Tiffany was one of Stretch's most dedicated student's before becoming one of our favourite teachers! She's sassy, strong and resilient - her rehab from her knee injury earlier this year is a huge testament to that! She's a permanent fixture of the Stretch Family and we hope she's teaching incredible classes for us for many, many, many years to come! We asked her a few of our favourite questions, and she gave us her heartfelt answers below.
I went to my very first yoga class when I was on tour working in India in 2008. I had no idea what I was doing, but gave it a go, I did enjoy it but just kind of left at the end like I would after a dance class and didn't think too much about it. Then at the start of 2014 I started doing Bikram yoga. I was no longer singing and dancing and wanted to move my body more and heard yoga was great. Naive little old me thought go to the hot yoga it will be more effective - so off I went to Bikram but it wasn't long until I got a bit bored doing the same 26 Asana every single class every day. I wanted more creativity so I google searched yoga near my work and up popped Stretch. My first class was August 31 2014 and after my first intro week I was hooked!!
What has helped you stick with it?
Routine and amazing teachers!!!!! I've always been flexible and had strength so yoga helps me to keep working on what I already have, but the mental benefits have been incredible. It sounds so cliche but yoga has really changed my life and supported my mental health in so many ways.
Which pose is your favourite and why?
I love the open feeling, the balance, the strength required, the stability needed and then the big old cherry on top of feeling free but also supported - supported by myself and my own strength, freedom in opening my body out to the universe and knowing each day I may have to tweak things ever so slightly to adapt to my body; how it's moving and balancing. But, in the pose I just feel so much freedom and grace. What more could a yogi want?
What is the biggest lesson you have taken from your practice?
Listen to your body!!! Every single day!! It is not lazy if you don't come into the hardest variation of a pose every single time - that was a hard pill to swallow for my ego when I first started. So keeping with that just to always be kind with my body and kind to myself, some classes my mind and my body are ready for whatever gets thrown my way, other times just a simplified version of a peak pose or passing several surya namaskar's - whatever it is that will best serve my body and my mind.
Would you say that yoga has changed your life?
Yep yep yep - a billion times over. I'm much less angry than I used to be, calmer, more thought out, I'd like to say I am definitely kinder to myself and those around me. My husband and I used to joke on Sundays when there are no morning classes in the CBD that I was grumpy that I hadn't been to yoga yet (morning classes all the way to start my day). But I am more knowledgeable with listening to my body and my mind.
What is your favourite thing about teaching at Stretch?
Eeeeee I have so much respect for everyone teaching at Stretch - you all pretty much introduced me to the yoga world and what it has to offer and now I get to do that for others!! But I love the yogis that come to classes whether it's raining or the sun is shining. Their dedication is amazing. But then flip it to the other side and we have some really incredible people working at Stretch too! It has become another family for me.
What 3 poses would you recommend for a beginner to practice daily?
- Downward Dog - this can be a tough one for beginners so 100% Adho Mukha Svanasana to get used to the strength the flexibility of this pose
- Tree pose (both sides) -for balance, for strength especially in the standing leg, for calmness and centering also. One day your tree may be still other days it may feel like it's being hit by a strong breeze - a slight challenge but humbling and a great reminder that our bodies feel different every single day
- Virabhadrasana II - Such a strong pose and you can increase the intensity so easily by taking a longer stance, but you can't forget your back leg also needs to work hard, even though you can't see it in Warrior 2. Also, for beginners getting used to their spine being upright as there can be a tendency to lean forward towards the leading arm and front leg. There's a lot of body awareness that needs to go on.
- *Noteable pose mention - Savasana
To see when Tiffany is teaching or covering check out our CBD Timetable and Holland Park Timetable!