Meet a brilliant yoga teacher and mentor on the YogaCampus Teacher Training Program.
We love learning what motivates and inspires our amazing teachers! Today, enjoy these pearls of wisdom from Zephyr, with whom our founder Kat participated in a Teacher Training program.
Daily Move – what do you do every day to keep moving?
I practice some form of asana everyday. Some mornings I prefer “roll around on the floor” yoga to prepare for my mantra and meditation practice rather than my full practices. It depends as I like to bespoke my practice for my needs for that day. Cycling around London teaching Yoga keeps me moving throughout the day, as well as running around with my two girls who are 10 and 8 years old.
Enough sleep, food lovingly prepared and a snog from my husband is my daily dose to start my day off.
Five minutes each day – what to do for you?
My morning tea routine is essential to start my day with that conscious contact with life. I love the energy of a still morning, grounds my heart-mind, and the serenity felt by breathing abundance in feeding me for the day. As I am very busy, I do love a yummy yogic nap in the sun. Five minutes of touching sleep is enough to reboot my mental computer and give me the energy to continue with my day.
Favourite way to detox?
Eating, Sleeping, Moving, Loving and Living in moderation is my favourite form of keeping my body functioning at its best.
How you fell in love with yoga:
I feel strongly that you can’t “get” yoga; it “gets” you when you are ready. I rebelled in my youth resisting the Yoga my mum exposed me to; however, due to a serious physical ailment, I found myself back practicing in London at 20 years old. I resisted as it was the most painful form of rehabilitation – but after a practice, the reduction of pain, the emotional release and the mental clarity was what hooked me. I found my way back into a loving relationship with my body, mind and spirit after many years fighting with it.
>> TRY A YOGA CLASS WITH ZEPHYR >>
Top tip for creating a habit:
Whatever the object of your desire in the new habit to form, the direction (vayu) of the energy (shakti) to manifest that desire needs to be greater than the resistance (karma) that is tripping one up in achieving that desire of transformation (parinama). I would suggest the first step in creating a new habit would be to be aware of the unmanageable feelings, thoughts and behaviour that comes when faced with change. As one takes personal inventory to boil down the false beliefs (the story of resistance or vikalpa) the ability to see (vidya) patterns (vrtti) is key. With this new awareness one can make a new intention (sankalpa) every time the old pattern wants to stop the change. This new sankalpa reinforces the path to fulfilling your desire. We are a sum of all of our choices. During our day we have a choice and that choice of change takes courage to bravely face resistance, however if you are determined enough and continually choose the path of your desire, the sum total is going to be quantifiable in achieving the outcome.
What motivates you to move more?
My darkness. I see my ‘stuff’ as a gift to grow, it motivates me to the light. This admission allows me to be more understanding and compassionate to myself and others which creates space for forgiveness and joy. My yoga allows me to navigate this human condition with skillful means to intimately enjoy life more.
If you weren’t a yoga teacher what would you like to be?
Scientist, Psychologist, Doctor, Physicist, Astronomer…The funny thing is, Yoga encompasses them all, just not in the traditional western sense. Dipping my toes into everything so I continue to explore and experience Life from all angles.
Or if you could switch lives with anyone who?
The more I live and interact with peoples lives, stories and issues, I feel comfortable to be in my own life. I have learned over the years of what I perceive on the outside is never the full story. For many, the pressure of social media has torn a separation between the person we feel on the inside and how we compare that to others outsides. My practices reinforce that I have been gifted with this body, this story and I have the potential to awake at any moment to connect to that which feeds life into me. When I step into my light of who I am and fulfill my dharma in this life, I honour the Universal dharma.
What do you wear when you practice at home?
My “work uniform”. As I usually am either returning from clients or heading off to clients, I tend to live in yoga clothes. Brand names don’t bother me, I am more about the function and freedom the clothes allows me to move about in.
Asana of today and why?
I adore Parsva Trikonasana or extended triangle pose. As if Trikonasana wasn’t juicy enough by itself, extending the top arm overhead, leaning back as I open the whole side body, hip flexor and psoas…mmmmmm freedom, length and opening into possibilities of radiance.
In Tweet length why you practice? (140 characters)…. Oh ok then give us a paragraph if you like:
As a mother, teacher and wife living in the frenzy that is London, I am perpetually pulled in all directions. Yoga brings me back to centre.
Essential yoga accessory (scented candle/eye bag/sand bag/music) – and where did you get yours?
A good mat to buffer the impact of gravity and time (as I have been on the road it is my extra long and wide Jade Yoga Mat). Other than that all I need is my body and that came from my mum.
Which guru would you like to sit on a mountain with?
All are resting in my heart if I so wish to sit with them.
Places to practice – your top five places you have or would?
Natural beauty is often inspiring to me. Places that are wild and pristine connect me to my roots growing up in the Rocky Mountains and give me a sense of grounding. However, with that said, I was on a yoga retreat recently on the Isle of Wight and we had a beautifully manicured English garden with deck in the middle of a pond to practice on sunny days. So simple, serene and a perfect environment to teach and practice with a wonderful group.
If I must make a list for lists sake, though, it would be:
- Samahita Retreat in Ko Samui, Thailand (most exotic)
- Rooftop of the Medina, Marrakech Morocco during call to prayer (most spiritual)
- My husband’s deck when he lived in Bermuda (best view)
- A resurrected ghost town in the middle of the San Juan Mountains of Colorado, Dunton Hot Springs. (most original)
- The Life Centre in Notting Hill (most familiar as it is where I teach publicly)
Last books you read?
I’m kind of a yoga philosophy junkie. I just read: The Radiance Sutras by Lorin Roche, PHD, Buddha’s Brain by Rich Hannson PHD, The Yoga of the Nine Emotions by Peter Marchand and My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor PHD (which in itself is very yogic). While I can read yogic philosophy every day (I think, actually, I may have a problem) I love it when friends recommend a good read and I can kick back and just get absorbed in a great story. I just returned from holiday and was reading The Circle by Dave Eggers, a fascinating story of online culture that seems to me terrifyingly topical and relevant in today’s modern world. It is a story that makes me even more grateful that I have found yoga and can disconnect from the noise and connect with the spirit.
Living thinker – someone whose life perspective you admire?
My main teachers Rod Stryker, Richard Freeman, Doug Keller, Pema Chodron…I recommend all to seek out their teachings and presence as they all are very inspirational and live the teachings.
What’s been your soundtrack this month?
Track 2. This Mortal Coil – Song to the Siren
Track 3. Jose Gonzalez – Teardrop
Track 4. James Blake – The Wilhelm Scream
Track 5. D’Angelo and the Vanguard-Ain’t that Easy
Track 6. Abbe May – Karmageddon
Track 7. Beastie Boys- Bodhisattva Vow
Track 8. Tove Lo – Stay High
Track 9. MIA – Paper Planes
Track 10. The Knife, Heartbeats