I have been practicing Yoga in one style or another for almost 17 years perhaps longer.
I was introduced to Yoga breath work and basic asana movement as a child; when my mother used to teach children within the humble walls of a Hare Krishna Ashram. Whilst she was in the classroom amongst English and numeracy classes, I found myself drawn to chanting circles, and forms of breath work and meditation going on in other parts of the ashram.
For me I never set off wanting or desiring to be a Yogi or even giving it much thought but being around spiritual parents and adopting mindfulness approaches in spirituality and life in general, I feel yoga was already present in my life.
As a teen after finishing up the pursuit to be a gymnast and then after many years as a dancer I started to look at other forms of movement that supported my body on a physical level
In the beginning, yoga was something we could do at school as part of our weekly sport. Then my mother and I used to go to a yoga teacher Else Stuart who ran group classes in a local hall at Currumbin beach
A girl friend and I decided to do our Stott Pilates teacher training on the Sunshine Coast and it was during this period that she opened with her business partner at the time, Essence Of Living on the Gold Coast. I think I was 22 at the time
The year was the start of my studies outside of the constraints of the business degree that I was undertaking. I did finish my Business degree as I have always worked full time as a Brand Manager within the fashion and sports apparel industry. But I was also equally immersed in Pilates, movement and on going studies around nutrition for healing. As a person, a young girl, I was also drawn to understanding who, I was and where I fitted into the framework we call life. My friends and I drifted in interests and I met many older people who helped teach me strong spiritual lessons on life and experiences they had learnt.
So instead of waiting, for the answers to come, I set sail to try and find them. I filled myself up on travelling to Asia in my work holiday breaks. I studied with international yogis on their retreats and immersions. I filled up on life and yoga in Ubud, Koh Samui, Japan, Europe and the Middle East and tried every style of yoga I could. I Fasted, Meditated, attended silent Vispasana retreats, ongoing attendance amongst as many weekend courses as I could on yoga, movement, body work, nutrition and broader health modalities.
I have immersed myself in the studies of Ashtanga yoga, completing many training intensives and both my level 1 and level 2 Y200 & Y500 hours both within Yoga Arts framework and Essence of Living on the Gold Coast. This coupled with an extensive study on Pilates, ISP, Pilates Reformer, Injury and Athlete movement and recovery performance coaching has broadened both my personal scope as a practitioner and as a teacher. Knowledge has always been a thirst of mine and I have never felt like I knew enough.
The last 4 or so years; I have been practicing a daily Mysore practice under the guidance of Dena Kingsberg within the framework of immersed intensives. Dena is amongst one of the highest accredited and internationally recognised Ashtanga teachers by the late Sri P Jois. Along this line of great teachers that have inspired, helped and guided my path is, my dear friend and teacher Santina Giardina Chard, Mark Togni, Prem & Radha Carlisi, Michelle Merrifield, Clare Merrifield, Louisa Sear and Lance Shulner
My greatest yoga teachers may or may not know the effect they have had on my life but I am forever grateful and never take anything I have learnt or felt being in their presence for granted
So, to get to the point
Yoga for me has been like a boat that one day I got on. I had no idea where I was sailing to but I always knew I was going somewhere and the direction always felt right. At times I wish I had more drive or push in my personal practice like some yogis I know that spend hours mastering postures until they perfect them. I have always been ok with the fact that when my body is ready to open the posture will become accessible. But one thing is true; I have always practiced. I have never wavered and be it within my daily Mysore practice or a restorative Yin practice I have always practiced. For me it has been about finding joy and happiness and understanding me, I believe yoga has helped give me this.
I reside in the knowledge that when the physical body is healthy and moved correctly energy can flow through the nervous system, neural pathways and spirit can move freely and enhance my journey toward happiness, perhaps peace and contentment
I have never needed to search for more inspiration in my yoga practice. Its always been unwavering. I have been more drawn to finding a few solid teachers that could perhaps see something in me that I couldn’t see in-myself or supported where I was at that point along my path; physically, emotionally or spiritually. Those teachers that helped uncover a side of myself that I needed to see
So my advice to any yoga practitioner that is struggling with inspiration or direction is to keep looking. Keep trialling out new studios and new styles until you find the one practice or teacher that fits you. Perhaps it need not be a physical yoga practice either. A Sadhana or spiritual practice can also fit the need and I see great benefit in meditation or studies of Kundalini or yin practices. One shoe doesn’t fit all and it is more important to find the right fit or feel for you and be ok with that.
I see immense benefit in having a teacher; and that teacher for me is one that also has a daily practice. I believe when your teacher has a spiritual practice he or she is guided by an intuitive force that helps guide or direct the student in an intuitive way
Yoga can mean many different things to many different practitioners but I think it’s valid to find how it sits and means to you and have honesty and authenticity in that
Regardless of where you start or where you are at, keep going and I can say with all honesty the journey will be sure worth it
I look forward to meeting you along the way