FILIPA LI : Manta Yoga Porto
Filipa is the founder of a lovely studio, Manta Yoga Porto. She is a yoga teacher and a certified educator training future teachers. The first person we wanted to have in iGUANEYE Days, in a sort of inaugural post, is Filipa Li. Being a Porto native, Filipa lived in India, a place where she often goes for extended stays to improve her practice. She is the mother of a 4 years old girl.
"My work is related to everything natural. We have everything we need inside us, that's a thing I believe in. I carry this thought in everything in my life and work, especially in my yoga practice.
Both the yoga practice and Buddhist philosophy give us an elementary and minimalist platform for our lives. We don't need many material things to be a whole person. Thins do not fulfill us or make us what we are.
Before being a yoga teacher and educator, I was a holistic therapist for ten years. I used to love what I was doing, but yoga gradually became my life, and that's what I am right now. I love teaching and providing transforming tools to others. I love when my students transform their lives just as I did to mine.
The yoga method I teach is very particular. I like my students to be as careful and demanding as I am. That's a great motivation to keep passing my knowledge and similar foundations to a new generation of teachers.
I think the future in Portugal is auspicious. The mentality is changing, the demand is getting higher, as is the quality of teachers and studios. The yoga market is growing at a fast pace, which can also be dangerous, as some studios are not as careful as they should in what concerns quality and student safety. But I want to believe that, in the end, the best studios will prevail.
The job I chose makes me have a broader notion of the connection between us as humans and Nature. This informs the way I consume. I'm not a very consumerist person and put a lot of thought in the act of buying, for multiple reasons. I like to know beforehand where the things I buy are made and if it is responsibly. This is particularly important in clothing. Of course, for someone with my lifestyle, comfort is also crucial.
Nowadays, the most trustworthy brands have this incredibly difficult task of helping consumers to be more alert to greenwashing and damaging business practices. In an ideal world, these brands would lead other more prominent brands to a positive change, bringing real, sustainable approaches to the mainstream. Now more and more people want to know how things are made. Maybe a bigger and more competitive market could have a positive influence on prices for this sort of sustainable goods.
iGUANEYE is a great example. I love that their shoes are made in Porto, that the brand is based in my hometown. The design is outstanding. The way the shoes adapt to the foot, without laces or buttons, their simplicity and comfort. The shoes are so light! It feels we don't have anything on.
I spend most part of the day barefoot, you know? And I like to carry that feeling when putting my shoes on. I use iGUANEYEs on multiple occasions. In my daily life in Porto, on weekends, at the beach or on a hike in the mountains. They are so versatile!
Photos: Filipa Li, Miguel Barbot