Girl of The Month: Introducing Cristina Ortega

Can we all agree that January 2019 was the longest month EVER? With that said, I am happy to welcome February! The month of LOVE, Black History Month, Super Bowl Sunday, The Oscar's, and the kick-off for Pisces season (I have a soft spot for my Pisces babies). And since February is the month of love, the focus of the month is duh--love. All kinds of love, self-love, self-care and its importance, how to fall in love with yourself, how to attract love, you name it--we got it all here for you! 

Our girl of the month of February is a girl that fell in love with herself first and found  the love of her life and her life's purpose. Meet Cristina Ortega, born and raised in Quito, Ecuador. Miami resident since 2001, now a native. With a degree in Business Administration and Marketing, Ortega followed the corporate ladder to later realize that her life was "lacking substance". She was craving a deeper meaning to life, and it was when she found yoga in 2012, then the life-changing journey began. Cristina is an incredible yoga teacher, influencer in the Miami wellness community, and a professional Acro Yogi. She's strong, humble, kind, and we all have so much to learn from her. Enjoy getting to know her! 

Crisitina, please describe a day in your life.
A typical day in my life starts at around 6:30 a.m. followed with a refreshing shower and healthy green smoothie charged with all sorts of greens and fruits. I love teaching yoga in the mornings, so on the days that I teach, I go on to the studio or attend my private clients first thing in the morning. I then come back home and work for a couple of hours in the computer attending any pending work I have for the day. I love keeping my afternoons free so that I can enjoy and do what I love. Whether that is doing more yoga, acro yoga with my boyfriend, catching a sunset somewhere in Miami or just driving around town exploring.

Tell us about your career journey.
I graduated from Florida International University with a degree in Business Administration and Marketing. I wasn’t really clear what my passion was at that moment, but I knew that this a title that would help me in any direction I would decide to go. After I graduated, I decided to obtain my Real Estate License and then later my yoga teacher certification.

How did you get introduced to yoga and what made you want to teach?
The biggest burdens in our lives, bring the biggest opportunities for growth. I was introduced to yoga by an ex boyfriend of mine, he took me to my first yoga class ever because his best friend had just opened a new studio in Miami. I then found a yoga video at my mom’s house from the P90x workout sequences and I started doing it at home, well, I should say “trying”. I realized that even though I was skinny, I was very weak and couldn’t last more than 10 mins doing yoga. The breakup with this individual that introduced me to yoga was one of the hardest things I had to deal with emotionally speaking. One day my brother’s girlfriend at the time saw me crying and said to me.. you do yoga at home, right? Why don’t you go to this yoga studio I go to? I think it will help you. Something inside of me listened to her advice and as broken and scared as I was, I went to a yoga class. During the entire class I felt as if the teacher was talking to me, healing me at the same time, although without really knowing she was doing it and to what magnitude. I cried, I smiled. I left the studio with a monthly unlimited membership and the rest is history.
Once I healed, I realized how the practice of yoga can heal the broken world we live in and I wanted to share that with the world. I made it my goal. Three years later, after another bad breakup, I found myself in yoga again, this time doing my Yoga Teacher Training.

What are you most proud of?
There are many things I am proud of, but my biggest proud and joy is my beautiful son, Christopher. He is an amazing young man and I am the proudest person to be his mom. I had him when I was very young, so it was a challenge. I learned to be strong, to be tough, to love unconditionally and to be very patient.

Where are you from and how long have you lived in Miami? 
I am originally from Quito-Ecuador but have lived in the United States since 2001. I moved to Miami over 11 years ago.
What’s the best thing about living in Miami?
The best thing about Miami is it’s weather. I also love the mix of cultures and its central location. Everytime my family or friends from Ecuador travel somewhere, they always end up here somehow. Miami just feels more like home.
Can’t leave the house without?
Water and my purse/backpack
Coffee or tea?
I don’t drink either.. I prefer water
Favorite season.
Summer all year around :) I think this is why I love Miami so much
Favorite scent.
I love lavender and also Sandalwood
Last thing you cooked.
The Black Bean Casserole with Hummus and Vegan Mozzarella Cheese I just had for lunch
What’s on your reading list.
I keep a book next to my bed all the time. I am now reading for the fourth time “Yoga and the path of the Urban Mystic” by Darren Main. Not sure what I will pick up next :)

