Karla Tafra is a yoga teacher originally from Croatia and now living in Seattle, Washington. She started her yoga journey over 10 years ago and has continued her practice ever since.
At 14, Karla suffered from severe back problems stemming from ballet. As therapy, her doctor suggested she start practicing yoga to help relieve her back pain. She was under the impression that yoga was only a meditation practice and had no idea that it included poses and flows.
She fell for yoga instantly. First of all, it helped with her pain. But, she also loved the way it made her feel and she enjoyed watching herself improve. After practicing for a few years, she decided to get her RYT200 at the Gaia School in Croatia. Every weekend, during her year and a half of teacher training, she practiced different poses, studied human anatomy, and worked on her meditation. She listened to speakers from around the globe and learned all the important yoga principles.
After her classes ended, she started teaching at gyms and studios in class settings mostly revolving her practice around Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Hatha and Prenatal yoga. Soon she discovered that she specifically enjoyed working one-on-one with different clients so that she had the opportunity to personalize their routine and show them their progress. Through one-on-one practice, she is able to create a more personal relationship with her clients and it is incredibly rewarding to watch them grow, improve and fall in love with yoga. She teaches them to focus on themselves and their own progress instead of comparing their progress to others.
“You have to leave your ego at the door when you enter the yoga room,” said said. “Stop looking at other people and what they can do and focus on yourself.”
There were periods of time during Karla’s life that were tough. Times when she struggled with her ego and self appreciation. She was a serious dancer and planned to make dancing her career. She had landed a few music videos and worked in a few studios but during a cold day of auditions, she tore her hamstring, putting her out for 6 months. This is when she truly saw the healing powers of yoga. Her favorite pose, dancer’s pose or natarajasan, helped her regain strength in her hurt leg but yoga, in general, helped restore her ego and heal her mental pain.
Eventually, Karla moved to Malaga, Spain and spent a lot of her time traveling. She had a hard time adjusting to her new life there and only taught occasionally. This is when Karla decided to launch her Instagram and it really took off. With a loyal following of 18,000 people, Karla is an influencer. She uses her platform to inspire and motivate people. Additionally, she provides meal plans and fitness programs for people who reach out through Instagram and offers Skype sessions to help make the practice more personal. She also uses her platform to promote brands that she truly believes in. She wants to give her followers a clear idea of products that will help them lead a healthier life.
Now, Karla lives in Seattle, Washington with her husband. She spends her time testing out new yoga studios and different gyms since she is new to the area. Soon she hopes to pick a studio where she wants to teach, but until then, she enjoys meeting new people and visiting new places in the area.
What inspires you?
One of the biggest compliments Karla can receive is that she has inspired or helped someone. She loves receiving Instagram messages from followers she’s never even met telling her that she has helped improve their lives. Yoga has changed Karla’s life for the better and she can only hope that it can help change others’ lives as well.
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