When were you first introduced to yoga?
I was first introduced to yoga in my late teens by my aunt. She thought me a few breath exercises, postures and meditation techniques. I found it really interesting so I decided to pursue the practice by attending classes at a studio close to where I was studying. At the time, I had an on/off relationship with the practice. I would attend a class or two and then stop for a few weeks if not months. It wasn’t until I moved to Australia to pursue a career as an engineer that I realised how much tension I carried in my body from sitting down and hunching over my computer for long periods of time. I first tried to remedy this pain by booking expensive massage appointments. It wasn’t long until I realised that it wasn’t a sustainable way to relieve stress and tension. That was when I delved back in to yoga. After trying out a few different studios, I finally stumbled upon a style and instructor I really liked. I have been practicing regularly since then.
What has helped you stick with it?
First, I found a style and instructors that I really liked and connected to. Second, the studio was close to home and on the way to work, which allowed me to manage my time effectively. Third the studio had a comprehensive schedule, which made it easy to fit classes around my work schedule. I practiced yoga as a way to ‘self massage’. It wasn’t long after I started a regular practice that I noticed my body tone, my flexibility increase and the tension slowly release. I also noticed a shift in perception. This wasn’t something that happened immediately, but over the years, I started to see things more positively. I felt happier, confident and at ease in my own skin especially after practicing. Moreover, I was inspired and amazed by the capabilities of the teachers at the studio. This motivated me to develop a strong practice and pursue teacher trainings. Even after 5 years of regular practice, I still have so much to learn. It is now part of my lifestyle, so I plan to continue the practice as long as I can.
Which pose is your favourite and why?
I love so many poses… but my favourite would be Camatkarasana (Wild Thing / Flip Dog). I love the graceful transition into the pose, the experience of the breath with the heart opening, the possibility of moving in to Urdhva Dhanurasana / Wheel Pose / Upward Bow or even Vasisthasana / Side Plank Pose. I find the transitions and experience of the poses very invigorating yet serene at the same time.
What is the biggest lesson you've taken from your practice?
Practice regularly. Be Patient. Remain present and cultivate Santosha (Contentment). Whenever I do something, whether it is on or off the mat. I try to do it to the best of my ability and intention. Whatever results from those actions I try to find a sense of satisfaction in.
Would you say that yoga has changed your life?
Integrating the yoga practice and connecting to myself has defiantly moved me into a different direction. To start, I left my job and completed a Masters Degree. Then I decided to take some time off to focus on teaching, traveling and enjoying life.
What is your favorite thing about teaching at Stretch?
I love teaching at Stretch because the students and teachers are awesome! The Stretch community is truly inclusive, genuine and caring. Being able to build a community around a yoga studio is something that is really important to me and I think that PJ is doing a fantastic job creating that nurturing environment. People feel safe to unwind, do a little stretching and walk out feeling great.
What 3 poses would you recommend a beginner to do daily?
Uttanasana (Rag doll pose / Dangling Pose): Great pose to stretch the back body and release the spine. Sucirandhrasana (Eye of the Needle / Thread the Needle Pose): Very accessibly pose to gently stretch the hips and release the back. Supta Matsyendrasana (Supine Spinal Twist): Great pose to release to the spine and back muscles. It also opens up the shoulders and even hips.
You'll find Pascale teaching at our CBD studio and covers at Holland Park. Check the timetable for up to date details!
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