The YogaMum interview

Over on Yogamums blog she offered to interview people by sending them a set of questions to post on their blog and reply to. So lets see what Yogamum has asked me.

1. You are an avid traveler — can you list all the countries you’ve visited?  What are your top three favorite places to visit, and why?

Last summer at the retreat in Bali we talked about places we had been, one night when I was still awake at 2am wrestling with jetlag rather than count sheep, I took a pen and paper and started to list them, some no longer exist (East Germany), but new ones have been born (Slovakia, Slovenia etc), by 3am I had got to 76, but I know there are more.

As to my favourite places, Japan is top of the list, its totally alien to a European, its noisy, its fun, its just enthrallingly different, I love it. I also love the Middle East camping at Christmas in Saudi Arabia was brilliant out in the dessert and though probably not something to admit in thses times, but I loved Iran, the people are fantastic, some of the sights are stunning, its so different to what we see on TV in the west.

2.  You often hint at challenges and issues with your job at Nepotism UK.  What would be your ideal job?

I love giving doing the occassional travel lecture and the even more occassional article for travel magazines, as well as running the travel club. If they were more regular it would be fun to do that ful time and have more time for my practice. Its a real buzz giving a talk to a couple of hundred people, the interaction with the audience.

3.  Tell us about your journey into yoga — How did you come to practice ashtanga yoga?  What appeals to you about the practice?

Well, ok, I used to play tennis, a lot of tennis, then I hurt my shoulder and it went on and on until someone recommended a retired Physio who I went to see. She turned out to be a tiny little old lady, who had thumbs made of steel! After each session she gave me exercises to do at home based on yoga, after a couple of weeks things improved a lot and I thought maybe there is more to this yoga thing than old women in Church Halls going omm! I got out some library books and started to dabble at home, no classes out here in the sticks. Then in 1995, coincidentally the weekend before I went to Iran , there was an article in a Sunday paper about The Lifecentre which had just opened in London, the article was about this yoga where you end up soaked in sweat doing a special breath, little did I know! 4 months later I returned from travelling and recame across the article and one Sunday I took the plunge and went to the beginners class which was taught by the inspirational Lizzie Lark. It was an incredible experience, I couldnt do half of it. I went back every few weeks and suddenly realised, as I walked up Notting Hill Gate after to Mcd’s to get my Strawberry Milkshake (yep I had the sugar habit back then too), that although I was physically shattered and soaked in sweat, that in fact there was something else going on, I was mentally buzzing, an incredible high and sense of wellbeing I didn’t get from doing anything else. In September 2000 Liz asked me if I wanted to go to France with her for a week, I went, feeling completely out of my depth, but ended up surrounded by people with inspiring practices and a wonderful teacher. This was my introduction to full on ashtanga, not that I even then realised it. The first 3 days nearly killed me, it was all I could do to lay by the pool for the rest of the day after practice, then on day 4 something changed, I realised my breath was giving me the energy and stamina to cope with the practice, not that I was doing that much of it, compared to now. But it hooked me, it was after that week that I knew I had found what I had subconciously been looking for.

I love the flow of Ashtanga, knowing what comes next, not having to think about it, the progression and the sense of one pose helping the next. I have tried Iyengar with its props,straps and stuff, all that stopping and starting soon bored me. I do sometimes use a strap in practice or the odd block, but not often, I like the flow, I love how on a good day my mind gets lost in the practice.

If Liz hadn’t been my first teacher, maybe I would never have carried on, I was soo lucky to find her. I have met some wonderful teachers since then, Easter, Dena, Cary, Cat, Susan. I have also met some lovely people on retreats and in classes.

4.  What brings you joy?

My team winning on a Saturday,  a bar of chocolate, Savasana with a warm sun streaming in. Practice is a joy, even when its hard, its the reason I am still on the planet.

5.  What is your favorite childhood memory?

My black cat Bambi, he was with me from age 2 to 16 and the day my little sister pushed him out of the way, before eating his bowl of cat food!

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5 Responses to “The YogaMum interview”

  1. Pat Says:

    Inspiring story on your practice. So true, isn’t it? I liken it to the opportunity to escape the Matrix without guns and Agent Smith trying to kill you.
    I loved Japan too. Would love to take the family but it’s currency is way too strong to afford to go there anymore.

  2. globie Says:

    Practice has been a surprise, it was never part of the plan, but is now The Plan!

    The Japanese Yen has climbed too much, it was expensive enough before, but now wow….Luckily I have been 3 times and seen most of the places worth seeing.

  3. yogamum Says:

    Your travels sound just amazing. Maybe after my kids are grown….

  4. Liz W Says:

    Which is your team? I’m a Leyton Orient supporter, which is a great opportunity to practise detachment from outcomes 😉

  5. globie Says:

    Ipswich Town, though we have done ok last couple of weeks.

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