Although her name sounds almost as exotic as you’d expect from some yoga teachers, Ana Pilar’s name is actually Spanish for “pillar of grace”. If you know her or have taken her classes, you’ll understand how this also reflects her personality and teaching style. Ana Pilar Cruz is half Puerto Rican and half Scottish. Her extensive travels and living abroad have given her an open-minded outlook on life that has been invaluable to both her teaching and personal yoga practice. Bilingual, she has a special way of sharing her talent in teaching and exploration of yoga with both English and Spanish-speaking students.
Ana Pilar first discovered yoga as many of the younger generation does now, in college, while studying Film and Art History at Emerson College in Boston. It wasn’t until she moved to Austin in 2000, however, that she discovered her dharma. Yoga has been and continues to play an important role in Ana Pilar’s life during periods of growth and change. Her unique relationship with regular, private, and teacher training students, as well as the countless members of the yoga teacher community, inspire her to evolve and further define her own practice today.
Ana Pilar holds an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher/ERYT-500 Certification through Yoga Alliance. You’ll find her teaching Hatha Beginners Series classes at Yoga Yoga in Austin and teaching teachers in Yoga Yoga’s Teacher Training program. She also teaches regular classes like Hatha and Hatha Flow. Ana Pilar’s classes are great for students who are new to yoga and need a demonstration and explanation of the postures, as well as for experienced students who want to investigate movement on a deeper level. Her Hatha Star and Hatha classes are gentle enough for students who are working with limitations, while her Hatha Flow classes are more dynamic, typically involving inversions and more advanced breath work.
Inspired by the Viniyoga method, Ana Pilar helps her students to connect the breath with movement and use postures that protect and strengthen the lower back, a vulnerable part of the body that often needs attention. Before coming into poses and holding them, she first has students open up their bodies with dynamic motion. Her classes end with a pranayama, or breath control exercise, so that students leave with calm, focused energy.
Read more about Ana Pilar’s yoga lineage, background, and influences.