“Wear sunscreen.”

“Win like you’re used to it, lose like you enjoyed it for a change.”

“Be as optimistic as you can, as often as you can.”

Arielle Bertolone

These phrases have something in common. At one point or another, a parent or role model has uttered something similar to a child during a time they were doing the opposite. The child may have laughed or scoffed at their advice — until years later. Fast forward a few years and it doesn’t seem so silly to believe in the importance of sunscreen, how to win and lose with grace, or how to always see the light in a situation.

It’s common for kids to stray as far as possible from the path of what their parents want them to do. In Arielle Bertolone’s case, this happened to be yoga.

“My mother practiced yoga the entire time I was growing up,” said Bertolone. “She had her own home practice. I wanted nothing to do with it, of course. I tried yoga a few times, but I was a gym rat at the time and I did not connect with the styles I tried.”

But like most people, Bertolone found her own way, forging her own unique path to yoga.

“Finally after trying many styles, the intensity of an ashtanga practice drew me in,” said Bertolone. “The structure and dedication found in the style were things I really needed in my early twenties.”

Bertolone’s desire to study for her 200-hour certification grew from her realization there weren’t many vinyasa flow style of classes being offered in her area. “I wanted to share creative sequences and a movement-based practice with others,” said Bertolone.

Bertolone now teaches at Eugene Yoga in Eugene, Oregon. Her hope for her future endeavors is to distill what people are offering as yoga. She wants to show yoga instructors the importance in being clear about the aims and purposes of a yoga practice.

“Many of my group classes I consider to be asana-based fitness, which is not a negative thing,” said Bertolone. “When it is possible, yoga needs to be presented in context with its history and philosophy. When something else is being presented, like mindful movement, I hope there is clarification in how that differs from a practice meant to still the fluctuations of the mind and facilitate a meditative state. This starts with more rigorous certification and mentorship programs and better learning environments than the group fitness model.”