Stella Panagiotidis

Connecting with love fosters joy.

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Why are you excited/happy/committed to sharing your wisdom at the 2020 Victoria Yoga Conference? As a Victoria Yoga Conference Ambassador, I’m deeply grateful for the opportunity to forge connections with attendees from across North America. It’s important to share our stories with one another, so that the fire of inspiration burns brightly within our community. I look forward to sharing insights, high fives, hugs, and laughter as we celebrate life and the beauty of being human.

The theme of the 2020 conference is ‘love is medicine‘.  What does this mean to you? In this technologically advanced and fast paced world, it’s easy to get distracted and lose sight of who we really are. Getting back to the basics is critical during this time, where quality is far more important than quantity. Connecting with love fosters joy. And joy is power.

What are you listening to right now?  (eg specific audiobook, podcast, music, or maybe it’s the sound of the rain)
I’m a podcast junkie. One of my go-to podcasts is Awake in the World by the late Michael Stone. Michael was a world-renowned yoga teacher, activist and author who I feel blessed to have met several times. He’s missed by many, but his teachings continue to inspire me and million of others across the globe.

How do you build community?
It’s important to find your tribe and to connect with your sisters and brothers in your community. One of my passion projects is the community work that I do as a Dress for Success Vancouver Ambassador. Doing what I can to empower women in every area of their life gives me with a sense of purpose. There is nothing more fulfilling than knowing that I too can make a difference in this world.

What do you do to nurture your creative spirit?
I nurture my creative spirit with boundless curiosity. I invite curiosity into every area of my life, including relationships, work and play. Curiosity propels me forward by keeping me engaged in life. It’s never too late to try something new or to reinvent oneself. Our creative spirit is ageless, timeless and innocent. It’s our inner child looking for nothing more than self-expression in this physical world.

Do you have a favourite quote you’d like to share? Who can we attribute it to?
I was a guest speaker at a corporate event recently, where I spoke about the process of transformation not as a solo journey, but rather as a collective journey. I began my speech with one of my favourite quotes by Maya Angelou: “Nothing can dim the light that shines from within.” These beautiful words caress my soul every time.

Ten years ago, Stella sustained an injury that landed her in the examination room of a hand specialist. Her test results revealed that she had advanced premature arthritis and that surgery was inevitable. Fastening the buttons on her coat that winter was a challenge. She felt helpless and lost in a haze of gloom.

Countless miracle stories about the healing power of yoga rang in her ears and she knew that this might be the solution to my suffering. Intuition kicked in and she found herself in a yoga studio, fumbling her way through the 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 a life. Multiple injury recoveries and stress management have been some of the benefits to a regular practice, where there is always something new to discover.

This past summer, Stella met Carolyne Taylor, Founder of the Victoria Yoga Conference (VYC) at international learning centre Hollyhock, tucked away on Cortes Island. Together, they participated in Mara Branscombe’s Summer Solstice: Yoga, Ritual, Meditation Retreat. As a regular yoga practitioner, Stella was thrilled to further expand her practice with this world-class instructor who fuses body, mind and soul with earth-based rituals and shamanic tradition. She is equally thrilled to welcome the return of Mara to VYC 2020.

Stella likes to think of herself as a self-guru advocate who defines wealth not in a quantitative context, but rather in a qualitative context. She defines wealth as living YOUR life of purpose and doing whatever it is that makes YOUR soul feel happy, alive and free. For Stella, yoga contributes to that happy equation. Nothing pleases her more than witnessing droves of yogis and yoginis rolling out their mats collectively, in order to breathe, meditate and set into motion an exhilarating yoga community.

Stella’s yoga practice has been her best medicine. It’s kept her off painkillers and out of the surgeon’s room. The best part however, is the yogic journey, where the learning and growing never stops.

Featured posts

Kyla Gagnon

Human, animal, mother nature, we are one. Why are you excited/happy/committed to sharing your wisdom at the 2020 Victoria Yoga Conference?   I am excited to share my love/knowledge/passion at the VYC because sharing is caring 🙂 Yoga is about connecting, human to...

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Julie Gauthier

Connect to the love around us and within us.  Why are you excited/happy/committed to sharing your wisdom at the 2020 Victoria Yoga Conference?   As a first time Ambassador for the VYC2020, I am so excited to share my love for Yoga with other yogis: novices and experts...

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Samantha Waagenaar

Cure your community with love and it will spread. Why are you excited/happy/committed to sharing your wisdom at the 2020 Victoria Yoga Conference? I went to the VYC for the first time last year. During this time, I had lost a lot of confidence and was going through a...

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