Two years ago I began this journey as a blogger, a content creator. I did this because I wanted other women, other mothers to know that they aren’t alone. Each and every one of us has a story to tell. I decided, with the encouragement of many, that it was time to tell my story. So I did. Over the course of the last two years and really, over my lifetime, I have met some amazing women who have impacted me whether they knew it or not.
This year, I have decided to tell you all about these women. Why? Because as women, we need to lift up ALL women. Not just the women who are famous. Not just the women with the same political viewpoint. Not just women who have a certain number on IG or Facebook. All women deserve praise. All women deserve support. All women deserve appreciation.
Every month I will share with you a woman who I feel embodies the definition. Women who are caring, supportive and make, in my view, a positive impact. Some you will know, most of them you won’t. I hope you take the time to read all about them and why I feel they are deserving of this series, “Women Who Inspire”. Enjoy!
If you’ve read my blog at all or follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you’ll know who Georgina Shaffer is to me. If not, she started as my yoga instructor and became my bff. Really, she became who I would consider family. She is one of those people in my life who will tell it like it is. She will tell me to push myself further, she will tell me I CAN DO Anything….within reason. If I want to try a new pose, she will make sure I’ve warmed up properly and that with my body that I can do the pose. Or she will tell me I can’t or I can do a modification. She will constantly tell me to “get outside your head, Kathy!”
She will also take wild and crazy photos and is more than willing to adventure to wild and crazy places with me. We are friends who are family. She has been my constant these last few years and she has been the person who helped me through the days when our sons were gone, when my husband was on a business trip, when work was stressful.
So you really aren’t surprised that she has made my list, but really she inspires me in so many other ways. No, she isn’t perfect. We all have flaws and issues, it is how we deal with them that shows the character of who we are. She inspires me because….
She was 16 when she had her daughter. 16 and living in her native Mexico. She chose to keep and raise her daughter alone. And she did it. She did all that she needed to provide for Bjork. She did a tremendous job. Bjork is a beautiful strong independent caring young woman because that is how Georgina raised her. She raised her by example. Showing her that she was the only one who could determine her future. I love watching them together. There is a bond there that few mother-daughters have these days.
Georgina is a curvy yoga instructor in an industry full of young, thin stereotypical yoginis. She makes yoga accessible to ALL body types, to all ages. Believe me when I tell you how refreshing this is. I’ve done yoga with many instructors. I’ve walked in and seen the looks they and their “regulars” give us when we arrive to class. We’ve been disregarded because of our age (me) and our size (her). We have never been intimidated enough to walk out of a class because, whateverrrrr, right? We gave everyone the benefit of the doubt and allowed them to prove us wrong. In some cases they did, in many cases they did not.
I think this is one of the reasons I have always loved her classes. Georgina makes EVERYONE feel special in her classes. She will give modifications without calling you out. Her classes are a No Judgement Zone. Isn’t that what we want in our fitness journey? In life? We want and deserve to have people support and encourage us through it all. People who believe in us. People who see us as beautiful, no matter the day we are having.
She is an innovator, bringing SUP Yoga, Indo Yoga, Blacklight Yoga, Yoga Wheel workshops and classes, Wellness Retreats, Empower Circles and more to our community. She is constantly learning and honing her craft. When she hears about new props or new types of classes, she embraces the new and incorporates it into classes. No two class are alike. It isn’t the same-old-same-old when you walk into yoga, no cookie cutter instructors who can’t teach to someone overcoming a sprained wrist or who needs the music to cue them to what to say next. Believe me, I am never bored that is for sure!
She continues to teach, no matter the day she is having. I think what many people don’t know is that Georgina suffers from hip dysplasia. She struggles with constant pain, but she doesn’t let it define her. She takes her own advise and does modifications to her practice. Most days you wouldn’t know how much she is hurting. She continues to teach, go on adventures, walk her rescue dog, Tiago, be wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend. She shows is all that you CAN be active with injury. You CAN believe in yourself and you ARE beautiful.
These are a few of the reasons why she inspires me and makes my list this year. Want to know more about her? Hear it in her own words….then follow her on Facebook and Instagram as azulsupyoga.com @discoveringgeorgina_ @azulsupyoga
From G –
What resonates the most when you meet someone the first time? When I meet people I have no expectations, I really don’t. I give myself time to meet the people, I don’t rush the process. If they are meant to be in my life as a student or a friend, that will come or it won’t. When I was young, I know I rushed to judgement based on what someone said or what they looked like. I look back on that now and I know I closed myself off to the opportunity to make a friendship, a relationship. With age comes wisdom, and that is definitely true. I now wait to get to know people more.
Who inspires you in your fitness, what keeps you moving? My students inspire me. The ones that come to me that struggle after injury, after surgery, or with aging. I find strength in knowing that me teaching them, my knowledge of yoga and the body and how it moves keeps them coming back and being able to achieve amazing things they never thought they could. I also know that one day I will have to apply all of this to myself in my own journey.
As for what keeps me moving, it is because I know I am responsible for so many people in my life. Myself, my husband, my children, my students, my sister. My motivation is to make sure I can walk so I can do things with my family, that I can keep walking my dog, I can keep teaching my classes and showing my students and other teachers how best to grow in their yoga practice. I want to travel. I want to experience life. This is what keeps me moving.
What is your intention for the next five years? I am ready to grow my business and take it to the next level by opening my own studio. I have my own floating studio, so why not my own studio outside of my home. While I love to travel and to take teacher trainings from my mentors, I know those things will happen because I will make them happen. Having my own studio is the next step. I’m also working to learn how to manage my time better between my life and my studio. I know that I will need to master that over the next five years so my life as I want it can happen.