As a kid, Devon Pinto’s mom would always try to get him to take yoga classes she taught. But Pinto rebelled and called the practice “boring.” He couldn’t seem to grasp why people enjoyed it, and never found a passion the way most do.

However, a turning point occurred when his family moved to Ecuador. As a way of connecting with his

Devon Pinto

mom, Pinto decided to give yoga another shot and began practicing in her class.

“Once I started feeling the benefits in my body, and in my life in general, I started becoming happier and feeling livelier,” said Pinto. “I built a passion in my heart for yoga and anytime I would stop doing it I would feel the negative effects on my body. I knew yoga would be a part of my life forever.”

Pinto eventually moved back to Carlsbad, California, and began practicing at Yoga Tropics. There, he participated in the studio’s work trade program, cleaning up the studio in exchange for classes. A co-owner of the studio, Tracey Stockalper, suggested he sign up for the teacher training program after noticing his ability to lead others. He then fell into a routine of picking up classes at the studio.

Pinto’s life quickly took a turn after appearing on Season 35 of the hit-reality show Survivor. His social media following skyrocketed, and it seemed a majority of America was rooting for the yoga-practicing kid from California. However, he didn’t let this enlarge his ego. Rather, he strives to use his social media presence for good and promote the benefits of following a healthy lifestyle.

“I was never a social media person,” said Pinto. “Now that I have a following and people say they look up to me and I inspire them, it pushes me and ignites a fire in me to want to be a positive light. A lot of people use attention to say, ‘look at me’ for the wrong reasons. The only reason I am on social media is to be a good influence and show how I view this beautiful life and hope others can view it the same way.”

Pinto continues to teach at Yoga Tropics and Four Moons Spa. He is working to create a donation-based program, with proceeds going directly to charities in his community.

“I ultimately want to travel up the West Coast and eventually all over the United States, teaching along the way with those interested in taking a class with me,” said Pinto. “I have a calling to spread the love across the United States, and I’m going to follow it as long as I can.”