What is your favourite yoga pose? Which pose do you find the most challenging?

My favourite yoga pose is Pigeon and King Pigeon. My most challenging Pose is Frog. It is mentally very challenging to push through the discomfort which I know means I need to do it more!

What has been (or continues to be) your biggest challenge in yoga?

My biggest challenge in yoga has to be holding back on days when my body isn’t in the same place as my mind. Respecting the limitations of injury, and the patience needed to allow the body to heal.

What one piece of advice would you give to someone who is considering starting yoga?

DO IT! Know that yoga is all about progress and celebrating each little triumph along the way. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Know that there are many different styles of yoga and teaching. If your first class didn’t quite do it for you, don’t rule yoga out as a whole. Try a new style, a new teacher, a new temperature until you discover your niche.

What are your other interests outside of yoga?

My other interests outside of yoga include photography, travel, surfing, jewelry- making, savoring healthy food, getting lost in nature, being around those I love and sharing in the simple joys of life.

What is your most inspiring moment in yoga?

My most inspiring moment in yoga was when I was doing my yoga teacher training course in Mexico and teaching my first class. It felt like everything just clicked; a door had opened and I had found something I wanted to share, that I felt inspired by, and that I knew could genuinely help people in more ways than just through the physical movement of yoga.

What first drew you to yoga?

What first drew me to yoga was a friend. I had always been a fast paced exercise person (running, boxing, etc.). At the time, I was very stressed with work and life, and my friend told me I should try a yoga class with her to slow down a little. In all honesty, I really didn’t like my first yoga experience. The class seemed to drag on forever. I didn’t feel like I was getting a “workout” and I spent the whole time thinking about all the things I had to do, and how this “savasana thing”, lying on my back, was a waste of time. When I got home that night, I realized that attitude was my problem, not the class itself. The fact that I couldn’t pause for an hour in my day was a bigger concern than I had realized. From that day I started going to yoga more regularly, trying to convince myself I liked it because I knew it was what I needed in my life. Then one day I found a teacher I loved, and realized how much release, joy and peace yoga brought me and I have never looked back! What keeps me coming back is that sense of peace and accomplishment at the end of a class and the way that yoga has spilled out into all areas of my life making me a calmer, more patient and loving person.

How has yoga helped you off the mat?

Yoga has helped me off the mat in dealing with challenging people and situations. Through yoga I have learned better compassion, patience and the ability to see things from someone else’s perspective. Yoga teaches us about unity, that at the core of our being we are all the same. When you come back to that concept when someone is frustrating you, it is easier to relate and see things from their perspective and, in turn, deal with the situation. Yoga has also taught me the power of the breath, whether it is to calm down in an anxious situation or help slow my mind to sleep at night, our breath is a tool that so many of us underutilize.