January Yogi of the month : Anna
Now in our fifth year, each month we feature one of our Live and Breathe yogi’s and find out a little about there ashtanga yoga journey…
1. When and where did you first start practising yoga?
I was first introduced to Ashtanga yoga back in 2000 when Allison asked me to attend a four-week course with her. We had a great time and we still have many funny memories from that experience. Shortly after the course I lost interest. In 2009, Allison returned from her overseas travels as a bona fide yoga teacher. Having devoted herself to her practice, Allison had the ability to bend herself into a pretzel and I could barely touch my toes. It was then that I began practising at Live and Breathe Yoga. Allison and Harry were teaching classes in their living room.
2. Why were you interested in the first place?
Prior to starting yoga I had put my body under enormous stress through various sporting pursuits. I was burnt out physically and emotionally and thought it was time to make some changes.
3. What is it that got you hooked?
Truthfully… seeing Allison demonstrate a jump-through during my beginners course. It was like poetry in motion. I knew that in order to perform something like this it would take a lot of hard work and dedication and that was it.
4. What do you love about Live and Breathe yoga?
So many things…I love the teachers, the beautiful community, the sense of freedom I feel when I walk into in the studio and more recently seeing little Elsie after Saturday’s class.
5. What benefits/changes have you felt since practising yoga?
Yoga has had a life-changing effect on me. My flexibility has most certainly improved but the most significant and profound changes for me have been off the mat. Pre yoga, I would describe myself as a huge head wondering aimlessly trying to keep up with the latest fads and fashions. I would punish my body in the pursuit of perfection and spend so much money carelessly on clothes thinking this would make me happy.
Somehow, yoga has taught me to be kinder to myself and to love myself more. I feel more comfortable in my skin now than I ever did in my 20’s and 30’s despite having a few extra kilos and more wrinkles. Being Italian I will always have a love for fashion (it’s in my genetic makeup) but I now get more pleasure finding a preloved garment from an op shop than I do buying a new dress from a store. In essence, yoga has helped me to be more accepting of myself rather than seeking happiness through external means.
6. How often do you practice in a week?
I attend 2 occasionally 3 classes a week at the studio and have also developed a home practice as well.
7. What’s your favourite thing about Ashtanga Yoga?
I like that it does not come easy. Sometimes this is what I dislike about Ashtanga too 🙂 However in my five years of doing the practice I have witnessed that when I have stuck with it during the tough physical and emotional times I have witnessed my biggest gains. I also love the sound of the breath during practice.
8. What would you say to someone who is thinking of trying yoga?
There is far more to yoga that just stretching… you will learn so much about yourself. Allison, Harry and the teachers at Live and Breathe Yoga are amazing and they will look after you.
Thank you so much for being our wonderful Yogi of the month, Anna. I can’t believe we started together so many years ago as it only feels like yesterday that we giggled our way through the class. You are and inspiration to me and many others.