10 Things You Didn’t Know About: Galina Safronova

What did you do before becoming a yoga teacher?
When I moved to NYC back in 2003 by myself, it was harder then I thought to assimilate with a new culture, new environment, new mentality, everything was new. I was lost in translation. So, I was looking for a “tool” that would help me to comprehend, to find meaning in all of this and make things work for me. I was introduced to yoga at around 2004 by my friend. And, oh man, yoga gave me so much more than I could ever ask for. Yoga gave me a new direction in life, now I think of as, before my first yoga class and from there, it was a beginning of a new life. I was a dedicated practitioner for over 10 years and was studying with the most amazing teachers before I decided to dig even deeper and become a teacher myself.

How did you come to be a yoga teacher?
I love nature and I love spending time with my family, so as much as possible we try to get out of town and enjoy re connecting with nature. I love traveling, it makes me feel that I can fly. I bike around the city almost everyday year round. I also love to ski, take pictures, so many things I love to do I can’t stop.

What is your secret talent?
Not too many people know that I am an avid photographer. I love to embody the human essence, people’s characters’ in the pictures that I take. Photography, especially portraiture is my passion. Also, I can sing mezzo-soprano opera voice and this is how I wake up my daughter in the morning.

Where were you born, where did you grow up?
I was born and raised in Russia, in the Southern part, an area that is extremely lush and fertile, the region is famous for a particular type of black soil that is known worldwide. I also grew up with many animals around, kind of like a small farm in the city. I had bunnies, parrots, cats, dogs and chickens. To this day because I live in the city, I miss having animals around.

Where is the strangest/most interesting place you’ve traveled to?
Places in Africa like Uganda and, while on a trip in South Sudan, I happened to be there at the time of Civil War, which was definitely the most strangest experience. This reminded me of my childhood during the 80s and 90s which was a time of Perestroyka (rationing) in Russia. Islands of Zanzibar and Bali were all the most mesmerizing places on Earth that I’ve visited so far. But I am not done, I am just in the very beginning of my journey of exploring the world. We will see where I go next… Iceland, New Zealand or maybe Alaska.

What are your pet peeves?
When trying to exit the train and people are already walking in…New York City problems.

One word you always spell wrong?
Necessary.

What were you like when you were younger?
I was quite a character and very rebellious when I was little. One of the most amusing things for me and my sister was pranking people on the phone.

What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve every done?
Left everything behind and moved to NYC.

One wish?
One day I’ll fly to the Moon… and back… or not 😉

How do you like to teach your yoga classes?
My style of class is Vinyasa Flow style with a strong emphasis on alignment, the breath, turning within and loving yourself. I aim to offer uplifting classes are slow-flowing, but intense, creative but safe, challenging but never competitive. I enjoy challenging busy New Yorkers to slow down, be present, and look for the connection between mind and body.