When we prioritize taking care of our bodies from the inside out, we build the foundation for looking and feeling our best externally. Dr. Elsa Jungman sat down for a discussion with movement and mindfulness teacher, Idalina Vieira of Portland, Oregon to discuss all things facial yoga, holistic health and wellness practices, and the importance of giving your body a reset.
Dr. EJ: Tell us a little about yourself and how you found yourself in this sector of the wellness community?
Idalina: Currently based in Portland, OR, I primarily work as a movement/mindfulness teacher and restorative justice counselor at a local Charter School. Additionally, I am a certified Kundalini Yoga teacher, and have been practicing this and other modalities of yoga for about a decade. My interest in facilitating mindfulness meditation and yoga with both youth and adults is in part thanks to my mom. She brought me into awareness of holistic health and wellness practices at an early age through her work as a deep tissue and injury massage therapist in the Pacific Northwest. As a young single parent, I often joined her in various workshops and classes, and by proxy, the importance of body consciousness has been deeply ingrained.
Dr. EJ: How do you find engaging with a mindfulness practice (ex: facial yoga) supports you internally and externally?
Idalina: This past year and a half has been an incredibly stressful time for so many, and my own experience with both the collective and personal turmoil, has been an invitation and initiation to dive deeper with mindfulness practices. I find facial yoga to be a radical opportunity to give love to this part of the body that often holds tension, and rarely receives touch. The stimulation of various regions of the face not only relaxes but also helps detoxify, as with therapeutic facial reflexology.
Dr. EJ: For those curious about your upcoming facial yoga class, what pieces of advice or ideas on what to expect would you tell them?
Idalina: My first piece of advice is to bring awareness into your hydration habits- do you drink enough water? As we stimulate and awaken regions of the face coinciding with the lymphatic system and detoxification, water is going to be our best friend in aiding this process. As for the flow of the class, we will begin with Mindfulness meditation and lead into guided facial yoga techniques working with the Oat Power Moisturizing Serum, or a serum of choice. I’m so excited to meet everyone that feels called to this practice!
Dr. EJ: How do you know, for you personally, when it’s time to reset? What’s your favorite way to do this?
Idalina: Because body awareness has been integral to my daily practice for so long, when I neglect her, she is quick to let me know! For me that often looks like emotional fatigue, sensory sensitivity, disrupted sleep, and general impatience. Lately, my favorite way to tend to self and body during the Portland heat wave has been to drink home-made herbal and fruit infusions, read fiction, and just lay down. Sometimes this leads to a nap when my day allows for it, which is a welcome change of pace :)
Dr. EJ: What is your hope for the future of wellness?
Idalina: When thinking about our collective physical/emotional wellness, my hope is for access and equity. This could look like an ability for working class families to earn wages that allow for more time for restorative practices. In a wider lens, I hope for a reprogramming and prioritization of our connectivity with environment, peers, and society that repairs harm and heals intergenerational trauma. This may feel like a tall order, but in working with youth I get to see these things in action, that for them seem self-evident, and it helps me feel hope.
To learn more about Idalina Vieira, you can visit her website. Lastly, join our upcoming Facial Yoga + Mindfulness for Glowing Skin workshop on July 15th at 11AM PST hosted by Idalina Vieira by registering here.