We’re thrilled to have you come to Hom to share your advanced knowledge of inversions. What draws you to inversions?
Initially, a teacher had asked me to do a press to handstand. I had no personal interest in it, but I have the habit of 'surrendering' to teachers, so I figured out how. Headstands and shoulder stands just came naturally to me; I just copied what I thought was normal and it felt easy.
Personally I enjoy the challenge of advanced inversions for whole body awareness and connection, and also just getting some blood to my head! It feels good.
Can you share with us some of the benefits of inversions?
I think the journey of finding inverted balance is really beneficial in the way it refines awareness and control of every part of the body. Once up, maintaining that balance definitely develops and refines concentration.
A lot of the benefits are not just in holding the balance, but also in developing the strength and connections for energy flow, in order to enter and exit the inversion in a controlled way.
Which inversion is your biggest challenge?
The one arm handstand has been the most challenging and most rewarding. As with everything, the main challenge is in the mind.
What advice would you give to those of us who practice yoga regularly, and are looking to deepen or progress their personal practice?
For yoga practice, I feel there are a few things that are necessary.
1) Find yourself a teacher. Not just one you see every now and then, but someone you can practise with daily or as often as possible. Someone you can really commit to. I have become a bit more traditional in my approach of recognising the benefit of having one teacher and one lineage.
2) Practice daily - yoga is a 24/7 practice. Depth will not come from a great one off workshops. Depth arrives from consistency over a long period of time.
3) In a way that feels authentic for you, start looking at the more subtle aspects of meditation, pranayama, philosophy or chanting, rather than just focusing on asana.
You recently said in an interview that as a young woman you found yourself 'more drawn to silence than to socialise'. That's seems incredibly profound for someone for someone so young. Did you always feel that way as a child or was it more of an awakening?
I was quite happy to socialise until about 14 years old, when I started being very drawn to the deeper aspects of life. I began searching for something I could feel or sense, but that was not physical or visible.
Between the age of 14 and 16, I spent countless hours reading everything I could on spirituality, religion, occult and science. It was around this time that I also started spending about 2 hours a day in silence, as I just needed to contemplate life or write thoughts.
By the time I was 16, I felt ready to start a meditation practice and came in connection with the Brahma Kumaris, with whom I have been practicing and teaching with since.
Most of us could do with some more 'silence' in our lives. In a society full of constant activity and external stimuli, what advice could you give us to find some peace for ourselves?
Writing goals can help; keeping a daily journal can help, keeping good company of those with spiritual inclinations can help. And also, if you can find a way to help others, that can also help the self.