Hi, I am Pollyana, a Brazilian living in Clovenfords, Scottish Borders. Since my late teens I knew that I wanted to practice yoga, but I was far too busy partying to pay attention to it.
It was 2007, in New Zealand that I started practicing yoga. The interesting thing was that I was practicing yoga without knowing I was doing it. I would get up early in the morning to stretch, meditate, do breathing exercises and other things that are yoga based practices because it felt good. It was only in 2008 when I joined a yoga studio that I realized that I was already doing it.
My yoga practice can be fun, exciting, challenging, slow, fast and oftentimes deep. It really depends on how I am feeling or who I am teaching. There are also many styles of yoga, I particularly like to try out different things and then create my own practice based on what I like/need the most.
Here are a few tips for you in case you are looking for a yoga teacher to guide you or to join a new yoga session:
What is the vibe of the person teaching you?
You want to find a yoga teacher that you vibe with, that embodies the same or similar values that you do, someone that inspires you. A person that you look at and say “I would like to be a bit more like this person.”
What style of yoga?
There are so many styles to choose from these days and each teacher brings something different, so some trial and error might be required to find your perfect match! You will probably find that different styles work better at different points in your life too. In my opinion it is about balance.
If you feel that you are constantly on the go, and feeling stressed or anxious, a slower yoga session might be better for you. It will help you to balance out and to soothe the nervous system. If you spend the day sitting on a chair, find a yoga session that challenges you and gets you moving, it will help you to feel alive! I often teach to the mood of my class, asking what people need and sharing a bit of everything.
Listen to your body.
A good yoga teacher should be able to challenge you and at the same time help you to feel comfortable with trying something new. To bring you safely to the edge of your comfort zone. In any case, listen to your body. Only you know how you feel when you are doing anything. Do not ignore what your body is “telling you”.
Yoga vs exercise.
An experienced yoga teacher is able to take you deep into the body, the focus is not only on the poses, but on the many layers that lie beyond the physical body; your breath, the state of your mind, the feelings and the emotions you are going through. When the focus is only on the physical body you are missing out on the depth of a yoga practice.
And finally… there is no competition!
You want to feel super comfortable and able to relax when taking part in a yoga session. Forget that other people are there with you. Do not compare yourself with others. If you sense that there is a lot of competition going on within the group it might be wise to find another yoga class.
A few of Pollyana's favourite things
“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
Inspires me to stand up to what I believe to be true. To keep going when all hope is lost. It motivates me to do the work I do and to share it with others.
From the Ground Up by Ayla Nereo
The song I am currently listening a lot is ‘From the Ground Up’ from Ayla Nereo, I especially love the part when she sings “ We were born of burning hearts, we are tearing off the reigns, from the ground up we will build it, from the clouds above we’ll rain it, from the crowd up we will raise it, from the ground up…”
One of my favourite places on Earth is the mighty Iguazu Falls, which is located 300km from my home town in Brazil and forms the border between Brazil and Argentina. The power of nature there is immense. Iguazu Falls is considered one of the 7 wonders of Nature.