Vera Quijano embarked on her journey to learn to dance when she was nine years old. With strong encouragement by her parents, she participated in tap, ballet, jazz, acrobatic, and hula dance lessons on a weekly basis. In 1986, she became certified by test to teach dance by Dance Masters of America, Inc, an international organization of dance educators. This marked the beginning of her career teaching children at local schools and community centers.
In 1989, while pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Cell and Molecular Biology as part of her pre-med studies at San Francisco State University, she stumbled upon the teachings of Dr. Deepak Chopra, MD. His body-mind approach to healing both physically and emotionally enticed her, and diverted her from her path to apply to a traditional medical school. Upon graduation, she inadvertently found herself unclear about her educational goals and decided to go on hiatus.
In the interim, she resorted back to teaching dance to children, and expanded her programs to include science as well. She also decided to take up a new hobby, and unexpectedly developed an addiction to salsa dancing. Her newfound hobby originally intended to “dabble in this hot salsa dancing craze” turned into over two decades of teaching thousands of adults and children at community colleges, community centers, private studios, dance clubs, corporations, and many other venues throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
It wasn’t long before Vera soon correlated the principles of body-mind medicine with the healing powers of dance, and decided to pursue The Teacher’s Path training through the Chopra Center. Vera successfully completed the program, and proudly introduces herself as a certified Perfect Health Ayurvedic Lifestyle Educator. She soon after achieved the title of certified Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga instructor, a Yoga Alliance Registered School. (The Yoga Alliance registers yoga schools whose teacher training programs address minimum standards, and assures that graduates are well qualified to teach the practicing public.)
Vera also holds a Master of Public Administration degree from Notre Dame de Namur University and a Nutritional Consultant Certificate from the Global College of Natural Medicine. Vera’s teaching philosophy is based on her unique combination of formal education and Chopra Center training, in conjunction with her in-depth experience working with the general public as (current) Cañada College teaching adjunct faculty, and as (past) Interim Financial Aid Director, Scholarship Coordinator, and Student Activities Coordinator.
In January 2014, Vera became an ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) Certified Personal Trainer. Together, with her aforementioned certifications and experience, Vera has designed a lifestyle system to serve as a vehicle to help create a world of thriving, interdependent communities, devoted to individual and family body-mind wellness, and spirituality. She believes, with all her heart, that this shared sense of community will reveal shared opportunities, encourage shared responsibilities, and fuel shared prosperity.
Vera is committed to promoting both economic and environmental sustainability, while living life in the spirit of integrity, service, and FUN!