I never had any ambition nor plans to be a yoga teacher but one day, the yoga teacher at my regular gym class didn’t show up.
Familiar with a Power Yoga sequence from my home practice, I offered to take the other two students in the class through a practice.
That was the beginning.
Opportunities to teach kept arising, and eventually I found my way to yoga teacher training with Twee Merrigan & Prana Vinyasa. I did two modules with Twee before finally making the trek in 2010 to LA for a full Immersion with Prana Flow Master Teacher Shiva Rea.
It rocked my world.
And introduced me to Tantra Yoga, in the lineage of Kashmir Shaivsim, and the daily Tantra Practice that was to become my bedrock.
In 2011, I completed the study requirements for my Prana Flow 200 Hr Certification.
I’ve now been teaching for a decade or more – everything from one-on-one private yoga, small group classes, large classes, workshops and outdoor events, including a multitude of festivals like Wanderlust and NZ’s International Yoga Festival.
As my home yoga practice has evolved, so so has my yoga teaching style and methods.
I still draw on my Prana Flow Teacher Training, and count Shiva Rea, and so the teachings of Desikachar and Krishnamacharya, as my primary influence.
However, four years ago, I made a commitment to a 1000 Day Practice of the core Tantra Yoga practice I was initiated into, in 2010.
That changed everything for me. Every day, I’ve been showing up and doing the same practice, consisting of spinal rotations, breath retentions, chanting, mudras and visualisation.
On my first attempt I made it to Day 338 before missing a day. The second time, it was Day 617. I’m now on my third attempt at going all the way to 1000 Days. (Last count, Day 288).
In March 2018, I was directed to begin teaching this practice, which I finally started doing in June 2018
Influenced by this daily, dedicated Tantra Yoga practice, my yoga teaching is now rooted in supporting students to connect with their own process of discovery on the mat.
When students make this connection, they discover that their bodies contain infinite wisdom that knows how to systematically release the accumulated tension of a lifetime.
It’s this connection to internal wisdom, above all else, that I seek to facilitate. We don’t need to learn anything new, we don’t even need to know how to do the postures.
All we need to do is navigate the relationship between control and surrender while staying anchored to the breath, and observing in detail what is happening within the body physically, emotionally, mentally and energetically.
That is the practice, as I teach it. It is about a process, not about the postures.
In essence, it’s all about Svadhyaya (self-study), Tapas (translated as ‘to heat’, focused on control) and Ishvara Pranidhana (surrender).
We still use postures in class, not as an end to themselves, but as a way to explore our internal world – as a way to explore consciousness.
That is the heart of my yoga practice and teaching – consciousness, and our relationship to it, and the merging that comes when these dissolve into each other.