What is Yoga?
Yoga is very difficult to define as it means many different things to different people. To me yoga brings balance and inspiration to me physically, mentally, emotional and spiritually. Yoga is a Sanskrit word most commonly translated to yoke, bind or union. To me it is the union of breath, body and mind and when we find this union life becomes easier. We are healthier, happier, and we learn how to prioritize which brings contentment.
What type of Yoga do you teach?
I teach what I have learned over many years of practice and study under many amazing teachers and masters of Yoga. I have tried every style or lineage available to me. I teach what I choose to practice based on what has worked for me. I was fortunate enough to be introduced to different styles or yoga over the years to combat different difficulties I have faced such as; ADD, dyslexia, chronic insomnia, migraines, asthma, serious allergies, depression, poor digestion, general health issues and sports insures. Over the years different teachers have introduced different techniques to eradicate problems which plagued me. To keep it simple, if it worked for me I teach it to my students. I have been fortunate to study in depth the tradition of the 8 limbs of Yoga and am humbly trying to pass this system on to my students.
Who have your main influences been?
Acharya Venkatesh, Mysore India… Introduced me to stillness of the mind, true yoga.
Elisabeth Peckham, Victoria BC… inspires me to be the best student/teacher I can be
Shirley Daventry- French, Victoria BC… helps me find stability in my mobility
Dharma Mittra, NYC, NY…reminds me to explore & play without the need for perfection
Lauren Peterson, Malibu California… encourages me not to be afraid to let my light shine
For these and other lessons I am TRULY GRATEFUL
How would you describe your class?
Each class is different depending on student requests, strengths, weaknesses and injuries. Every class starts with pranayama (guided breath work) followed by asana (yoga poses ) taught in a sequence to bring maximum benefit. We use movement to build heat and burn toxins then tend to hold the poses to build strength, flexibility and balance whilst break up scar tissue and calcifications. Classes tend to have a theme and we work on monthly “homework” routines which encourage students to build a home bases practice. All “homework” is accessible on this site. I try to weave in philosophy in a practical not preachy manor. Classes are completed by a nice long savasana followed by group oms and dedication of the class merit.
Why don’t you teach drop-in?
I choose to teach in a more traditional method where I can create a stronger connection to my students. Small class sizes allow me to get to know each student individually, their strengths and weaknesses. I also creates a safe community to learn and receive support from. I want to see growth in all levels of student lives and to support them in their development as best I can. I require a minimum of one class commitment per week because if you are not willing to put 1.5 hours a week into your health and well being you are not ready to learn what I am teaching. I believe wellness is a choice, which requires commitment and discipline. I assist students to achieve what they never thought they could, to push their edge and abilities safely and in return to find the freedom which yoga can bring. Freedom of the body, mind and spirit.
How often must I do Yoga for it to work?
Every little bit counts! However the more you practice the quicker you will see results or benefits. Once a week is a great start; if you want to work toward excellent health or fix an ailment I believe that doing 1.5 hour, 3 times per week is extremely effective. Personally I tend practice 5 – 6 days a week not because I have to but because I feel so great when I do. I encourage my students to be reasonable and honest with themselves. Start slow and allow momentum to grow. Keep in mind the hottest flame burns out the quickest… and time and time again I’ve seen students who push themselves too hard too fast burn out.
What are you trying to teach?
Basically that individuals find the courage to take responsibility for their own lives, their own health and wellness and with the learn discipline and patience required to see that responsibility through. I strive to accept where people are at as individuals. I don’t believe everyone is destine to be a Yogi nor would I want them to be however I would like to live in a society focused on prevention and self preservation and I see Yoga as one way to achieve this.
Is Yoga a religion?
No it is not. I myself am not a religious person nor do I see myself as particularly spiritual although many call me spiritual. However, I do feel yoga makes you a more conscious person and in turn a better individual. Yoga makes you more aware of the world around you and the effect you have on your surroundings. Yoga is a spiritual practice but I personally feel that spirituality cannot be taught it is an experience; it is personal understanding of where we fit into the world. Spirituality requires looking to oneself for the answers to the questions of life; it requires us to do the work ourselves. The question you may be asking could be as simple as how do I fix this bum knee?
Do I need to be flexible to do Yoga?
Heck no! I started yoga because I had a bum knee from down hill racing and a lifetime of impact sports. I was not flexible, but with time and patience my knee healed and with that strength and flexibility came.
What illnesses/ailments have you eliminated from your life through Yoga?
Migraine’s, Asthma, Insomnia, serious allergies, bum knee, depression, poor body image, addiction, common colds/flu, irregular periods, extremely poor posture, unhealthy relationships, poor digestion, flatulence, dyslexia and ADD. I know that list is long and to be honest it has been hard work and I continue to do the work. I have also personally seen yoga eliminate or reduce the effects of serious disease and body pain in others.
Can anyone do Yoga?
YES! They just need to find the right class. I have taught students as young as 4 and as old as 101. I have taught individuals who could not move and professional athletes. Yoga does not and should not discriminate. If you don’t like a class try another one there are so many styles and so many teachers keep looking till you find one that fits. I hated Yoga the first decade I did it! But I kept on doing it because I knew it was the maintenance my body required in order to do the activities I loved doing and to live pain free. I took Yoga as a medicine and over time I grew to love it.
Are there any rules to Yoga?
In my opinion there is one rule…. BREATH… oxygen is required for all functions of the body so in order to get 100% benefits all you have to do is breath. Apart from that for best results: Do your best to arrive a wee bit early, wear comfy cloths, try not to eat right before class (for an intermediate-advanced class try not to eat and take limited liquid a few hours before class), bring water… try not to drink during class but you’ll be thankful for it after class. Mats are provided at MY Studio however most students choose to bring their own mats.
What makes your studio eco-friendly?
- environmental cleaning products
- recycled bamboo locally made blocks
- recycled material bolsters locally made
- second hand and eco friendly mats
- second hand and hemp straps
- environmentally conscious printing and business practices
- home based studio