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Interview: Carryn Smit

October 3, 2011

1. Name:

Carryn Smit.

2. DOB:

20 January 1987.

3. What style of yoga do you teach?

Ashtanga Yoga.

4. Where do you teach?

Shanti Cape Town.

5. How long have you been practicing yoga?

8 years, (I started when I was 16).

6. How long have you been teaching yoga?

For 1 year.

7. Who have you trained with and where?

In India with Carolyn Keble, Ralf and Masi from Yoga Bones (www.yogabones.org), 2 months with Shishadri in India, and Shimon Ben Avi in 2011.

8. What lead you to teaching yoga and at what point did you decide that you wanted to teach?

I didn’t intend on teaching yoga, I wanted to further my studies and my own practice; I wanted to learn how to work with my own body. Ashtanga Yoga is a lot about self-practice, which is a great way to build up experience. I was going regularly to Shanti Cape Town where Olivier was teaching for Ulrike. He needed to leave and Ulrike asked me to fill in and teach. I accepted and was eased into it slowly with help from both Ulrike and Olivier. Filling in at Shanti Cape Town led me along my teaching path.

9. What do you love most about teaching?

Seeing people progress. Watching and guiding people on their own personal journey, watching them as they get the deeper aspects of yoga in their own time and space – watching the magic of yoga unfolding in people.

10. What do you love most about yoga?

The journey it has taken me on, psychological and emotional. Generally when people start, especially A-type personalities like me, yoga is enjoyed because it is very physical, you feel and get the health benefits right away. However, soon you learn the transformational power of yoga and you realise you are able to deal with difficult situations with greater ease, exploring who you are. The yogic philosophy is beautiful as it is very practical and comprehensive and makes it easier to connect to one’s Self and true spirit.

11. What is the greatest challenge you have overcome with the help of yoga?

I am still constantly challenged, but so far the greatest effect yoga has had is in stabilising my emotions and intense perfectionism.

12. What advice do you have for people who have never tried yoga?

Give it a try for a little while. Examine how you feel after each class, if you connect to the practice, ease into is, if you don’t then leave and try some place else. Explore different avenues, be slow and adapt the practice to suite you.

13. Do you have a regular practice?

Yes.

14. Favourite Asana?

Supta Kumasansa or Sarvangasana, (Shoulder Stand).

15. Least Favourite Asana?

Utkatasana, (Squat).

16. Any religious affiliations?

No.

17. What are your other interests?

I am busy doing my masters in Psychology research which I am enjoying, I also do NGO work with the EarthChild project, I enjoy holistic eating, and meditating.

18. Any acknowledgements?

To Ulrike, my main mentor, my mom for introducing me to yoga and the Universe, for allowing me to embark on this journey and for leading me towards yoga.

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