When did your yoga journey start? And why did you start?
My yoga journey began in the second to last year of high school (2003). Yoga was something I knew little about before I started and I just felt this strong urge to try it out. It transpired that I enjoyed it so much I started practising every morning before school.
Describe your very first class?
What I remember the most about my first class is how it made me feel – really connected with my body, invigorated, alive and that I wanted to keep practising and learning more.
Describe where yoga has helped you overcome a challenge in life.
Yoga helps me to be completely aware of myself – watching my reactions and feelings as they arise (especially when things don’t go as planned) so that I can choose what’s useful and not useful in a situation.
What led you to decide to become a yoga instructor?
There were two main reasons:
Firstly, I wanted to change my own lifestyle (especially work wise) as I was I had no time for myself or others when I was taking on long hours at work and starting to develop stress related health issues.
Secondly, as yoga has impacted my body, life choices and the way I look at things in such a powerful way, I felt drawn to want to share and pass on the benefits and ancient teachings to others.
Describe your lifestyle and eating habits:
I’ve been a vegetarian for the last thirteen years and I like to eat fresh nourishing food and to know where its come from. I really like the idea of being as self sufficient as possible. I cook most of my own food and like to eat what’s in season at the time and try not to over complicate things. When I do dine out I enjoy eating Japanese and Korean food.
If you were a supermarket item, what would you be? Why?
A mango – as it’s my favourite fruit and reminds me of summer, holidays, the beach and Christmas which one of my favourite times of the year!
What do you find most rewarding about being a yoga instructor? Any most challenging?
Probably what’s most rewarding is knowing that I’m coming into the studio each day for someone other than myself and that one word I say or one movement that I teach has the power to change someone’s day and their life, potentially.
Probably the most challenging thing I found when I first started teaching and still often do is when I’ve got a lot going on in my own life and then to be able to put it all aside and show up 100% (be present) for my students.
What else do you do in life, aside from yoga? Eg, job, hobbies, lifestyle, creative outlets
My “other” job is as a chef. I’ve worked as a fulltime chef for seven years and for the past two years I have spent a couple of days per week as a pastry chef in a patisserie. This extends into my spare time as I love cooking for my family and friends.
I love summer and the outdoors, especially swimming at the beach (where I practically live in the summer.) I love to go snowboarding in the winter when I get the chance (one of the very few activities that get me out in the cold of winter.) I also enjoy spending time outside in the garden whether it’s at my own house or at my parents vegie garden.
Just take things one breath at a time (both on and off the mat) enjoying and accepting each moment for what it is!
What is your favourite yoga pose and why? What is the yoga pose that challenges you the most and why?
Incidentally, my favourite postures are often the ones that challenge me, also as everyday this changes for me depending on how I’m feeling, what’s on my mind and what;s going on physically. Every practise I find myself experiencing two types of “favourite” poses. There are oness that allow me to completely be myself and honour the place where I’m at – where I can find complete strength/support with complete surrender at the same time and be completely united with the breath.
And then poses that challenge me in some way whether it be physical limits, whether it interferes with my breath, or whether it conjures up a reaction – (eg being uncomfortable, doubting myself, being frustrated). This indicates that there’s something here for me to observe, discover and learn about myself.
If you could only instil one thing from yoga to your students, what would it be?
Just to take things one breath at a time (both on and off the mat) enjoying and accepting each moment for what it is! This extends as my personal philosophy as well.
What is your favourite thing in life? Besides yoga, of course!
Spending time with my family and friends.
How would you cure world hunger if you had the chance?
Seen as so much of the world’s food is wasted it would great to somehow distribute the excess to those in need.