Updated: Aug 28, 2019
I have started teaching from my home studio now since February and slowly building up classes. The best thing about working from home, no travel time. ;o) Just walking downstairs.
I love setting up our space early in the morning. Opening the door for fresh air, before I then start warming up the place. Taking a moment to be grateful for all that I have and for every student, walking through the door. Setting up the mats, the music, my singing bowls, burning an incense, to welcome my students.
I love this little ritual already.
Today I pay extra attention to every detail. I did spent the weekend preparing our yoga space. Mopping floors, changing the set up of the mats, cleaning the whole space.
All is ready for the arrival of the amazing Yoga Girls, visiting today, all the way from the Central Coast.
Another beautiful story, or so I think.
I started working at "Mingara One Fitness", a Gymnasium on the Central Coast as a yoga teacher in 2009. I had finally completed my nearly 3 year training in yogic lifestyle and yoga teaching with "Satyananda Yoga". I was so ready. My at the time yoga teacher Mish, helped me to get the position. Still grateful.
So here I was teaching "Satyananda Style" yoga at a Gym. What a learning curve. Even though I knew deep in my heart that the teachings of Swami Satyananda are amazing and deep and complete and true, I also learned very quickly that delivering those teachings to the broader public, was not an easy task. The Satyananda Tradition is based on Hatha yoga and the most obvious difference that a student will experience is the fact, that "Satyananda Yoga" teachers sitting down while teaching. There are many very good reason's for that, I am happy to talk about later.
After completing my training, I understood, my true learning and growing starts now. I had to adapt. I tried to find a way to bring the true meaning of yoga, as I understand it, to everyone. EVERYONE. Teaching at a Gym, the reality is, or was at the time, most members walk through that door to a yoga lesson, needing a stretch after pumping those muscles, or getting off the "tread-mill".
So how do I get those people to connect, feel their bodies, arrive in the present moment, learn to breathe, make a connection between physical, mental, emotional and spiritual body. How do I get them to simply chant AUM?
I learned that the best way to teach yoga, is to be flexible. Not just in the physical body, but much more so in the mental body. I don't have to strictly teach "Satyananda Yoga" style. After all , I had also experiences in other traditions. So while I made a practice physically very strong, I would start talking to students about their mindset. The breath that would help them in their asana practice. I would take time at the beginning, calling it "settling" where students, without even knowing started to mediate. I sometimes gave a very strong class, but then I also changed completely and just taught the PMA's. (explanation coming soon on this blog.) I invited students to chant the mantra aum at their leisure, just give it a go, I would encourage them. And I regularly I would offer handouts with explanations about particular practices. Not only did I learn a very big deal from this, but I also enjoyed this way of teaching, as this made it more interesting for me and the students.
And slowly it happened that after class, some students came over to me, asking for more background on yoga as a philosophy, on mediation, pranayama, even on the chakras, the yamas and nyyamas. Chanting Aum became the most normal thing to do and the energetic connection while chanting was felt throughout the whole room. Blissful smiles after the chant. ;o)
Over a periode of about 1 1/2 years, we began to become a true community. Classes steadily filed up form about 6 students, up to 40 students.
Continuously updating ,my own knowledge , and mostly being truly passionate about it, I think this is what did the trick.
Groups where forming after class, we would go and have coffee/tea together. We would get to know each other, "off the mat". Talking about yoga, and our experiences while practicing, or after practicing, would lead into peoples private lives. Sometimes someone needed help or support and there was always another person around to offer exactly that. I am still so grateful witnessing this process.
Friendships developed and a facebook group was created. Yep, and this is how the Yoga Girls came about.
Now the girls/ woman could organise events together, from the occasional birthday celebration (witch is now a rather regular event), to yoga retreats, to even traveling to India and or Bali together, all with the intend to explore more yoga.
A great bunch of very inspiring woman, who came together trough yoga and who are now supporting each other and so many different levels. I am still grateful to all of them, teaching me so much in exchange.
In 2013 I left the Central Coast and my teaching at "Mingara One Fitness", to go and live in Germany with my family. A plan that my partner and I had made after our first child was born. Taking the whole family to Germany, was one of my biggest wishes since I had started living in Australia. But, hey that's another story.
We spent 2 years overseas and when we came back, we moved away from the Central Coast, to Sydney. The connection to the Yoga Girls is still as strong as ever. Thanks to the Internet, we were able to keep in touch.
And when they offered me to come down, to bless my yoga studio, I felt so happy and grateful and humbled.
Enjoy the photos and feel free to check out my facebook page