Hey there! My name is Stephanie Ottomanelli, but you can call me Steph. I am a 24 year old yogi who was born & raised in Long Island, NY but am now living in NYC. Growing up, I was always very active, dancing since I was 3, choreographing Kickline dances in college (think - Rockettes), participating in cheerleading, volleyball, track, and more. I’ve always loved physical movement and found it the best method of self expression for me.

 

I now have a 9-5 job in Wealth Management in midtown Manhattan. This feeds my wallet. My second job, as a yoga instructor, is what feeds my soul. I have a passion for yoga (specifically vinyasa) and have been practicing consistently for 3 years.

 

2017 was an extremely rough year for me. It seemed like everything was going wrong and I couldn’t catch a break. My relationship ended, a close family member passed away unexpectedly, and to top it all of – I got fired from my big shot finance job (but thank goodness I did!) I grew depressed, developed severe anxiety, and didn’t feel like myself anymore. I felt like a loner and a loser. This is around the time I immersed myself into my yoga practice. This same summer after what felt like my life was over, I saw that my home studio was hosting a teacher training and there was something inside me saying this is it - this is what you’re meant to do. The rest is history.

 

Yoga teacher training gave me a sense of community and helped me discover that I was not alone in my struggles. Everybody has demons they struggle with, whether they show them to the world or not. I started learning breathing techniques, meditation, mechanics and anatomy of asana practice, and overall mindfulness. With a conscious mind, I have grown to be a better person to myself and others. I wouldn’t say I am a completely healed and zen person now – but I am aware of what I need to do to help my body, mind, and soul feel better. I now want to share what I’ve learned along my journey with others who feel like they’re alone, not good enough, or whatever it may be and lead them to live their best lives for themself.

 

My life now consistents of aspects of yoga, fitness, plant based nutrition, and poetry. These are ways that I express myself and release that which no longer serves me, also leading me to live my best and fulfilled life. I am so grateful to have you all along for the ride & hope my journey will inspire you to be the best you!

Instagram: @stephottoyoga

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February 23 - 28, 2020 - You, Wild & Free in Costa Rica

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Photography by Kelsie Di Perna, Andi Bennett, 

Angela Moon, Renee Tay, Kevin Hofer