How to start Yoga

  • How did you first start in yoga? 

    My mum would bring me to her adult yoga classes when I was 4 or 5. I remember copying the women in class doing asanas like Plow and Trikonasana. The ladies would have a giggle that the little girl was finding her way into poses with ease, while they were forgetting to breathe when attempting deeper extensions in certain asanas.

 

  • Who or what is your major inspiration? 

    Back in 1997 I ended up in Rishikesh, India, where I took part in a private retreat at a magical place called “Glass House on the Ganges”. It was located at the confluence of the Rivers Ganges and Yamuna where the Beatles came for a retreat in the 60’s. Here, outside on the grass, we would sit in sukhasana after having been given a mantra by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Guru, whom the family had practiced with for many decades. This was magical to me. Since then, I have visited India 32 more times!

 

  • Tell us about your teaching today 

    I teach yoga in Phuket, Thailand at my small home studio when based there three 3 months of the year. The students that attend are mostly expats – both women and men who have been living on the island many years. The rest of the year, I teach yoga to private clients in New York and sometimes I do workshops in Moscow and in the Asia Pacific region.

 

  • What types of yoga do you teach?
    My main background is Iyengar Yoga (Dehradun, India). I am also certified in Hatha as well as ‘Anusara-Inspired’, having learned from Desiree Rumbaugh (ChiangMai, Thailand and LA).

 

  •  You also teach anti-gravity yoga – how did you get into that? 

    When living in Los Angeles, I attended classes at Crunch fitness called “Anti-Gravity” yoga where the tool of a suspended, silk-like yoga hammock was used to support certain yoga postures and we were taught zero-compression inversions similar to Iyengar.
    In 2009, Christopher Harrison opened up his Anti-Gravity Aerial yoga teachings as a teacher-training program. I was accepted in the small first group of learning instructors and immediately flew from Thailand to New York to participate in the certification program. Anti-Gravity Aerial Yoga is a fitness fusion technique which blends aerial arts, gymnastics, yoga and Pilates…even ballet barre. This has become my most popular style to teach at my studio when in Asia.

 

  • What is your key principle of teaching? 

    I keep the main principle in mind from Hawai’ian dance, which is: remember to smile. Giving clear and accurate instructions is key, and my own personal practice is important so that I can demonstrate any asanas to students.

 

  • What are your criteria when it comes to choosing the yoga wear? 

    Comfort first, then style. I love colour, though there are days that I’m feeling a lot of the earthy tones.

 

  • Any particular brand? 

    Carrot Banana Peach’s roots are comfortable, form-fitting, breathable fabrics by textile experts who practice yoga and focus on movement and total wellness and comfort. Rather than looking like ‘gym-wear’ I prefer Carrot Banana Peach because of the range of styles which I am comfortable wearing out to tea, whilst shopping and even traveling on my busy schedule since the ability to flow in these fabrics is like second skin!

 

  • Why yoga? 

    The never-ending journey makes yoga delicious. Yoga is more than a ‘movement routine’ or a way of fitness. Nowadays there are many fusions of different arts. I believe that it’s important for instructors to really learn the roots of yoga and what they are teaching so there’s a solid foundation, before blending with other movement forms/arts. For students, to show up on your mat or your sacred space to practice is the most important thing.