– Stella Panagiotidis – 2019 VYC Ambassador – Vancouver
Ten years ago Stella Panagiotidis sustained an injury that landed her in the examination room of a hand specialist. Her test
results revealed that I had advanced premature arthritis and that surgery was inevitable. Countless miracle stories about the healing power of yoga rang in my ears and she knew that this might be the solution to her suffering. Intuition kicked in and she found herself in a yoga studio, fumbling her way through her first downward dog. Pain and doubt consumed her body and mind, but she was determined to keep on trying. Over time, the discomfort decreased and the mobility in her joints increased. Stella’s yoga practice has now evolved into a yogic way of life. Multiple injury recoveries and stress management have been some of the benefits to her regular practice, where there is always something new to discover.
For the Love of Yoga
Love is felt in a multitude of ways throughout our body, mind and soul. When I was presented with my first-ever opportunity to be a 2019 Victoria Yoga Conference Ambassador (VYC), my heart immediately skipped a beat and I sensed a love affair brewing. I spun my happy dance, anticipating two things that I value most; my passion for yoga and the seductive charm of Vancouver Island.
My hunch was spot-on. Crossing the portal into the VYC was a dream come true, a three-day adventure filled with expansive conversations, laughter and curiosity. Diverse class offerings by expert instructors such as A Dance With Breath or Yin And Heart-Centered Leadership broadened my horizons at the speed of light. New connections blossomed during Soul in a Bowl, the opening community dinner where every heart-to-heart was sealed with love.
One of my memorable keepsakes was conversing with Nancy, a VYC participant in her senior years who had travelled the distance from Ottawa to be with us. This 10-year plus practising yogini who partook in international yoga retreats confessed that she was hooked, as was I, to the VYC community.
It was my honour to represent the 2019 VYC Ambassador Team, alongside a tribe of amazing women who traveled throughout the far reaches of BC, Alberta and Saskatchewan, in order to campaign for this 7th annual three-day celebration.
My heartfelt thanks to Carolyne Taylor, Creator and Producer of VYC for her vision and tireless contribution towards the development of this much anticipated signature event and to Basha Nemeskeri for her passion and inexhaustible efforts in leading the VYC Ambassador Team. Lastly, my deepest gratitude to all of the top-notch presenters, volunteers and participants who flocked from across Canada and the US, in order to experience the bliss of yoga and community on the West Coast.