Aline Fernandes grew up in Rio Grande, a small fishing village in Brazil. For the first seventeen years of her life, bare feet, sports, and the outdoors defined her daily activities. Then, a photographer friend asked if he could take her photo, and her world turned upside down. Once hired by a modeling agency, tall trees turned into tall buildings and her bare feet were strapped into high heels.
Since then, she’s strutted the runways in New York, but modeling has never been enough for her. Aline was searching for something more meaningful when she encountered Ashtanga yoga in Sydney, Australia. Her discovery marked the beginning a long, spiritual relationship with yoga, a connection that has allowed her to feel healthier, happier, and more balanced in life.
We couldn’t think of a more inspiring yoga expert to bring us into the world of bodily awareness and inner strength. Aline allowed us a sneak peek into her every day life and worldly adventures.
For making a life out of yoga
Yoga appeared in my life in 2002 while I was living in NYC. I had just moved from Europe, where I worked as a model, and came here to continue my career. I was feeling completely off balance, living in big cities and working in a field that didn’t foster the same values I cherish. I was in search for something meaningful, something deeper.
The practice felt so familiar; I felt at home.
At that time, Yoga wasn’t cool and you couldn’t find a juice place on every corner of NYC. Slowly, I started changing my diet, and I became vegetarian; when my energy field changed and I attracted what I have been searching for, that’s when I discovered Ashtanga Yoga. It was love at first sight. The practice felt so familiar; I felt at home. As soon as I discovered that the Master of Ashtanga Yoga, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, was living in Mysore, India, I started doing yearly trips to study over there at the source. Meanwhile, I continued my studies in NYC with Eddie Stern.
I never thought I would turn into a Yoga Teacher, but my commitment and love for the practice pulled me in that direction and everything aligned.
A few years later, after building a consistent daily practice and commitment to this Yoga system, Eddie invited me to assist him. So my path and journey to becoming a teacher have been very organic. I never thought I would turn into a Yoga Teacher, but my commitment and love for the practice pulled me in that direction and everything aligned.
How to inspire others to start the practice
I feel that more and more people are searching for some type of a connection. Life is becoming so fast and we are living in a society that pulls us from our essence. We are so thirsty for some type of practice that reinforces important values and helps us feel more and think less.
Inspiring others to practice can be done in so many ways: simply practicing around them helps people to connect and feel something unique and profound.
What you have learned from yoga, and in starting Vida Yogi
It has given me a stronger mind, vitality and energy, and a huge smile on my face.
Yoga has helped me in so many ways. It has given me clarity and strength while going through challenging situations in daily life. It has given me a trust for the unknown and uncertain. It has given me a stronger mind, vitality and energy, and a huge smile on my face. It has taught me to act unconditionally without getting too attached to the results. And most of all, it has taught me that the main certainty in life is our impermanence. Everything is constantly moving and changing so it makes me appreciate life even more.
My intentions with VidaYogi are to share and inspire a lifestyle that will help people to be more connected to their true selves.
Favorite things about New York and Brazil
I have never been a city person, believe or not, even after living in NYC for 14 years. What captured my attention about NYC was the endless access to culture, music, art, and information. I’m a curious person and always interested in learning new things. NYC is a powerful machine in that sense.
Brazil will always be Brazil, with a unique energy and way of living. Even with all the difficulties that Brazil has been facing, it always makes me feel recharged, healthy, and centered with my essence.
How New York and Brazil respond differently to yoga
Each country responds and has a relationship with yoga – or any other spiritual practice – in a different way. It has so much to do with what people need and crave and also their climate and culture.
Yoga helps people slow down and simplify life.
NYC is a super fast-paced city where anything and everything is available. Yoga helps people slow down and simplify life. Yoga reminds them of their real values and how important it is to build a connection with oneself first in order to interact with the external world.
Brazil is more the opposite, a mellow country, with a bohemian lifestyle that allows people to enjoy life and take it easy. There, I feel yoga helps people be more committed and internally strong. It gives them drive and focus.
Favorite place for a healthy meal
Relaxing places to stay/practice yoga
In New York, I highly recommend spending some time in the Hudson Valley, going for a hike and soaking up the magic of the mountains. For practicing Yoga, go visit with my teacher, Eddie Stern, at the Brooklyn Yoga Club.
Brazil has so many relaxing places… I would say check out Fernando de Noronha (an island in northeast Brazil).
I wake up, sit and meditate for 20 min, have my Yerba Maté, and do my yoga practice.
Best foods for feeling energized
Must-have skincare products
I’m a huge fan of Pratima’s Ayurvedic products. Green Vibrance, Grapefruit Seed extract (liquid) and Calm (magnesium) are always with me on daily basis and on the road.
Favorite makeup products
Favorite yoga clothing/yoga brands
A just designed a Yoga line for a Brazilian brand called, 2 Peace. So this Yoga Clothing has been my favorite at the moment!
A good book or magazine
Daring Greatly by Brené Brown
Lani Allen is a senior at Columbia University majoring in Creative Writing and concentrating in Spanish. After serving as Vice President of her class for two years, she has contributed written pieces and illustrations to many on-campus publications. As a writer with a passion for beauty, Lani enjoys capturing the stories of innovative thinkers and risk-takers shaping the industry as we know it.