1 As a woman, a mother and a yoga practitioner, tell me what do you find the most important teaching you’ve discovered from this practice and what would you share to those who are on this path?
The most important teaching so far I received from the practice is the awareness of impermanence. As a woman I’m learning to love my body and myself through the changes. Accepting that we don’t get be younger and learning how to love my skin no matter what. The practice also teaches me how to be true and authentic to myself so I don’t get trapped or affected by society and collective minds on how to live my life or just how to be.
As a mother the practice is an important pillar on my well being and how I interact with my child. Instead of quick reactions in moments of difficulties, Im learning to take a step back, watch my thoughts and act from a place of love and kindness. As everything is impermanent as the behavior of my child Im learning to adapt in different circumstances. As a Yoga practitioner Impermanence can be a ego smash lesson but also it can lead into freedom and liberation. There is not one day that the practice will be the same. Neither in our physical, mental or emotional body. Its important for me embody change in my practice and don’t get attached to results. Just do the practice and enjoy. I love to share with my students the possibilities. Body can change as well the mind. Some students need courage so they can see the change and some students want the change right way and don’t enjoy the process. Balance between those two are very important.
2. What is Feminism to you? How do you feel women can support each other?
I can see Feminism as a women empowerment movement for our rights and freedom. It’s important to be open and speak up what is wrong and it’s important to listen each other. It’s not one woman problem. It’s all of women duty to seek equality. We need to support each other. It’s time for a change.
3 In ashtanga practice, how do you feel we can keep the community strong and supportive for one another?
Ashtanga practitioners have a strong community all over the world. To keep the community strong I believe first is to have unbreakable faith in the practice even in times of difficulty and doubt like we experienced last year when lots of female practitioners accused Sri.K.Pattabhi Jois of inappropriate adjustments and the silence from Sharath Jois. Above all the Practice is the gift to all and we should be concentrating in that. I also believe it is important to keep the tradition alive as Krishnamacharya passed on to Pattabhi Jois and now his grandson Sharath Jois – Sharathji. This is Parampara, a thread of knowledge passed on from teacher to student.
4 With this practice we are constantly challenging ourselves both mind and body. This requires a lot of self discipline, focus and consistency in our daily routine. In this moments we are opening ourselves up, we are vulnerable and processing whatever emotions that rises. What would be your advice in these situations? What did you find helpful to you?
Showing up is not easy. Sometimes the body is tired. Sometimes we don’t want to face internal conflicts. We can’t stand what is waiting inside. The easier path is avoidance and blame on external circumstances, and then it comes more blame, self criticism, judgments and even self sabotage. We all know that is no regrets after practicing. One reason I keep coming back is for the reason why I started. I was and still searching to have more peace, more harmony in my life and a strong connection with God.
5 In this modern world we are surrounded by distractions, whether it’s the constant stream of negative news, social media and the perfectly manufactured image of how to liveness life, our appearance and body shaming. It has the power to knock us off balance. How do we nourish ourselves? How do we find acceptance?
We live in a society that gives value to the external and not the internal. We are brainwashed and slaved by news an social media. We are told how to live and to be happy in accordance to the interest of companies so we can make a profit for them. As we start to live as products or robots our authentic self is buried under lies and suffering. We need to break free. Yoga is like a inner revolution. It gives you the possibility to see inside, our emotions, necessities, thoughts and even answers for our behaviors. If I feel caught up in values of the external as body shaming, worthiness or feeling that I’m not good enough, I redirect my attention to the heart center and to be grateful for all that I have experienced and lived. I like also to create feelings of gratitude towards simple things in a ordinary routine. When I started appreciating little things through my day it is like having little doses of nourishment to my soul.
6 Who are the women that inspire you, who are the women that you admire?
My grandmother is a strong source of inspiration. She has inner strength and inner fire. She stands with strength and grace in moments of great adversity. She is also very kind and compassionate. I admire her very much and she has qualities that I want to improve in myself
7 What are your daily rituals and routines that you feel ground you?
I wake up at 5 am to prepare myself to teach. I can’t practice before because Im still breastfeeding at night so I don’t sleep very well. I like to wake up and prepare a tea. My favorite in the moment is Masala Chai. After teaching my son is awake and we spend time together. After I take care of his needs I get ready for my own practice so I can feel grounded and emotional balanced.
After becoming a mother my routine and daily rituals became irregular. I don’t find time anymore to do many things for myself as I did before and I accept that some days with frustration and other days with acceptance and gratitude. If i get to be alone in the house I like to write and meditate. It’s important for me to get some sunlight. Im happier when the sun shines, Im a sun and vitamin D seeker. Before bed I usually read. Right now Im reading The Upanishads translated by Eknath Easwaran.
8 What makes you feel safe and secure?
I feel safe and secure when Im in control of my emotions. While most of people feels safe and secure if they have some amount of money in the bank or they own a property or rely in someone, those are external factors that sooner or later can disappear.
9 Which element of nature do you feel most connected to?
Earth make me feel grounded and empowering. I love the smells of trees and forest. I love green and I believe time spend immerse in nature is healing. However water is the element I feel most connect. I like the sensation on my skin, I like the sound, the shapes it makes, the movements. I can go for a deep when its cold or when its hot. Im like a labrador 😊
10 Our energy is always shifting in our monthly practice, as female practitioners when we receive our ladies holiday, whether its a seasonal change or when we travel to different climates. How can we find a balance and a grounding when we feel these changes happen?
I remember when I started practicing Ashtanga I was told to take at least 3 days off when I had ladies holiday. I didn’t feel much difference back then if I kept practicing or if I rested. Until my period became very irregular and then absence for 3 months. I started giving my body rest and bringing attention to the inner body. Now this time of the month is like sacred and I love to have a few days to shift inward in a different way. I noticed now how my energy changes in this time of the month and also on moondays. My energy levels shift also when Im traveling. I get tired physically and mentally, specially traveling with a child. My yoga mat is number one item in my luggage. I try to practice at least some Sun Salutions to bring some vitality to the body. Coming back to practice its always feel difficult after ladies holidays, traveling or a break because of illness. I come back slowly not necessary forcing me to do the whole practice right away. Sometimes less is more.