YogaHub Teacher Spotlight: Sylvia

More about Sylvia: SylviaYoga.com

What is your yoga story?

Yoga and I did not become best friends right away! It look me a while to tune into her quieter, stronger voice. I found yoga in my early twenties having come from a background of lifting weights and running, pushing hard through life. I was intrigued right away but until I experienced Yoga Nidra I didn’t really ‘get it’. After that I knew I was learning simply to relax, over and over again. 

Describe your classes.

My classes are a blend of classical Hatha Yoga, very specific, thoughtful instructions based on the Anusara principles of optimal alignment, vinyasa flow with a nod to the Ashtanga primary series, and modern mindfulness practices. You will experience a perfect blend of effort and surrender. Each class has a specific, focused learning designed to take you deeper into your yoga practice, deeper into self awareness.

Favourite things to teach?

It depends … when I need to focus and strengthen I love to teach a strong practice with an emphasis on finding quiet in challenging moments. When I need to soften and find space I will teach a pranyama-based practice as a moving meditation. My favourite pose to teach is Ardha chandrasana, half moon pose. Being in this pose is like flying! Weightless and boundless, the spirit can playfully express itself. Those of you who know me well, know this pose well!

Describe your personal practice.

Currently in my personal practice, yoga is a meditation. I used to be very goal-oriented, striving to do more challenging poses. Now I like move spontaneously on my mat, like setting out on a day off with no agenda. A curious open mind takes me where I need to go. Inevitably I end up half asleep in pigeon pose!

How does your practice translate into your life?

I am witnessing my children growing up far too quickly for my liking! I recognise the privilege, the honour and joy in being their guardian and their guide through life. For every precious moment we connect, I simply soak up every detail of our exchange, the child in their emerging adult bodies, the spontaneous peel of laughter, the distress behind the unwanted behaviour. My ongoing mindfulness practice manifests in all of my exchanges with humanity.

What new things are you learning?

I am still learning where I carry tension in my body. The deeper I go into my meditation journey, the more relaxed and healthy my body is. After looking externally for so long I am really enjoying this mysterious journey deeper within.

What are you grateful for today?

Right now the sun is shining, I’m in my kitchen with my laptop and a coffee. My cat and my dog are making me laugh. My kids are sleeping peacefully. My house is just on the right side of messy. I’m aware of my breath as I type, I’m aware of just how incredibly lucky I am to be where I am.

How do you enjoy the present moment?

My church is the forest.

What inspires you?

My yoga students inspire me. Everyone just simply doing their best. Everyone fighting their own private battles and showing up on their yoga mats, again and again, to simply try again and do their best. I find it incredibly moving to witness a class in shavasana at the end of a challenging practice and to see all the soft bellies gently rising and falling with breath. I am exceptionally grateful for each and every one of my students.

What is one of your favourite things about yourself?

I always seek to find the best in people, our shared humanity. I try really hard not to judge. I consciously cultivate compassion. I enjoy people, I enjoy a good laugh, and I try not to take life too seriously. Nationwide on RTE referred to me as a teacher that ‘exudes the calm she tries to instil in her students”, however I’d often think of myself as a bit of a messer as well!

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