookshelf?
GV: Charles Bukowski. Junot Diaz. J.D. Salinger. Brené Brown. Books on yoga. Self Improvement. Psychology. Fiction.
DM: Where were you born?
GV: El Paso, TX
DM: Lastly, do you have any pet peeves?
GV: Chewing with your mouth open. Leaving the windshield wipers faster than they need to be and they start to screech.
DM: I hear you on both of those. Thank you so much, Gilbert! We love you!
Want more Gilbert? Check out his Instagram here. We also have a Gilbert feature going up in our Instagram story today that you do not want to miss! If you don't follow us yet, we’d love to have you! But the very best place to experience our Gilby is in one of his classes…check out his schedule and sign-up here.
See you soon!