We had the good fortune of connecting with Gabriela Torcatoru and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Gabriela, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
While I was working to climb the ladder of corporate hospitality and training, in the background my mind was trying to come up with ways of starting my own business, being my own boss. Natural skin care products, herbalism, a catering business, all these were ideas of starting to work for myself. I believe the desire for independence was far greater than knowing what exactly I would end up doing. It began with making natural household cleaning products and offering cleaning services to domestic houses. I did that myself for a few years while in the background my passion for yoga was taking up more and more space until one day I decided I will become a yoga teacher. The business side wasn’t formed yet, I had to go through a lot of cleaning and learning to get there. At this point my business was enough to pay my bills and save enough money so I can pursue my studies in the field of yoga. 3 years after I have began teaching and started building my brand, I can say I am almost there. The process has changed many times and it took me a long time to learn how to grow a business out of something that has become a way of life for me now.
The plan behind my business is driven by the desire of helping people, and I only realized this a few months back. It has always been to help others whether it was through natural organic skin care or natural organic cleaning products, it was always about helping others realize that there are better ways of caring for their environment which includes the BodyMind. This desire led me to now teach yoga full time, becoming a counselor and a Vedic Astrologer. I found a way in which I can now reach out to people, support the environment and myself by doing what I love most in the world. Yoga has become a lifestyle so to be able to share this with the world I feel it is a great honour and I am deeply grateful that I finally found my place in the world, as a human and a business owner.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Practicing yoga has been the greatest inspiration in my life which led me to become a yoga teacher. It hasn’t been easy, as after 3 years out of which one year I had to take off due to a knee surgery, I can now say that I am a full time yoga teacher. This involves physically teaching the classes, but that is just the end result of what goes on behind the scenes. First of all there is the knowledge that you don’t just go and get from a teacher training course. You do your training and then you embark on the journey of your life as that training is just a first step into what you are getting yourself into. In my case it led me to falling in love with myself and with the world and it made we become a seeker. I think this is what is most exciting and quirky about me, I am not afraid to be myself and take up the space I need in the world. I seek inspiration and creativity in everything that I do, I am truly in love with the ways of Nature and I guess I live my yoga, not just teach or practice it. So I bring this into my business, I honour the tradition that I am practicing and I show reverence.
Something major happened after my teacher training and it transformed me. Now I have always been driven and strong and I had an insatiable thirst for knowledge so I started seeking teachers, practiced a lot, taught a lot and it led me to burn out. Not only that, but my meniscus had been torn in my left knee and I had been pushing through pain for over a year before I had surgery. For months I questioned myself and whether what I was doing was right and with the help of good guidance from my newly found teachers I slowed down and took my practice home. Went deep into the exploration of who I really am and what is my role here. Not wanting to stop at yoga I embarked on a 3 years journey of studying Vedic Astrology, as sister science of yoga. This opened many other doors in my understanding of the world. It was another year of transformation before I started teaching again. My business hasn’t suffered, on the contrary, I am now full time yoga teacher and I am living in the intentions I set in August 2021. This end of year I am planning to open up a few spaces so that I can work in private with clients on Yoga, Astrology and Counselling.
The knee injury was the best thing that happened to me at that point. Nothing would have stopped me and I was gaining speed at an incredible rate. Good things require time, attention and experience. Whenever you build a structure, and everything has a structure, you have to decide on the purpose first and then sort out the foundation. Build a foundation in which you aren’t afraid of trial and error, mistakes are great teachers. Make a strong foundation and never forget about it’s purpose. We need to give ourselves more time in life, we just rush through things and we don’t get to enjoy anything to its fullest meaning. I think right now I can say I have set my foundations and I am deeply rooted in delivering my offerings from a place of reverence for the tradition.
I have so much trust that the Universe has got my back, that it has. Obstacles and hardships will always come to one’s life, but these are teachers that we need to learn from, become wiser and live in a more meaningful way.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Cambridge is a lovely, quaint town with beautiful architecture and lots of colleges to visit. My best friend is coming to visit me from France at the beginning of summer and we are hoping it will be sunny and warm as Cambridge has a beautiful river which runs along the back of the famous colleges and also wanders into natural green areas. The thing to do when in Cambridge is definitely go punting along the river Cam as it is a lovely experience and we can pop a bottle of champagne and celebrate Cambridge style her arrival. The river has more to offer though as I live very close to the river so evening walks to see the swans and admire the sunsets are a must. The best sunsets though are at a nearby hill called Gog Magog and it’s, or it seems to be, the highest point in Cambridge. It’s rather flat, making it ideal for cycling though and it has numerous open green spaces where you can take a pause and catch some sunshine. We are mad for sunshine when we get it.
I think best places to eat are probably my kitchen and a few pizza places in town which I really enjoy, but I enjoy even more to cook, especially for loved ones.
We enjoying relaxing and nothing could be better than a day at Paus where we can bathe under the sky. Paus is a located 20 min from Cambridge and it’s an open door bathing area with hot wooden tubs, saunas and a cool pool. They also have a lovely yoga studio and bistro with home cooked eastern european cuisine. The place is very special and I can’t imagine a better day of tending to some self care than bathing under the sky and enjoying nature. They also have a sensorial barefoot walking trail that deepens the connection to Mother Nature.
My favourite spot for a pint has to be my local, the Othesyde, an escape room/beer garden with views of the river Cam. It is quirky, it has fairylights, a view of the river and a teepe. What more can you ask for?!
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?
The person who has supported me the most but also made me doubt my way is my mother. We haven’t had an easy life and she has stuck by us and pushed through all the hardships teaching me how to make my own way in life and become an independent woman. She has been one of the biggest inspirations because I know our background and I can look at myself now and be in awe of the amazing woman I have become and it’s all thanks my life which started with her.. She gave me space and she also held me tight whenever I needed it and for that I am very grateful. We have been more like best friends rather than having a mother-daughter relationship and as we both grow older the roles are changing and now I am guiding her, giving her space and holding her tight when she needs it.