Arianna Zalud (far right)

Arianna Zalud (far right)


Arianna has practiced with Yoga Vie since 2014. She started practicing yoga in our Beginner Series and has been a constant fixture at the studio since. For at least 2 years, she worked long hours and had an unpredictable commute to work, but still made time for her yoga practice and we are glad she did. Her great sense of humor delights the teachers and community alike!

We recently sat down with Arianna to chat about her yoga journey, and the role yoga has played in her life since her first class. Here is what she had to say:

How would you describe yourself as a yogi? 

I don’t really consider myself to be a yogi, just someone who occasionally tries to practice yoga. I am constantly working on maintaining the motivation to attend class, while still forgiving myself for the days I am not motivated and miss class. At this point in time, I am trying to find a balance between everyday life and dedicating time to maintaining a regular practice.

How did you find yoga? What was the inspiration? 

When I found Yoga Vie I had actually been looking for the laziest form of exercise that I could find so that I could say and feel that I was exercising, but not in any capacity that would make me breathe hard, sweat, or really increase my heart rate. I thought yoga would be the perfect fit for me to be able to tell myself I was exercising without actually having to work hard so I googled "yoga in Lompoc" and found the Yoga Beginner Series with Virginia. After reading about the series I decided to go for it and enroll. By the end of the first class, when Virginia had us go through two sun salutations, I realized that yoga is in no way “lazy exercise!” At the end of the series, I loved everything about yoga and gradually began to attend more advanced classes offered at the studio, usually at the urging of my partner and fellow road dog, Maureen Ray!

Share with us an interesting fact about yourself. 

I work as a lab tech at a local archaeology company. The main part of my job, and what I spend the majority of my working day doing, is to sort through piles of rocks.

If you were a yoga pose, which one would you be? 

If I were a yoga pose, I would be “Paschimottanasana” or seated forward fold. I am usually the most upright person in the room during this pose, but I like to think I am doing the pose more correctly because I am working on keeping my back straight and folding forward from the hips rather than bending my back to reach my toes. I would like to think this reflects my approach to yoga, and life, in general. I would rather do the pose the correct way and take years to reach my toes, than to reach my toes immediately by doing the pose the wrong way.

Supta Baddha Konasana

Supta Baddha Konasana


What is your FAVORITE yoga pose? Why?

Right now, my favorite yoga pose is “Supta Baddha Konasana” (see picture) or reclining butterfly pose. I enjoy the openness it brings throughout my body. I can breathe freely in this pose. I also enjoy the fact that I can feel a great stretch while still resting on a bolster!


How does your practice fit into your everyday life? 

My practice doesn’t always fit into my everyday life. I do not currently have a home practice, and I do not necessarily plan to have a home practice any time in the near future. I realize that I am still a beginner in many ways and believe that I need the instruction provided by a teacher at a studio. I also enjoy and benefit from the words of wisdom imparted by the teacher during class as much as from the poses that are instructed.

What's your favorite aspect of Yoga Vie?

My favorite aspect of yoga vie is definitely the people, but more specifically the teachers. Virginia has assembled a great team of teachers. The most important thing for me when exercising is not to feel embarrassed, by being out of shape, for looking stupid in a pose, or for not being able to do something. Not one of the teachers at the studio has ever given me cause to be embarrassed. Every single teacher is supportive, kind, and encouraging, no matter how silly I'm sure I look in some of the poses!

What advice would you offer to a yoga novice?

I would say to try new poses, no matter how scary they sound or how difficult they look. A lot of time you think there’s no way you can do a pose, but then the teacher talks you through it and somehow you find yourself in the pose! Also, try new classes. You never know which teacher you are going to connect with or which style of yoga you will enjoy until you go to a class and try it! Also keep in mind that you won’t enjoy every teacher and every style of yoga, so if you don’t like a class, don’t let that keep you from going to another!