1. What's your best piece of advice for people wanting to make a change in their life?
Start now. Even if you are not ready. You have everything you need already within you. You have all the tools you need to be happy and to pursue your heart’s desires. This is your life. You only get one. Go for it.
2. What does yoga mean to you?
For me yoga is so much more than the physical postures you see on Instagram. This is a small part of the practice. Beneath the surface is days, weeks, years of dedication, study, growth, patience, awareness and LOVE. Yoga is lifestyle, a mental and spiritual path, not just a physical one. Some days, my yoga practice will be an hour of asana or an hour of meditation. Other days it will be showing myself love by doing sweet FA and indulging in coconut ice-cream.
3. How do you keep up with your yoga teachings?
I'm always looking for ways to evolve professionally and personally and grow my knowledge to be the very best teacher I can be. I also attend local workshops/immersions every few months, attend physical classes/online classes weekly by senior yoga teachers and read lots of yoga books.
4. What was your first experience with yoga?
I first found yoga as a therapy for anxiety and depression and I had no idea how much my life would change. I started off with a simple beginner yoga class and I just found love. It became my anchor. No matter what I was experiencing – stress, anxiety, anger, excitement, fear, fatigue, I found that yoga had this innate capability to balance me. It became this journey to the self that allowed me to become more self-connective. It completely changed my life and I honestly don’t think I’d be here without it.
5. What's your best piece of advice for new yoga teachers?
Be yourself. Find your own voice. Instead of imitating what you've been taught start to weave in your own experiences and uniqueness. When you share and teach from this authentic place you shine. You're not going to always be everyone's cup of tea and that's okay. Learn to be okay with that. You can't please everyone. But stay true to yourself always.
6. How did you start teaching yoga?
When I found yoga I had no plans to teach. In fact, the idea of teaching petrified me! It wasn't until an overseas volunteer trip where I had my first experience teaching. Every sunrise and sunset I would practice on the jetty overlooking beautiful reefs of Raja Ampat Indonesia. I soon found that I had a little group of Indonesian children who would quietly mimic my moves. It was quite hilarious. Half way through practice I would look behind and have 20 small children copying me! The only words I knew in Indonesian were bagus (good) or satu lagi (again). It was light-hearted and laughter and fun. It was sharing something from the heart and soul. From this experience I realised sharing yoga has nothing to do with the fears we usually associate with it. It's about sharing a piece of your authentic self and journey, in the hope this may help someone on theirs. I reflect on this whenever I feel anxious before I teach and I find that any fear naturally dissipates. After this trip I knew this was absolutely what I wanted to do. It was my way of give back and be of serice. When I returned home I signed up for my 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training and began teaching shortly after that.
7. What style of yoga for you teach?
I am trained in and predominantly teach a vinyasa style class. Vinyasa is basically a type of yoga that links breath and movement and doesn't have a set series. I love it because it's allows the freedom for creative sequencing and every class is different. This allows for me to tailor my practice to how I am feeling or to how my students are feeling. I like to incorporate a gentle, playful flow of poses linking pranayama, meditation, mantra and finish with aromatherapy Savasana. As a happiness and wellness blogger, I am passionate about yoga therapy for stress, anxiety, depression, self-love, emotional release and healing. This is something near and dear to my heart. My classes will often include inspirational and uplifting philsophy, mantra, quotes based on this. I also love to balance out the usual Yang practice and teach Restorative and Yin classes.
8. What is the most challenging yoga class I taught?
My very first Karma Yoga teaching position was at a High School and in this class I had a blind student and a deaf student. At first I was so overwhelmed. I was new to teaching. I wanted everyone to like me and enjoy the class. I doubted whether I had the ability lead under these circumstances. Then I kind of realised that it wasn't about me. It actually had nothing to do with me. The moment I started teaching from this place and for the service of others, all that fear just disappears. It actually turned out to be probably one of the best classes I've taught. It was an incredible experience because I learned to become very clear and articulated with my words.
9. What books do you read?
I read A LOT. I try to read a new book every week because this is simply what grows me and evolves me on this spiritual journey. There are two books that changed my life forever. I read them often and constantly refer back to them. The first is "The Seven Spirituals Laws of Success" by Deepak Chopra. The second is "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle. Happy reading :)
10. How do you keep fit?
I practice yoga every day, surf, hike, skydive, freedive, scuba dive, SUP, slackline, rockclimb, kayak, run barefoot in the sand. I love to be in nature doing activities that are fun and challenging.
11. Why are you vegan?
I first decided to become vegan because of conservation reasons. But the more I dove into yoga, the more I couldn't ignore the cruelty of the meat and dairy industry. I transitioned very, very slowly to vegetarian first. I ate a diet mostly of eggs, dairy, vegetables and fruit. After about a year I cut out dairy and eventually eggs. I now eat fruit, vegetables, grains, legumes, beans, everything plant based. I read a lot of books and watched a lot of documentaries to educate myself on a vegan diet. If you are thinking about transitioning, I cannot stress enough how important it is to take your time, listen to your body and know what you need to in order to continue nourishing it. Diet plays a HUGE part in our health. You are changing a vital source of nutrition that your body has become accustom to after 10, 20, 30, 40 years. So it's a big change! Do it safely. Work with your body. Love your body.
12. What is your favourite yoga teaching?
Ahimsa. This is simply always going to be near and dear to my heart. In fact, I have this tattooed on my left wrist. To me this is non-violence, non-harm, kindness and compassion. It taught me to love benevolently. It was my path to becoming vegan. I uphold this teaching in the highest regard and extend it to every species on this Earth. So much so that I ended up smuggling drosophila flies out of my university class instead of exterminating them after an experiment (sorry if you see any mutant flies buzzing around!). The is a space in my heart that believes Ahimsa should be extended to every being on this Earth. But it's also a teaching I always come back to because above all, it means non-violence, non-harm, kindness and compassion to yourself. Self love was the first gift yoga gave me. It changed my world. Because I know that when I cultivate that self love, I have so much to offer the world. When I shine others shine too.
13. I'd like to try new things too! How can I start free diving?
So rad if you are thinking about starting freediving! My best advice is to get certified and do it safely. It's important to know what you are doing, what happens in our body when you go underwater and play with breath holds, but most importantly what to do in an emergency. Most cities in Australia run introductory courses (AIDA, Apnea International, PADI). And remember NEVER FREEDIVE ALONE!
14. What nationality are you?
I was born in Australia. But I hold dual citizenship in Australia and Italy.
15. What is your heritage?
I have a mixed heritage of Italian, Aboriginal and Malay.
16. What star sign are you?
Leo! I'm told common Leo traits are ambition, confidence, loyalty and giving without measure.
17. How tall are you?
I am 175cm/5'8