We had the good fortune of connecting with Alvin Rangel and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alvin, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Risks have played an important part in my personal and professional life. My definition of risk taking is framed within a positive connotation. I consider taking risks as acts of courage, tenacity, GRIT and vulnerability. However, I know many people who consider risk taking as negative, irresponsible and selfish acts in ones life. Taking risks has allowed me to leave my comfort zone in order to expand my capacity to learn, develop and shape both my professional and personal life. We are often trapped by our fears, limiting our capacity to make decisions that in our heart we know are the correct for our growth. My experience has led me to understand that taking risks are a necessary part of our human existence. Without risks, we would not enjoy many of the things we do today, It took a person with vision, desire and will power to share their story, to disseminate their invention, to leave home and embark on a journey of self discovery, to do missionary work, to dismantle racism and discrimination, and so forth. A risk worth taking is one that will manifest our truths and will ultimately be in the service of others.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am first and foremost an educator. Lately, I have been shifting my focus from dance, into yoga and mindfulness. In my work, I am not only teaching dance skills. I am also cultivating a way of life by teaching dancers that through their dancing they can embody compassion, collaboration, work ethic, patience, and empathy. Dance can be a transformative vehicle; the skills learned through dance training are invaluable to living in a civil just world. I am now incorporating mindfulness into my dance classes and curricula. I am happiest when teach adults whom never experience yoga and/or mindfulness. It gives me an opportunity to open that door; I feels it’s a big responsibility. I am currently building my business to be a private yoga instructor and develop retreat yoga experiences abroad that incorporate yoga, tourism and community service at those locations. It has been a rough ride getting to where I am today, yet I am grateful for all those challenges; because of them I am who and what I am. My initial barrier was financial. I come from a humble working-class family where our resources were extremely limited, so I had to find ways to pay and support my training and education. I am originally from Puerto Rico, when moving to the Unites States, I had to navigate racial discrimination. It has been also a challenge breaking social and career expectations for a Latino man. A dance career for a Latino male is unfortunately still not a very coveted career path. I was always determined remain focused on the positive and remain strong. GRIT is what has gotten me to where I am, and of course, there have been many “angels,” individuals that inspired me and helped me at various points in my life; without them, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
7:00AM – Yoga class at Kingship Yoga in Highland Park 9:00AM – Breakfast at Urth Cafe 10:00AM – Visit the Tolerance Museum 12:00PM -Lunch at Gracias Madre WeHo 1:00PM – LACMA 6:00PM – Griffith Observatory 9:00PM – Drinks at the Wolves DTLA
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I have an endless list of individuals who have encouraged me to pursue the work that I do as a yoga teacher and a dance educator. I wholeheartedly believe that all the individuals I encounter in someway play a role in my success as a person and professional. Most recently two of the organizations that have played significant roles in my success and current path are Yoga Vidya Mandiram in India and Academics for Black Survival and Wellness. These organization have equipped me with tools to empower myself as well as those around me (work, friends and family).