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Monday, May 18, 2015

Om Girl! Cheerleader-turned-yogi builds online power network

Lexi Hidalgo
For many teenagers, yoga is a great after-school activity, exercise outlet, and stress-reliever.

While the practice is all that for 14-year-old Lexi Hidalgo, it’s fast-becoming an entrepreneurial platform, as well.

The Delray Beach native is not your average young yogi. Hidalgo is one of the nation’s youngest certified Yoga and Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) instructors as well. Since posting daily – sometimes twice if homework permits --to Instagram nearly a year back, she’s amassed upwards of 4000 followers, who rely upon her daily feed for her creative, attention-grabbing photos and positive messages.
“Social media has helped me to...
build myself up. Before I started yoga, I couldn’t talk in person. Now, I post whatever I want to with confidence. Without Instagram, I wouldn’t have all the opportunities that are coming,” says Hidalgo.
Courtesy LunaJai
Besides teaching a monthly Teen Vinyasa class at ivivva in Boca Raton, Hildago will instruct kids at week-long SUP camps this coming summer. And recently, she was tapped by athletic apparel brand, LunaJai to be an ambassador.
The cheerleader-turned-yogi first discovered yoga while accompanying her mom to a heated class. Following years of intense, competitive cheerleading, “Yoga completely calmed me down and changed my life,” says Hildago, who took this season off from the rowdy sport and isn’t sure she’ll return.
 “A lot of people judge you at school. Yoga taught me to feel comfortable within my own skin. I used to second guess myself, but now I don’t care what others have to say,” she says.
Today, Hidalgo finds that she easily relates to her child students in a way adult yoga teachers can’t.  
“I want kids to realize that I am their age and can connect with them. I want to inspire them to chase their dreams,” says the eighth-grade sensation.
As for where her growing success will take her?

“I’ve made a lot of great connections. I want more people to follow my journey on Instagram– 10,000 is my goal,” says Hidalgo. “I love posting and sharing daily adventures. Some of the comments I receive are so nice and go right to my heart. I can actually be a part of someone’s life and change it, which is so cool,” she says.

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