How did you get interested in yoga?
A friend recommended that I try out an Ashtanga Yoga Class. After one class I was hooked and never looked back.
Where did you learn yoga? What kind of yoga do you teach and where?
My yoga education began in my home town of Bristol, England, after which, I practiced in Mysore and other parts of Southern India. I spent 10 years teaching in big studios in Hong Kong where yoga is incredibly popular. Eventually, I found myself at Samahita in Koh Samui, Thailand, where I I’ve been teaching for the past year.
In what ways has yoga benefited you?
The benefits came gradually. First there was an immense sense of happiness and fulfilment. Good physical health and vitality followed, and ultimately my whole being was drawn back together. I developed clarity of mind and an understanding of my purpose in life, as well as a sense of belonging. As a teacher I have learned to connect with others on a deeper level and tune into what they need.
Describe a typical day in your life.
I usually begin with a simple morning meditation before heading off to teach classes. After teaching, I do my own practice. The rest of the day is spent with other tasks around Samahita. When the working day is over, I collect my son from school and head home.
What advice do you have for someone who has never tried yoga?
Give it a try and see where it takes you. There may be an initial awkwardness if you have never done any body movement, or physical sports, but if you find the right teacher and give it time, you will discover something new about life and yourself.
What advice do you have for yoga practitioners?
If you are already practicing yoga, then obviously you have found something that keeps you involved and turning up on your mat. I recommend to keep you heart and mind open to learn new techniques and methods, and meet new teachers.
It’s easy to get stuck in a rote pattern and get lost, but if the joy is within you and your attitude is open, then keep it going and all is coming.
What are some of the things you do to take care of the world, or yourself that you have learned along your journey?
I feel particularly connected to nature. It is deeply healing to be surrounded by trees, fresh air, and water. We must all take responsibility to protect our environment in whatever way possible, even if that’s just cleaning up our immediate surroundings, or consuming less to reduce our waste. Taking care of the people close to us, our family, friends and those whom we interact with daily is vital to happiness in life.
Photo courtesy: Shazia Omar
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