“We cannot teach people anything; we can only help them discover it within themselves.”
April Puciata is a powerful, passionate, creative, and community-focused woman on a mission to share yoga, meditation, and mindful living with every human being she connects with.
April’s honest. She’s real. Yoga is her life’s purpose and she lives it with every fiber of her soul. You can feel April’s intention as she moves through the studio space; she guides her students to experience the present moment with joy, care, loving-kindness and awareness.
She teaches people to LOVE yoga and, more importantly, themselves.
We are blessed to know her and practice with her. NJ – and the world – needs her special brand of teaching!
So learn a little bit more right here:
Introduce yourself! Who are you?
Hi! My name is April Puciata and I’ve been teaching yoga in NYC, Washington DC, and New Jersey for over 15 years. I’m also the creator of Beyond Om and I lead trainings and retreats all over the world.
I grew up in NJ. I went to college in Boston and when I moved to NYC, I never thought I’d return here to live. Around 5 years ago I realized how much this place means to me and wanted to come home. I am so grateful to be to be a part of this community. Thank you, Bridget and Amie and the NJYC!
What are you passionate about?
My passions include teaching and studying yoga, traveling, writing, and service.
I love teaching and have become passionate about mentoring teachers as well. I have always loved being a student, which I think is not just a necessity in practicing and teaching yoga, but also in life. It is part of the reason I love to travel and take groups on retreats to incredible destinations. I really do believe travel is something that makes gives us a deeper understanding of the world and also ourselves.
My love for writing and poetry is something that was always with me and really became important to me in college, where I had the opportunity to have great teachers and mentors. I have an MFA in Creative Writing from the New School and have been published in Journals such as the New York Quarterly, Salamander and the New Orleans Review.
Now that I feel more grounded it has become really important for me to find ways to serve, give back, and be active in the community. Right now I’m organizing the first Headstands for Hunger event in the Jersey City/Hoboken Area and have also become involved with Clean Ocean Action. Their goal is to improve the water quality of the marine waters off the New Jersey and New York coast.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Almost 6 years ago my dad was diagnosed with stage 4 esophageal cancer that had spread. After he came out of surgery to remove a tumor in his brain, my mom, my sister and I met with the physician’s assistant. I’m not sure who asked or exactly what the question was, but it was something along the line of “how are we going to do this?”
The physician’s assistant said “One minute at a time. One day at a time. Don’t get ahead of yourself.”
It helped me so much through that process with my dad. There were moments that were so difficult that we had to get through with him. And then there were also times when he felt good enough to do things I used to consider simple, like enjoy a meal. I have never been so aware that each moment is such a gift. I still hear those words today and am so grateful to the woman who spoke them. They really helped in my being able to be completely present the last year of my dad’s life.
What is one thing people would be surprised to hear about you?
Some people might be surprised to know I was a heavy smoker. I even smoked during my teacher training. I quit over 12 years ago. When you practice yoga you have to get really honest with yourself and it wasn’t something that was serving me. It actually wasn’t very hard for me to quit. But if you want to know a darker secret I still miss it sometimes – the smell and especially the ritual. I read that Leonard Cohen gave up cigarettes and said if he made it until 80 years old, he would start again. I like to think of that when I occasionally crave a cigarette.
Sometimes I like to tell people about this because some might think you have to adhere to certain rules or lifestyle to start practicing yoga. And that might be why they don’t practice. I don’t want to judge anyone that is ready to step on the mat and try. I think once you start practicing you really have to face what feels good in your body and what doesn’t. My teacher said once, “You don’t have to stop doing anything, just start doing this.”
What message do you think every woman should hear?
Trust yourself. You are the one you have been waiting for. Oh, I would also say that to my 16-year-old self!
I am also a big believer in supporting other women and lifting each other up. Let’s collaborate. Let’s work together and inspire one another.
What is your favorite thing about where you live?
I love being near my family and this community. And I love living near the ocean. Even in the winter when it is cold here. I love the way the sun and moon hang in the sky, finding sand in my shoes, the salty smell. And as my dad always used to say, salt water heals everything.
April Puciata to learn more!
Where you can find April teaching locally:
Inlet Yoga in Manasquan, NJ
EvenFlow in Red Bank, NJ
PowerFlow in Asbury Park, NJ
Upcoming Workshops, Retreats, and Trainings:
April Puciata has been teaching in NYC, Washington DC, and New Jersey for over 15 years. A Senior Ishta Yoga teacher, she continues to study under the guidance of Yogiraj Alan Finger. As the creator of Beyond Om, April leads trainings and retreats all over the world. Her next retreat destination is to Portugal October 6 – 14, 2018. She is passionate about yoga, travel, writing, seva, and helping students and teachers stay inspired.
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