I started Yoga over twenty years ago without knowing why. After taking my first Yoga class, I immediately started savoring the benefits of this practice. Soon, I found myself on a lifetime path of self-study.
Victoria’s work has been focused on helping others optimize wellness. Victoria’s main area of interest has been research on yoga, chronic pain, addiction, and depression. The main purpose of Victoria’s involvement in research is to give yoga more scientific credibility and to make yoga more accessible for underserved communities; including Spanish speaking ones. Also, to present yoga as an alternative coping skill and to help establish yoga as an integrative therapy for those suffering from common modern ailments, like chronic pain, addictions, and depression.
Victoria was part of the research team at Boston Medical Center(BMC) “Back to Health”, led by Robert Saper, MD. This research lasted 4 years and it was to give Yoga more scientific credibility, documenting how Yoga can help reduce chronic back pain. Victoria taught Yoga for Chronic Low Back Pain to study participants from 2010-2014. In 2018, Victoria was invited to present “Integrative Approaches to Pain Management” in the pre-Conference for Nutrition and Health in Boston. Since 2018, Victoria taught a weekly Yoga class at BMC, department of Integrative Medicine, for chronic pain patients. Victoria is currently a lead teacher working in research about Yoga, chronic pain, and addiction recovery, Yoga MAT (medication for addiction treatment). She supervises Boston yoga teachers and helps develop and update protocols for yoga “dosage” in the research.
Originally from Argentina, Victoria authored and produced a bilingual (English-Spanish) Yoga DVD. Currently she’s recording yoga classes in Spanish offered through Yoga International.
Every day, when I go teach, I feel honored to be able to share my Yoga experience and knowledge with other people.
I share how Yoga has helped me better tune in and respond to my body’s needs, feeding it nourishing foods when I feel hungry, allowing it to rest when I feel tired, and giving it exercise and adventure when I feel the need to liven up my day. I have also developed more compassion toward myself which naturally seems to overflow into more compassion for others. My newfound sense of well-being I have found through my yoga practice has given me a new sense of connection as well as gratitude.
What Yoga Means to Me
Thanks to Yoga I can listen to my inner intelligence and experience a sense of confidence and trust in my self I have not experienced before.
Yoga has taught me to see myself as an integrated being, not just as a body that has to look a certain way to fit in with society’s expectations.
Yoga is teaching me that we all have the capacity to love, to care (for ourselves and others), how we live our lives and what qualities and values we express is a choice.
Yoga has given me patience to work consistently at diminishing the inevitable suffering that our human experience brings. Whether the suffering is physical, mental, emotional and/or spiritual, Yoga as a practice to optimize wellness has given me and still gives me awareness to tap into my inner resources to face and diminish suffering. Thanks to having lived through contrast, I help others discover their own inner resources to help diminsh their suffering and optimize their wellness.
Victoria Garcia Drago discovered Yoga in 2000 in her quest to find a deeper connection between her body and mind. Certified (500+ hrs) through the Yoga Studio of Barbara Benagh, who has been her main teacher for 20 years. Victoria has been sharing her knowledge and passion for Yoga in research and with students of many levels, including professional athletes, for over 20 years. Victoria takes students through a journey of exploration of the body, mind, emotions and spirit through breath awareness and conscious movement. Her thorough and step-by-step explanations allow the most timid and inflexible students to mindfully get into poses they didn’t even know they could do. Victoria’s secondary teacher is Shiva Rea, who has inspired Victoria to ignite her own sacred strength (inner and outer) and encourage her students to do the same. In 2011, Victoria completed Shiva Rea’s Chakra Alignment Certification. Victoria is also certified through Boston University in Medical and Legal Interpreting and Translation. In 2016 Victoria earned a M.A. in Mind-Body Integrated Studies. Victoria teaches Slow Flow Yoga as a continuity of the lineage her most influential teacher Barbara Benagh created. Currently, Victoria continues her studies with Dr.Tom Alden who is her mentor in the practice and studies of Yoga. Additionally, Victoria has also completed a Reiki Level 1 & 2 Certification. In addition, Victoria has taught Yoga classes and written articles for Down Under School of Yoga in Boston, where she still studies with Barbara Benagh. Victoria taught at Exhale Spa Boston for over a decade. Currently, she’s working remotely, in collaboration with Boston Medical Center and Butler Hospital in the Yoga MAT research (Medication for Addiction Treatment) to study yoga, chronic pain, and opiates addiction along with Robert Saper, MD, whom Victoria has collaborated with for over a decade. Also, as part of the Yoga MAT research, Victoria supervises the yoga teachers for the Boston team and overviews DEI. Victoria has earned certifications through the University of Arizona, Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine in Integrative Mental Health: Anxiety and Depression, and Integrative Pain Management Series. Victoria’s path to continue to learn is ongoing not only in the studies of yoga but also in the studies of psychology and neuroscience. To further understand the connection of mind and body (in relation to the outside world) Victoria practices Kokikai Aikido, a Japanese martial art. In 2014, Victoria was named as one the 50 Hottest Trainers in America by Shape Magazine.