Transforming Your Mind + Body With Carla Egurrola

core connections mindfulness movement Jul 31, 2018

In this episode, I am having a conversation with a close peer, student + friend Carla Egurrola. I loved listening to her insight on this journey of life that we are all on as it helps lead us to new insights and self-transformation from the inside, out. We bring up a word that I use all the time and that is awareness. An awareness of how your body is feeling and how your mind is feeling can put you in the right direction of your journey.


Carla has over 20 years of experience as a fitness and wellness professional with a degree in nutrition. She has been a personal trainer, yoga + Pilates instructor and a Mindvalley Certified Trainer. She is the co-owner of her new studio, Equilibrium, which is based out of Guatemala. She does specialist fitness studios where she specializes in teaching things such as prenatal training, Core Rehab and Iso Fit.




Erica: A big piece of what I want to talk about is your approach to mindfulness and its relationship to movement because a mindset shift is something that we are all capable of. But I want you to start us off with whatever piece of your story you feel is most impactful. 

Carla: What I would like to share first is that we are all on this journey. A journey where we go through different phases that lead us to new insights and transformation that make us feel better inside and outside. 

I started out as a high-level gymnast growing up, so exercise has always been a part of my life. Once you are at that high of a level, if you get hurt you must forget that it hurts and keep going. That attitude sticks with you.

Then, I started in the fitness industry and I studied nutrition as both careers lead you into the health and fitness industry. At the beginning of my career, I struggled with body image as I suffered an eating disorder. It was ironic because I wanted to help people become healthier and feel better about themselves as I was struggling inside. I think of it as a process and that we all must live our own process wherever you are and figure things out. 

The shift for me happened when I discovered yoga. I tried yoga because I had three knee surgeries. 

Erica: Do you think the knees were due to the impact of gymnastics over the years? 

Carla: My ligaments were loose by the time I injured my knees due to the flexibility, high and intense range of motion combined with impact. Well after gymnastics, I went through a period where I got into sports aerobics and that is where I got my injuries from. I had to balance stability and mobility, so much so that I tore my ligaments in one knee. 

I had the operation and then I kept going with that mentality that I grew up with. I knew I couldn’t do high competing activities anymore because it didn’t feel right with my knees. But I kept teaching and then I started doing adventure racing. From that, I fell off my bike from mountain biking and I tore my ligaments in my other knee. Then, my other knee started bothering me because it was all out of balance. 

Erica: That was your realization of maybe I shouldn’t be doing this because it’s not benefiting my body. 

Carla: It defiantly showed me that there was something wrong with my mindset as I was not doing right by my body. At this point, I haven’t recovered from my third injury as I walked past this class at the gym that said power yoga. I never thought that I would be the one to go into a yoga class because I thought it was too mellow for me. I tried out the class because I saw the word ‘power’. It was amazing because it challenged me. 

That is when I started to shift my mindset from pushing through to what feels good for my body. I started to read more about the philosophy of the mindset and it started to make sense to me. It clicked for me when I read the book, “Yoga From The Inside Out,” by Christina Sell. It taught me that this was about movement, breathing and understanding yourself. 

You can do yoga in a harmful way if your mindset isn’t in the right place. When you are doing an intense exercise, you start to not pay attention to what is going on inside of you as you numb everything. You start to count calories and not eat certain things that you enjoy because you need to fit this image. The whole time you are doing this, you are talking negatively to yourself. You are punishing yourself because you want to look a certain way and you aren’t enjoying what you are doing. You’re not enjoying your body. 

These experiences have opened me up to looking at fitness, exercise and nutrition in a different way. I started to do things because I wanted to feel better and yoga felt good to me. Once I felt this shift, I started applying this mindset to everything. I like to teach my clients what I have gone through because sometimes we get lost in how we look and forget how we feel. 

Erica: I’m glad you said that because I think we get in this mindset that we want to look a certain way so you must do whatever it takes, but you can’t sustain that. I am so happy that you are teaching the mindfulness as that helps you become more aware of your body. I recently interviewed David Lesondak talking about fascia and talking about your interoception. That is a big piece as you start to be more aware of the mindfulness as you become more attuned to your body. After so many years we get used to shutting that down, but you need to listen to your body. 

I want to talk about the Mindvalley stuff that you have done and what kind of shift did you notice within yourself.

Carla: After practicing yoga and reading more about it, it started to make sense to me as I opened to it. You become more open-minded. Even with Pilates because you learn that connection with breath and how to feel your body while doing things intelligently.

I came across Mindvalley when I was looking to learn more about chakras. I started listening to these authors' ideas and their personal growth, and it allowed me to grow as well. It made it easier for me to understand why I was doing what I’m doing in this practice. You start to listen to yourself and what movements are benefiting you. 

You then get into the research and see that there are so many benefits to meditation. When your mind gets its best state, you are more focused and less stressed out. Tony Robbins says that 80% of everything you do starts with your psychological state. If your mindset isn’t right or your environment isn’t positive, sooner or later the universe is going to let you know. We start to understand the importance of the mind-body connection.

Mindvalley specializes in personal growth as it is connected to fitness and wellness. At the end of the day, you want to feel good about yourself, your environment and being able to sustain it. You need different things in different phases of your life.

Expanding in your limits is great, but there is a difference between expanding your limits and pushing your limits. And I think that difference is that there is a little bit more of an awareness and consciousness of how you are approaching those limits. Because if you push, your body will push you back.   

Erica: That is when I think we start running into problems, but sometimes you must experience pushing yourself too hard to understand how good your body can feel. Do you have any other tips for our listeners who are wanting to shift their mindset to a healthier lifestyle?

Carla: When you reach that point where you are too tired to finish the day or too sore to perform daily activities, that is the point in which you need to check in with your body to see what is going on. Checking on things like your environment and how you are spending your energy. The other thing to keep in mind when you are working out is to breathe. You will find that when you focus on your breath, the movements that you are doing will be that more effective.

Erica: Know that we are all capable of change as we never stop evolving. What once worked for you before may not be what your body needs now. But if you look at it in too big of a picture, it can seem daunting to take on. 

Carla: And then the gratefulness. Being grateful for what your body can do and appreciating your body. Maybe you start off just sitting for 20 minutes to have that time for yourself to start being grateful for what you have. If you went to the gym today, be grateful that you did something for yourself. Even if it’s just the little things.

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The material contained within is provided for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. You should seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues and consult your physician before beginning a new regiment or purchasing any product(s).

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