We had the good fortune of connecting with Mariana Suarez De Stefano and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mariana, what role has risk played in your life or career?
RISKS are a must in our lives. We need to take risks to be able to figure out if things will work out or not. I used to work at an office as a Project leader / web programmer and for me the biggest risk I have taken has been changing this career/job to be an entrepreneur. Leaving a secure job with a monthly stable salary to become a dancer/yoga instructor and follow my heart in doing what makes me happy was a huge risk and it was so worth it. I believe we sometimes need to walk in the direction of fear and take the risk to be able to discover unimaginable realities in which we can become the best version of ourselves. The more risks we take the easier it gets to walk confident into the direction of our dreams. Taking risks for me has become the norm, following my heart is how I live my life and it has helped me to become the change I wish to see in the world. The more I do it the more I see people around me feeling inspired by me and following their hearts and dreams as well. That has been the best reward I could have ever received.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
My business is unique in its kind. Besides teaching yoga at regular studios, I host different yoga events. One of these events that I host and created is called YOGIKE. It is an event where we gather to hike and at the end we finish with an amazing yoga session in nature. At the beginning, it was hard to get the people to sign up and attend. Some events no one would even show up. But that did not stop me, I did not give up. I trusted my intuition and kept on following my heart. I did more marketing to promote each event and gave all my energy, heart and attention to make it possible. Slowly more and more people started to come until a community was created. Today we have 2500 plus members in our YOGIKE community. I learned everything is possible if you surrender to the process and the right timing that life has for everything to happen.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would start the week by planning lots of activities in nature. I would definitely take him to a lot of places with nature I would take him paddle boarding on Lower Newport bay on another day we would rent regular or electric bikes and ride them by the beach on Huntington beach or Long Beach. We would definitely go hiking to Griffith park to get the best city views from the top on Mount Hollywood peak. On another day I would take him to hike on Palos Verdes to Ocean trail where the trail goes down and up from the cliff to the beach and back up. And I will definitely take him for a hike at the highest peak of Santa Monica Mountains, Sandstone Peak. We would end all these hikes and activities with some stretches and meditation led by me 🙂 We would also visit some tourist points like the Hollywood sign. I would take him to watch it from Lake Hollywood Park which has the best and closer view. I would also take him to visit the Walk of Fame in Hollywood and go for a drive to watch the Beverly Hills mansions. Another tourist point I would take him is the Getty Museum because of the amazing view it has. After all these activities I would take him for delicious lunches at any of these restaurants: MyVegan Gold Edition, The grain café, Vegan Nirvana in Huntington Beach, Himalayan Grill in Sunset beach, Kensho in Westminster, Guacamaya Oasis in Downey, Tocaya Organica, The Food Kitchen and Sage which have different locations. In the evening I would take him for tea or coffee and dessert from Panera Bread, Tierra Mia Coffee or the donuttery and head to watch the sunset by the beach in Santa Monica Pier or Malibu Pier. If we wanted to have some fun in the night time, I would take him for dinner at a Cuban restaurant in Hollywood called El Floridita where they have live salsa music and a dancing floor to sweat it out! Another fun place to have a more chilled night out would be The Bungalow in Santa Monica. If my friend wanted to get away from the city style I would take him to Big Bear, Mt. Baldy, Idyllwild, Joshua tree or Big Sur for a small getaway.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Thank you to all my family, friends, sisterhood and everyone that has been a part of my journey in any way. Special thanks to my husband, dad, mom, sister and my dog Kala for always being there, for supporting me through the good and bad with all the love they have.