An Interview with Poncho Cottier
We’re so excited to finally have Poncho Cottier joining us at the YogaHub Dublin next month. This, like all of our events with teachers from overseas, can and has taken 2 years to organise as Poncho’s schedule is so busy so we are very grateful for this opportunity.
So who is Poncho Cottier and what can we expect in his upcoming weekend of Workshops? We would have interviewed Poncho on video but he is currently on an island teaching where the internet connection is poor. So next best thing Poncho kindly agreed to answer our questions by email and without further ado. Here they are!! Thanks Poncho and see you soon 🙂
1. Welcome to the YogaHub, tell us how you are?
I am good, loving being in this conscious community in Palawan in the Philippines, I am teaching yoga here in the mornings and enjoying the breeze, the sunlight, the amazing raw food and the sounds of nature in the background.
2. What’s your background and how did you get in to Yoga/Teaching?
I have been fortunate enough to practice a number of different yoga styles over the years from very active vinyasa and ashtanga for the first few years of my contact with yoga to Hatha, Iyengar and a lot of training in Anusara in the recent years. I teach an alignment based yoga flow with focus on breath, transitions and body mechanics. I integrate the universal principals of alignment into fluid classes that follow the pulsation of the breath. I like “listening to the energy of the group” I might teach a very slow paced alignment focused class to one group and a very dynamic, energising and uplifting flow practice with music to another.
My believe is that yoga is there as a tool to serve our needs, not the other way round. I like adapting learnings from different backgrounds and styles to suit the students.
I originally got into yoga as a way of becoming “more flexible” after practicing capoeira very intensely for a couple of years. From my first savasana I got hooked, I could tell something powerful had just happened in that class. A could of years later, following a “calling” a bought a one way ticket to India where I lived and studied for around eight months. I then travelled to Thailand where I discovered Anusara yoga. In 2010 I did my teacher training in hatha/vinyasa in Nepal, started teaching straight after and have been teaching since. I split my time between teaching weekly classes in Chiang Mai, Thailand and facilitating workshops and retreats in Asia, Europe, the Americas and more recently Australia and New Zealand.
3. How did you meet Matt/How did we meet?
I originally was connected to Matt online through our common friend Misa Derhy. From that initial connection, Matt and I exchanged a few messages about the possibility about me teaching workshops at the Yoga Hub last and as I complete “coincidence” Matt and I ended up “bumping into each other” in a Vipassana meditation retreat in England. It was in that moment that it was very clear from me that I should come and share some teachings at the Yoga Hub. Really excited to be coming this June!
4. We’re excited about the upcoming workshop weekend! Tell us a little bit about what we can expect.
I am truly excited to be sharing this three workshops at the Yoga Hub. The Friday night class will be fluid, dynamic and energising. We will through circular mandala sequences around the mat and explore the boundary of yoga and self expression through intuitive movement and creative transitions.
On Saturday we’ll focus on opening the heart centre through a series of gradual and expansive back bending sequences. And on Sunday we will get inspired by the story and the qualities of Hanuman (the money God) as we move through a series of balancing and grounding poses. On both days you can expect a lot of alignment cues and little and progressive instruction to safely allow you to deepen your asana experience.
5. What kinds of things are you going to cover?
Fri – a very fluid class with intuitive motion, music and creative expression.
Sat – specific warm up and opening of the muscle groups involved in back bending poses. Front body openers including thighs, chest, shoulders, through individual and partner stretches.
Sun – a focus on the qualities of devotion and surrendering through deep hamstring openers, playful arm and standing balances and hip openers.
6. We have a lot of beginners at the studio, would they be able for it?
Yes, all three classes are apt for beginners, modifications will be offered for the students to either take it a little easier of deepen their practice according to their experience and need during each session.