How do you usually start your day?
I like to wake up earlyish around 6:30 a.m. - 7:00 a.m. After I shower I make a smoothie to start the day.
Do you have a morning routine?
I try to stay away from routines. I love the unknown and going with the flow. Everyday is different, why put limits by having a routine? But since I don’t live in wonderland, I do somehow have a routine. I wake up, shower, make my smoothie and go to whatever I have to do that day. Sometimes is teaching yoga at the studio, other times it means attending a private. When I don’t have a class scheduled, I go with my boyfriend, Pablo, to the beach to workout.
What is the first thing you thought of this morning?
I thought to myself that today was the only day I didn’t have to teach, so I must make it to yoga class. Practice what you preach.
What’s your go-to fitness routine or regimen?
My main workout is my asana practice. I also train Acro Yoga and calisthenics with my boyfriend. I don’t look at it as a routine or regimen, it would take the fun away. I love what I do, it doesn’t feel like a must, but a want.
What is your approach to nutrition?
I am very conscious about what I put in my body, internally and externally speaking. I am not vegan or fully vegetarian, but I try to eat as green as possible. Life is about balance, and that balance is different for every person. I don’t eat red meat or pork, but I do eat fish and chicken once or twice a week. If I have the option to eat plants and fruits vs. something else, I would go with the greens, but I don’t limit myself to an extreme.
What are your lifestyle “must-do’s” and your absolute “no ways”?
Whatever I am doing, I must enjoy. I must feel happy. I must feel like I am contributing to my higher self. After I made the decision of quitting my desk job, I decided I will no longer live someone else’s dream. I will not settle for anything that won’t make me feel alive, even if that means cutting people who don’t support my vision. I still love them tho :).

What’s your “passed down from Mom” beauty secret?
Most important thing to do is always wash your face and moisturize before going to bed.
Best beauty tip you ever received.
Drink lots of water, it’s the secret to good skin. Also my grandma said to me, the first thing you need for a clear skin is to eat a spoon of pure honey before eating anything.
Beauty secret.
The best secret to be beautiful, is to feel great on the inside, it will reflect on your outside.
What’s your must-have beauty product.
Makeup removal cloths
What’s your philosophy about beauty.
I believe every woman has the right to feel beautiful. Whatever that means to us. Some women leave their house without makeup and still feel like a million bucks. Some others have to use makeup to feel equally as good. I don’t think there is right or wrong, we are all unique and beautiful in our own way.

Favorite app.
Favorite social-media platform.
Favorite person to follow on Instagram.
I have a lot of inspiring people on my Instagram, but I think I am my favorite person. If I am not my biggest fan, who will be?
Last google search.
Coolest spots in Miami. Pablo and I drive around time often looking for cool spots to shoot but this time we searched to see what came up.
Person you text the most.
My boyfriend Pablo and my son Christopher :).

Favorite song.
Oh I have so manyyy! But if I had to choose one, I would have to say Hey Jude from The Beatles.
What’s your favorite city in the world.
I have not traveled the whole world, so it’s hard to answer this question.. from the places I’ve seen with my own eyes, I have to say Quito. It’s my home, will always be.
Where do you want to travel next.
It’s been about 5 years since I last went to Ecuador to visit my grandparents. My heart has been telling me it’s time to make a trip back home.
What words do you live by.
Find what makes you happy, and do lot’s of it. By living your passion, everything else will come.
Where did you go on your last trip?
Pablo and I went to Tulum, Mexico and stayed for almost a week in a beautiful apartment.

If you could offer dating advice to your 18 year old self, what would it be?
Don’t rush and think twice. Learn to enjoy the ride. There is so much more waiting ahead for you.
What’s your idea of a perfect date?
If you would have asked me this about 4 years ago, I would have said, candle light dinner at a nice restaurant followed by a night out. The Cristina of today has learned that it’s not about having a perfect date, but enjoying every single moment with the one you love. Treat every breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as the perfect date. It’s not about anything else but enjoying each others company.
Best way to decompress at home with your love.
After a long day, Pablo and I come home and just relax. We like to put yoga music on and sometimes we play the harmonium and chant. Some others we just lay down on the couch and I rub Pablo’s head until he falls asleep like a baby, don’t tell him I said that jeje.
Describe your relationship in one word.
What’s the secret to a healthy relationship?
Loving without expectations and learning to live life in the present moment. Having an open way of communication and building that love and trust daily while working together to maintain it.

Really looking forward to this month! Thank you for following and for all your support. xo, Gigi  

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