City of Angels Zen Vance Vlasek

Vance didn’t originally plan on being a yoga instructor. Hailing from South Florida, this creative spent the last ten years as an actor-singer and dancer. He found the great love for his art and adored his time as a performer. Yoga was originally his side gig, but the more time he spent in the practice, the more he gravitated towards it. “I’m passionate about exploring my humanity.  I love diving into mind, body, and spirit. I love guiding others through mind-blowing yogic techniques that have helped me mitigate the rough edges of life and granted me profound windows of peace, power, and freedom.”

He’s found true joy in his work and feels it reflects in his teaching. Yoga and mindfulness are tools for many things including self-healing on different levels. He enjoys seeing others absorb and find joy in their practice and believes that joy sets the groundwork for growth. “My classes can touch on serious and somber subject material.  They may make you have some hard conversations with yourself, but there will always be an undercurrent of joy.”

Staying motivated in any endeavor is one of the keys to finding success. Vance has found motivation with his students, within himself and in the world around him. Watching his students and the growth they experience, even within one class, is extremely gratifying and encourages him in his growth as well. Continuously feeling the healing effects of his own practice has inspired Vance to further share his knowledge with his community and to grow his business. His motivation found in the world surrounding him comes from the chaos that seems ever present, and our very need to slow down, calm our mind and just be. “The world NEEDS yoga and mindfulness now more than ever because of the intense amount of change and evolution occurring.  We have more access to information than ever and it can be overwhelming to try and process it all.  Mindfulness helps us do so, bringing us from a brain designed to survive, to one that we redesign to thrive.”

A lot of hard work has gone into Vance building his practice and his business. He put his first love of performance art on the back burner and moved away from his family in South Florida in order to accomplish his goals. His biggest advice to others looking to take a similar path is to practice, practice and then practice again. “If you stay consistent in your personal practice, teaching will come much easier because you’ll have an authentic place to teach from.  Don’t only study underneath one teacher. Take as many teachers’ classes as you can, so you can synthesize their teachings into your own.  Read up, theory and practice combined are a one-two punch for a yoga teacher.”

It’s the teachers he’s learned from that Vance credits for his success, and not just the yoga teachers. His life has been full of people who took the time to lead him along the bumpy road of life. Family, friends, those he looks up to and those he’s filled his life with have all played integral roles in his story. “My teachers? First and foremost, my parents Mark and Gail Vlasek (both former teachers: mom taught math, dad taught PE).  My brother Brett, for always keeping me on my toes and giving me someone to measure up to.  My childhood babysitter and family friend Darnelle, who gave me my first real yoga class and encouraged me to sign up for my first yoga teacher training 2 weeks later.  My OG yoga guru Claire Santos in Miami and my current teacher Kate Dyun Cariati here in LA.  Shout out to all the other teachers who have trained me, not just in yoga but performing arts, school, and life!” Vance has also learned from those he’s studied and whose traits are admirable. People such as Barak Obama, “I respect that man so much.  The diplomacy and pragmatism under harsh circumstances were so real during his presidency, as was the humanitarianism.”; Pema Chodron, “her writings have given me so much peace and insight.”; and Russell Brand, “he’s unapologetically himself, a successful actor/performer, a very vocal proponent of yoga and mindfulness, a talented author and just seems like a really funny, down to earth person.”

What’s up and coming for Vance Vlasek? You can look for him in the L.A. area as he continues bringing mindfulness and yoga to our community. He’ll be assisting in some teacher training, leading a couple of remote workshops and continuing his studies with the fantastic teachers he’s surrounded himself with. He’s also looking forward to the potential release of a feature-length movie called “Off the Rails”, which will star him as one of the leads. Vance is a man of many talents, and we’re thankful that he’s chosen to share them with us.

To Follow Vance Vlasek

Instagram @VanceVlasek

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