We had the good fortune of connecting with Yesica Rodriguez and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Yesica, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
I was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. When I was 2-years-old, my family moved to Connecticut. We faced a lot of discrimination there and while I don’t remember much of it from when I was very young, I do have some memories from those times. Eventually, we moved to Maryland which is where I grew up. Every summer, we would go back to Puerto Rico so I spend much of my childhood there. When I was in Maryland, I felt like an outsider. You might say I was seen as too Puerto Rican. In Puerto Rico, I also felt like an outsider. I was seen as too American. My cousin would introduce my sister and I to her friends as being from “out there”. These experiences very much shaped who I am today. As a yoga teacher, my goal is to make sure anyone from any background feels safe, welcome and comfortable in my class. I tend to be very nurturing and accommodating to my students. I don’t think I would have this level of empathy and sensitivity to their needs without the experience of my childhood. This lack of belonging for me has helped me be more inclusive with my students, treating them the way I would have liked to be treated. While I don’t always get it right, I am always open to learning and doing better.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I would like to share about my Prenatal Yoga business called, Lovely Birth. I started this with my friend and fellow yoga teacher, Cintia Tavares. Cintia and I are both passionate about providing support and building community for expectant students. Together, we created our Lovely Birth Prenatal Yoga teacher training and taught our first training last year. We worked for over a year just putting this program together and we are very proud of our course. Our Prenatal Yoga Training program offers a truly comprehensive course for yoga teachers and birth workers to not only teach Prenatal Yoga but to also become part of that village we all rely on to share joy and adversity. Our goal is to help our PYTT students feel confident and prepared to lead their own prenatal yoga classes and communities. Our biggest challenge right now is the pandemic. We have had to transition our yoga classes to livestream and we are working on converting our Prenatal Teacher Training to an online format. We are both Mothers and so having a consistently quiet space to teach has been challenging. We are working through it. What I love most about Lovely Birth is that we are dedicated to supporting our expecting students and guiding them through their practice.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If my friend was visiting, we would enjoy a very fun-filled and action packed week in San Diego. I would first take them to Ocean Beach to shop and enjoy the ocean. We would eat lunch at Mike’s Taco Shop and dinner at OB Surf Lodge. The next day we could go to Black’s Beach. We can spend the morning at the beach, then go back up the trail for lunch to enjoy some sandwiches at the Cliffhanger Cafe and watch the paragliders. If they aren’t too tired, we could go from there to La Jolla to shop and visit seal beach and then have dinner in town before heading home. Wednesday is Zoo day. We’ll spend the day exploring the San Diego Zoo and then a quiet afternoon at home. Maybe we would go out to dinner at Starlight in Midtown and if they are up for it, go out downtown. Thursday we can go to the bay for standup paddle boarding and eat at Best Fish and Chips. Friday we’ll spend in Balboa Park visiting museums. We can have dinner at Panama 66 and enjoy some live music there. I think after all that they will be pretty exhausted so if they are still visiting, we will just enjoy some more lazy beach days, probably having at least one meal at Bread and Cie in Hillcrest.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to recognize Cintia Tavares. Cintia is an incredible human and yoga instructor. Together, we created Lovely Birth which is dedicated to providing Prenatal, Post Natal and Baby and Me yoga classes as well as Prenatal Yoga teacher trainings to our community.

Website: www.yesoygalove.com
Instagram: @yesyogalove, @lovelybirth108
Twitter: @yesyogalove
Facebook: @yesyogalove, @lovelybirth108

Image Credits
Camila Badaro and Karina Passos

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutSocal is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.