A Teacher of the Healing Arts, Andrea Sulzbacher Summoned Her Own Practice and Patience to Get Through a Series of Personal Life Struggles

The warrior within.

  • Category
    Health, People
  • Written by
    Ursula Beatt
  • Photographed by
    Monica Orozco

Andrea Sulzbacher turns heads when she walks into a room. Her confident stride and perfect posture stem from decades of yoga, Pilates and meditation practice. With a smile that evokes simultaneous serenity and disarming charm, she engages others with both curiosity and wisdom. 

Andrea came into this world at a midwife station below a castle in a little town in Austria. A fiercely independent, rebellious and self-sufficient child, she enjoyed a safe home with her parents but received little emotional support. Her early experience taught her strength and resilience. She also learned to listen to her intuition—a practice that served her well through a life of serious challenges.

At 18, Andrea moved to Los Angeles as an au pair, following her dream of a life in the United States. The first years proved difficult; she was caring for young children on a small wage while not yet in command of the English language. Yet her curious mind, along with her parents’ lessons of self-sufficiency, enabled Andrea to start a new path and uncover her life’s purpose.

For more than 20 years, she deeply immersed herself in the study and practice of the healing arts. It began with Pilates, the 100-year-old practice that helps build strong core muscles for better posture, alignment and inner balance. For Andrea, a strong core is more than a physical achievement; it is the basis of being connected with oneself and feeling grounded in one’s power. After she earned her Pilates trainer certification, she knew she had found her calling.

“When life turns into chaos, we need to drop into our heart, face our fears, find patience and let go.”

“My spiritual journey started at age 23 when I developed severe adult acne. My skin was suddenly covered in painful cysts, and I couldn’t bear looking in the mirror,” she recalls. “Many days I stayed home, and to soothe myself I became addicted to food—mostly sweets. It became a vicious cycle.”

Andrea remembers the moment everything shifted. “A strong voice inside told me to get centered. I put my hand on my heart and embraced the emotions that came up. This was a pivotal moment because I realized I had suppressed my true feelings and ignored subconscious childhood wounds I did not know existed. For the first time, I allowed myself to feel my loneliness and sadness. I learned that my heart longed for love and acceptance, but filling that void with sweets was not the answer. I needed to sit with myself with love and compassion and supportive self-talk.”

Andrea never looked back. She developed a healthy relationship with food and healed her skin and gut with holistic medicine. She continued her studies and became a Usui and Karuna Reiki master, a certified TRX instructor and a yoga teacher. She also mastered a complex, powerful rebirthing breath work technique—something she teaches and practices daily.

One night at a Chinese New Year celebration at Yo San University, she met Mao Shing Ni, cofounder of the university and a doctor of traditional Chinese medicine. In a room filled with hundreds of people, he singled her out and offered to teach her tai chi sword practice.

For more than a year, they met every Sunday morning at a park to practice this powerful and enlightening skill. Afterward, they sat and read verses from the Tao Te Ching and talked about life, which added another dimension to Andrea’s healing education. All of her practices have one thing in common: a focus on movement, alignment, discipline and breath.

Her complex and diverse education makes Andrea an exceptional healer, teacher and consultant to clients. In 2000 she opened her studio, Cre8Balance, where she teaches the mind-body connection through yoga, Pilates, tai chi, breath work and energy healing. Andrea tailors her sessions based on her clients’ energy levels and unique imbalances. Spiritual teachings and laughter come up naturally.

Andrea is hands-on, always observing and aiming to teach about the body, its alignment and the importance of breath. Many of her clients say Andrea has transformed their lives through her devotion to her work.

It takes tremendous discipline to put healing practices to use daily. We often fall into the trap of looking for outer gratification and distraction when life gets tough, rather than looking inward and maintaining a grounded approach.

Andrea understood that to serve others, she had to heal her own traumas first. She needed to be disciplined and start a daily practice of breath work and strengthening exercises. In doing so, she transformed her body and mind and gained the mental strength to face anything in life. She had no idea how much this would help her through an upcoming crisis.

In 2009, after living and working in the U.S. for 18 years and building a thriving business, she was denied re-entry into the U.S. due to visa discrepancies after a brief visit to Austria. Sent back on the next plane, her life was instantly turned upside down. This was the beginning of a five-year struggle that put her at risk of losing everything she had built: her clients, her home, her income, her dream.

“My fridge in the U.S. was filled with food, and I had a full calendar of clients waiting for my return,” she says. “I had no way to know how long it would take to be able to solve this visa issue. I had to move back in with my parents, and during it all, my boyfriend in the States ended our relationship. I never felt more powerless, frightened, lonely and hopeless in my life. For a while, feeling like a caged animal, I stopped praying and lost my faith, questioning the validity of everything I believed.”

Andrea then saw her life-altering experience as an opportunity to strengthen her trust in her spiritual practices, which became her guiding light in the deepest darkness. “When life turns into chaos, we need to drop into our heart, face our fears, find patience and let go. It’s one of the hardest lessons for humans to learn,” she shares. “Yet it is what gives us the strength to trust, to live in the moment and stay grounded in our personal power in order to make change happen. In my emotional turmoil, I struggled to not cease nurturing the faith that unsolved things can move into solution.”

After five years of exile, Andrea returned to Los Angeles, welcomed by her loyal clients and adoring friends. The fire of resilience still burned within, and her fierce green eyes focused on rebirth. Her next dream is to open wellness centers across the world and cocreate retreats with other holistic therapists to help this planet evolve into higher consciousness. Cre8Balance continues to flourish. In her free time, Andrea is a passionate practitioner of archery and volunteers in animal shelters.

“I strive to be a role model and walk my talk,” she says. “I turn 50 next year and am proud of my strong body and healthy mind.”

Andrea believes all women are warrior goddesses inside. “It is an archetype that represents physical strength, emotional clarity and an intuitive core,” she adds. “In order to tune in to your goddess mentality, you must reconnect to the sacred rhythms of nature and not be too consumed with materialistic achievements. We must align with our heart space, which is the seat of our soul and our connection to divinity and oneness. In our hearts, masculine and feminine energies intertwine. From that place we can become masters of our own frequency and learn to dance with the sacred rhythms of life. This is the blueprint for a life of happiness and serenity.”

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