There is no doubt that music is central to Latin culture (and that Latin music is now central to the world!). For our exploration of the sense of Sound, we were drawn to how Peruvian yoga instructor and actress Fernanda de la Peunte taps into the power of music in a unique way, infusing it into her practice. For Fernanda, music and dance are the key to unlocking our energy and creating a deep self-connection. She guides her students through transformative experiences, using movement and sound as tools to liberate the mind, bring you into your body, and embrace the present moment. Read her inspiring interview on “shaking meditation,” what to do when you’re feeling energetically stuck, and cultivating joy. You’ll be ready to get moving & grooving by the end of it!
What is your hometown, and where do you live today?
My hometown is Lima, Peru, although I also consider NY as my heart town as I lived there for 8 years and it completely shaped who I am. I currently live in Madrid.
In a few words, please tell us about your work and your mission
I’m a Jivamukti Yoga instructor and actress and I founded the Asana Groove Studio. My mission with Asana Groove is to get to people’s hearts through breath and movement. Yoga and dance have been life saviors for me and I hope they can also become so for others.
My mission with Asana Groove is to get to people’s hearts through breath and movement. Yoga and dance have been life saviors for me and I hope they can also become so for others.
How does music and dance play into your yoga practice and teaching?
Music is KEY. It sets the tone and vibe for the class. Music allows us to go deeper and connect to ourselves in a different ways and through different perspectives. I incorporate dance in some classes in order to loosen up and connect to certain aspects of ourselves that we may look over in a regular yoga class.
Music has so much power to take us places emotionally, communicate culture, and shift our energy. What powers of music do you think some people are not fully aware of? Things that you tap into?
I think music can take you into many different places in your heart and in your mind. As my teacher Rima wisely says: Music is universal and it allows you to drop into embodied presence; into the now. Even if you know the lyrics of a song, and it makes you nostalgic of a time that is not anymore, because you’re practicing yoga, as you listen to it, you’re relating to the song in a different way. Meaning that if a song makes you feel nostalgic or reminds of you of something, because you’re listening to it as you move, it’s not so emotionally loaded. Because of the spaciousness of the practice, there is space for a new interpretation to be done by the nervous system connected to that track. You’re re-connecting to that song in a way that is more open, more fresh, and less loaded. Less loaded is a good term.
The same goes for dance. Getting up and dancing can instantly impact our mood and change our mindset. It seems like your practice taps into this – can you tell us more about the power of “shaking,” as you call it?
We are running from ourselves the whole time. Some are running for money, some are running for power, some are running for respectability, some are running for virtue, etc.
Conscious movement helps us meet ourselves, to run within ourselves yourself rather than running away. Dance brings us to the present moment and to the realization that we don’t have to do one more thing to be fine. YOU ARE FINE. Shaking meditation helps our energy to flow and be transformed into joy. By being fully immersed in shaking your body, you begin to 'melt' any blocks, bringing a liquid flow to places where your energy and mind feel stuck.
So, if and when your world crashes, don't sit paralyzed in your living room. Move, shake, stretch, and help yourself move it through and out of you .
So many of us live in the chaos of the mind where things are constantly shifting and thoughts are continuously coming at us. This can be INTENSE. So let’s not just keep the chaos trapped in our heads with nowhere to go. Rather, let’s bring this down into the body so we can fully let it go.
Feel what you're feeling, and don't push it away. Let’s not run away from the very things that need our attention. Feeling good is not about blocking out negative experiences, its about letting them in, letting them move through us, and then giving them space to move out. Shaking meditation is a highly effective way of unwinding and letting go at the end of a busy day. Shaking allows us to melt away any blocks.
Music and dance are so integral to Latin culture. How do you think your roots have inspired you or taught you about music?
I feel so blessed to be Latin! We have the rhythm in our bones, and we connect to sound and music in a very primal, almost ancient way. :)
In a few words, what does beauty mean to you?
Naturalness, confidence, clarity, lightness.
What beauty lessons have you inherited, from your mother, family, or culture?
That you become beautiful when you create beauty for others. When you give your time and your energy to others in a detached way. Not expecting anything in return.
What are the highlights of your skincare routine - any products or ingredients you can’t live without?
Hyaluronic acid, and a rich cream moisturizer. Also love my sponge.
Favorite self-care or mindfulness ritual?
Listening to binaural beats.
Favorite destination in Latin America?
Follow Fernanda for more inspiration.