You're an open-minded and determined adult who’s tried different sorts of ways to heal your back but nothing has really worked. All you wish is to recover without surgery and you’ll do anything to avoid it.
You developed severe back pain and you thought that you were going to become one of those elderly people talking about how they used to do all sorts of cool stuff before their back gave out.
You’re uncomfortable in taking lots of meds your doctor prescribed and you’re afraid of the side effects they can cause you. They mess up with your mind and you can’t think clearly.
Every night is a struggle to sleep and the next morning you wake up tired and with lots of pain. You’re desperately looking for some way to get relief.
I totally hear you and I can help you!
I'm Cinthia Makuta and I’m a yoga teacher. I specialise in helping people suffering from back pain from muscular-skeletal back and neck conditions, osteoporosis, sacroiliac joint dysfunction, spinal disc bulges or herniations, spinal arthritis and mild scoliosis.
Such people are often sleepless, frustrated and exhausted of trying different solutions to relieve their pain yet still feeling stiff and sore.
I help them to manage their pain so they can take back control of their lives.
“Life begins where fear ends”- Osho
If this quote was true, my life began in my early 20’s, when I received the devastating news that my mom was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in her ovaries. And rare condition means rare treatment.
At that time, my family and I were relatively new arrivals in the city of São Paulo, in Brazil, where my parents decided to start a new life leaving behind the small city of Suzano, which lies near to the huge metropolis.
I was in my last year of high school and changing schools in the middle of the year was very challenging for me. For the first time I felt I was behind my peers. I made it through the last six months struggling with my studies. I was also working at my parents’ shop in an Asian neighborhood, a job that wasn’t fulfilling for me, while, at the same time, trying to figure out what I would study at college. After studying tourism for six months, I decided to change course and went for business instead.
Before her cancer diagnosis my mom had very good health, I can’t recall her ever being ill and in bed. She was a positive and uplifting person and nobody could have suspected that she could have this terrible illness .
She was the bravest person I’ve ever known. Nothing would beat her, even cancer! She fought against it fiercely and she wasn’t ready to be taken down. She did everything possible to become healthy again. She’d tried both conventional and alternative treatments. She got better day by day and her doctor was amazed that she was managing to recover from what was, at the time, a very rare cancer. We were all very happy with her progress and we were convinced she would defeat the beast.
In the meantime, I was looking for some way to exercise my body. I signed up with a gym, but lifting weights was never my cup of tea. My motivation lasted about a month. Having been a very active person who did a lot of sports since I was young, I was seeking another way to move my body. One day I discovered a yoga studio, next to my parents’ shop.
This was in the early 2000’s, when yoga wasn’t as mainstream as it’s today. I didn’t know anyone who did yoga and I can’t remember what really made me start practicing in the first place. Perhaps it was meant to happen at the hardest time of my life when I was dealing with my mom’s illness.
One day, out of nowhere, she had a very strong headache and we ran her to the hospital. She was diagnosed with another tumor, this time in her brain and had to undergo surgery. The surgery didn’t go well due to the doctor’s negligence and she ended up in a coma.
She was unconscious for over a month and when she woke up she became totally dependent on me and my family for everything. She had lost all her ability to move and speak. It was devastating seeing her in a vegetative state.
Yoga helped me to manage all the stress, anger and sadness I was experiencing by helping me to become more centered and accept circumstances I couldn’t change.
After about 40 days in the hospital, she was discharged. We brought her back home but she didn't make it and she passed away after a week. She was only 50.
When I decided to change my life entirely
One year after the loss of my mom and still not knowing what to do with my life, I decided to make an old dream of mine come true and travel abroad to live and study.
So in 2005, I went to Ireland. With the little savings I had I paid for my English course and a place to stay. The initial plan was to stay for up to a year but this ended up being over 5 years.
