DT 097: Support in the Struggle with Gianna Purcell and Carolina Villalba

Gianna Purcell (@giannayoga) and Carolina Villalba (@caro_lokah) are the co-owners of Original Hot Yoga 305 (@originalhotyoga305) in Miami and co-founders of Queer Retreats LLC (@queerretreat). In the hopes of inspiring interest and providing access to holistic wellness within the LGBTQ+ community, Gianna and Carolina offer queer-inclusive retreats centered around fun, food, and yoga, as well as education for allies committed to opening their spaces to a broader range of humans. Gianna and Carolina are working hard to make the practice of yoga accessible, safe, and vital to every type of person. Together, Gianna and Carolina hope to breed true acceptance of self and others in all that they offer.


In this episode, you’ll hear from Gianna and Carolina on: 

  • [9.30] Their shared mission to support and empower the LBGTQ+ community by making yoga more inclusive and accessible to marginalized groups. They want everyone to feel free to be fully themselves, to fulfil their potential and to participate in their classes without fear of judgement or alienation.


  • [14.08] Growing through discomfort. Carolina considers the psychological benefits of a challenging and sometimes uncomfortable yoga practice and reflects on how her own experience of learning to cope with challenging situations has led to increased self-awareness, authenticity and personal growth.


  • [25.43] Queer retreats. Gianna and Carolina reveal details of their carefully curated and fun-filled new yoga retreat which is specially designed to cater for LBGTQ+ people and their friends, family and allies. 


  • [38.54] Their advice for creating a safe and non-judgemental space for LBGTQ+ students. Gianna recommends giving people the option to identify as non-binary and cautions against using gender specific language or making assumptions about someone’s gender or sexuality.    


  • [47.55] Supporting social justice. Carolina and Gianna acknowledge the issues of disparity and discrimination facing LBGTQ+ folks and praise the work of their friend and fellow activist Leucas Miller who created Yoga Unbound, a non-profit organization that offers scholarships and donation classes to the trans and POC communities. 




Links from this episode: 


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