October Yogi of the month : Gabi
1. When and where did you first start practising yoga?
I first tried yoga in high school instead of playing a competitive sport. It was mostly as a cop out because I thought it would be easy. I didn’t really start a proper practice until I moved to Townsville and started at Live and Breathe Yoga.
2. Why were you interested in the first place?
I was looking for an activity that would be calming but energetic at the same time. I also wanted a good stretch, Ive always been pretty flexible, but without strength behind the flexibility. Plus I’d been going to the gym a lot and was horrified when I couldn’t touch my toes anymore.
3. What is it that got you hooked?
The whole of Ashtanga got me hooked!! I love the strength that is inherent in an ashtanga practice, I love that I can see progress by doing the same postures, I love the way the series builds, I love that I can have fun and laugh at myself in practice (The floor always moves in utthita hasta pandangusthasana). More than that, I love how I’ve changed through practice. See question 5!
4. What do you love about Live and Breathe yoga?
The community. Allison and Harry actually give a shit about their students. Like Ashtanga, Live and Breathe Yoga see practice as more than just a drop in do it for 3 months kind of thing. The teachers are there to help and recognize that ashtanga is a life-time practice and with that comes the ups and downs of life. Allison and Harry have created a studio and community that embodies that.
5. What benefits/changes have you felt since practising yoga?
Everything! Physically, I’m stronger, when I started I couldn’t hold my arms above my head in virabhadrasana or do chaturanga properly. The biggest change has probably been mental. Im not as competitive, with myself or others. I enjoy practice, I allow it to happen in whatever form it takes, I became a vegetarian (Yes, I blame this on Guruji). Practice, months/years of practice, has put me on a more even keel mentally and emotionally.
6. How often do you practise in a week?
The dreaded question. I will get to a msyore class once a week. More than that is a bonus. At home, I try to get on my mat every day, though rarely to do a full practice. Usually I will do some surya namaskara A and B and then some yin poses, Pigeon (eka pada rajakapotasana) or dragon pose, reclining badakonasana etc. Yes, I switch up my yoga practice styles.
7. What’s your favourite thing about Ashtanga Yoga?
All of it. Except utthita hasta pandangusthasana.
8. What would you say to someone who is thinking of trying yoga?
Give it a go. You may not fall in love straight away, but its like a fungus, it grows on you. Though it is prettier than most fungi.
~Thank you so much Gabi. We will miss you but send you lots of love and success for your new adventure in Germany.