About Nataliya

Hello, my name is Nataliya. 

I am so glad that you stopped by FindYourZen and I am looking forward to connecting with you! Like many of you, I am always trying to balance it all – family, career, health, and social activities. Life is busy, I totally get it, it is full of distractions and stressors; our bodies are overused, our minds are overwhelmed, and our souls are overworked. That is why I founded FindYourZen. As I was looking for some much-needed balance in my own life, I discovered tools that I needed, tools that made life much easier, healthier, & happier, and I am excited to share all of these tools with you.

My yoga journey started almost 10 years ago when I took my first yoga class at the university gym. I went to the class based on a recommendation I got from my chiropractor, who I was seeing three times a week to manage back pain I was experiencing that was the result of a herniated disk. I enjoyed each yoga class immensely, and immediately, I felt relief, not just from my back pain. Even though I would compile grocery lists and manage homework schedule in my head during meditation/savasana, something kept drawing me back to yoga.

I was never the healthiest or the most athletic kid in town, I was born with a hip dysplasia. I was also not born with the strongest immune system, and I was constantly almost failing gym class because I could never reach my toes with my fingertips. My analytical mind & perfectionistic personality did not make my situation any easier. I was your typical A+ student, I had a results-driven personality, and the desire to be the best. This kept me constantly on my toes! All of this was accompanied with never-ending worries, rumination, occasional insomnia, and even emotional breakdowns.

During the time of my quarter life, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. This is when I woke up.  Not just from the anesthesia, but from my own ignorance! I woke up to take full responsibility for the stress that I was putting on my body, for the worrying thoughts that kept me up at night, and for the way that I related to others through my filter of high expectations and demands. Yoga became more than just me stretching and strengthening my muscles in a hot room. With yoga, I entered a whole new world of getting to know my body and mind in a very different way than I had even know it before. My curiosity led me on a journey to explore and study meditation, mindfulness, and other yoga practices.

Here are the practices that I took that led me to to where I am today:

  • Vipassana – Mindfulness meditation which comes from the Buddhist tradition, where students learn how to stay in the present and not to react to always-changing circumstances that occur in the outside world.
  • Meditation Based Stress Reduction program authored by Jon Kabat-Zinn from the University of Massachusetts offers a science- based experiential approach to mindfulness.
  • 200Hr Yoga Teacher training at Ahimsa Yoga – I studied Hatha, Vinyasa, and Restorative yoga disciplines, and also discovered the true transformative power of yoga beyond the mat. I realized that the mat is just a training ground for the mindfulness, non-judgement, and compassion muscle that should be used off the mat as well.
  • Life Coaching at the Centre of Applied Neuroscience in Toronto. I learned various practical tools relating to self-exploration, positive psychology, goal-setting etc.
  • Various yoga & meditation workshops

Does this mean I am always in a Zen-like state and never get frustrated? Absolutely not! I am human, just as human as anybody else. A regular yoga and meditation practice taught me how to bring myself to a wonderful place of calm & clarity when the stakes are high. Now, I know how to negotiate with my body and not allow it absorb stress. From my continued practice, I am able to explore the connection between thoughts, emotions, and my behavior in order to navigate my life better, and to keep learning. Most importantly, I now know how to put myself first, so that I can be the mother, wife, and leader I aspire to be. The truth is that you can’t pour from an empty cup.

Seeing how yoga has impacted my life, I consider it my mission to bring this newfound awareness to as many people as possible, spreading the joy of yoga one heart at a time