There, again, I started practicing yoga. At the yoga studio I joined the membership allowed me to sign up for as many classes as I wanted in a month. That gave me the opportunity to try different types of yoga classes with different teachers. At the time I didn’t understand the different styles of yoga or anything about the spiritual level. I loved the physical aspect of it and enjoyed it for a long time, even if I wasn’t practicing on a daily basis.
During my time in Dublin, as an immigrant and a student, I didn’t see any prospects of my life improving. I was feeling miserable and unhappy and after months of thinking about what would be my next move, I finally took the decision to go to Índia.
One of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life.
As a nature lover and someone who has always been adverse to conventional medicine - especially after my mom’s death and the mishandling of her illness- I became very interested in holistic medicine.
When I first started researching Ayurveda, during my time in Dublin, I was intrigued and wanted to learn more about it. I also learned that Ayurveda is a sister science of yoga. So in July 2010 I decided to go to Kerala, the birthplace of this ancient medicine.
During the following three months I studied intensively to become an Ayurvedic therapist. I was so in love with the subject that I took all the courses the school had to offer. It was there that I learnt yoga could also be used as a therapy to manage many modern diseases.
After I finished the course I felt very happy and fulfilled. Taking the step to travel to an unknown country and being fearless made me open my mind and learn new ways of living. I learnt how to be kind and respectful with myself and everything and everyone around me. During my time in India I also became vegetarian and felt healthier and lighter after making yoga part of my daily routine.
After two months travelling around Índia, staying in ashrams, I decided to do a yoga teacher training.
When I started the course, I didn't have the intention to teach it but only to deepen my understanding. By the time I finished it, my intuition was telling me that I couldn’t keep this knowledge to myself and that I should pass it on to others.
My time in Índia had come to an end and my home country was calling me back.
When I started working as a yoga teacher
It took me some time to get used to living in Brazil, after six years abroad, and perhaps I never really did.
With my yoga teacher certificate in hand and the total transformation I’d been through, I started teaching yoga in 2011, starting with my family and friends. I absolutely loved it, especially helping people become their better selves.
Over the years, I taught group classes in studios and gyms but what I really enjoyed was working one-on-one with my students. Working with people privately made me connect deeply with each of them, allowing me to learn about their struggles and understand about different types of body and mental issues. Soon I realized that each body is different from others and can’t be treated equally.
After six years in Brazil, it was time to move again. After meeting my husband, we decided to move to the UK in 2017, where we currently live with our two dogs Tara and Ollie.
Yoga Harrow was born.
After finding our new home in Harrow, I created Yoga Harrow with the intention of working locally. So I did in the first years, working one-to-one as a continuation of what I was doing in Brazil.
Many of my private students were having some sort of back pain, so I started to implement a special program with them. I saw firsthand the relief they were obtaining by moving their bodies gently and mindfully and by working on improving their core and flexibility.
When I understood that the majority of people will experience back pain at some time in their lives, and that back pain is one of the top reasons people visit their doctors, it was time for Yoga Harrow to evolve.
Today, I help people with recurring and non-recurring injuries, improving their backs and finding the relief they are desperately looking for so they can live fulfilling lives. I love my work as a yoga teacher, and every day I’m thankful for the opportunities I have to make a tangible difference in my client’s lives.
The outbreak of Covid-19 in 2020 and the subsequent lockdown all over the world, forced many of us to reinvent ourselves and learn to adapt to the new reality of confinement. With that, I decided to transfer all my in-person classes online. This way I can keep helping my clients stay well and focus on their yoga routine so they can be on top of things.
Whether you’re busy doing home office, sitting long hours in front of the screen, or you’re a parent taking care of your children, it’s important to find time in your schedule for yourself and your back.
My credentials include:
250 hours Yoga Teacher Training at Vasishta Yoga Research Foundation in India
Certified Ayurvedic Therapist at the School of Ayurveda and Panchakarma in India
Certified Pregnancy Yoga instructor from GAMA- Support Group of Active Birth in Brazil
I hope to see you on the mat!