As I reflect back on the year, I am filled with gratitude to have spent time with so many inspiring yogis. Each of these gurus have influenced my personal yoga practice and teachings in so many ways.
Jasmine Tarkeshi, the beautiful yogi dancer from Laughing Lotus in San Francisco returned to Sydney after the wonderful response to her Chakra teacher training workshop in Sydney in 2015. This year, Jasmine was here to teach us about her Ayurveda approach to yoga in a 50-hour yoga retreat.
Ayurveda is the holistic science of health, focusing on maintaining a physically and emotionally balanced state. It began over 5000 years ago by monks in India who were looking for new ways to be healthy. Over thousands of years of observations, they gathered all their conclusions and advice and preserved it for future generations. This collection of knowledge came to be known as the "science or knowledge of life" -- Ayurveda.
In the five day teacher training course, I gained an appreciation of Ayurveda and the principles of three doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Importantly, I now understand how yoga practice is influenced by the seasons and have incorporating these into my yoga class sequence plan. You can read more about Ayurveda all in an article here http://www.mindbodygreen.com/wc/nadya-andreeva
Donna Fahri, an enlightened yoga guru based in New Zealand was in Sydney to explore the best yoga practice for a healthy spine at a four and half day workshop in Sydney for yoga teachers and students. One of the highlights was learning the importance of our psoas muscles that lie deep in your core to maintain stability and strength of your spine. The pair of psoas muscle are the only ones that wrap around and connect to the front and to the back of the body. The psoas is critical in almost all yoga poses (asana). Many yoga poses focus on releasing the tension in the psoas muscle as the tight psoas can cause lower back pain. You can read more about psoas here. https://yogainternational.com/article/view/a-sequence-for-your-psoas.
With 35 years of yoga experience, Donna has written many books including, The Breathing Book, Yoga Mind, Body & Spirit: Bringing Yoga to Life and more. She is a brilliant teacher who knows so much more than she was able to share with us during her four-day intensive. Keen to do another Donna intensive.
Good things come in threes. Jacinta MacDonell, co-founder of the huge franchise Anytime Fitness studios in Sydney (photo of Jacinta & I) is the third yogi that has truly inspired me this year. Not because she is a yoga teacher, rather because yoga has been transformative in her life. As a female entrepreneur (there are fewlike her in Australia) she has now followed her passion and set up Urban Yoga studio in Sydney’s CBD offering a unique immersion experience. After listening to Jacinta share her personal story and life long commitment to help others in the third world through the Human Kind Project, I was determined to meet her in person. We have met and are now connected with an intention to catch up again soon, I hope.
2016 has been an intense and exciting year that has inspired my yoga practice and teaching in so many ways. Look forward to sharing all this inspiration and learnings with you on and off the mat in 2017.
Daniella Goldberg has a love of yoga and a passion for mindful meditation. Through her Hatha-Flow classes, she gently guides her students to grow strong, be flexible, focused and mindful, on and off the mat.