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YAA Interview: Annie Wyatt

June 25, 2012

Name:

Annie Wyatt.

DOB:

13 October 1972.

What style of yoga do you teach?

Hatha Yoga.

Where do you teach?

Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10am at Abi & Scarlett, 36 Bay Road, Cape Town, – “The house with the pink roof” and on Thursday afternoon at 4pm at Yokai Studio – 75 Roodebloem Road, Woodstock.

How long have you been practicing yoga?

About 8 years.

How long have you been teaching yoga?

4 years.

Who have you trained with and where?

I have studied and practised Hatha Yoga in the UK under teachers such as Vitor Borges and Ruth Perron and in India under Rishi Dharmajyoti at Yoga Vidya Gurukul in Nasik where I completed both my teachers’ training as well as advanced yoga studies.

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

From my very first Hatha Yoga class with Ruth Peron, I knew that yoga was to be a huge part of my life. Actually it was Ruth who planted the seed in my mind asking me if I would like to teach. That same week, my other teacher Vitor, also asked whether I wanted to teach. It was then that my journey to find a yoga school that felt right began. My search led me to India and upon arrival at the ashram and meeting my teachers I knew that it was what I wanted to do.
The joy I feel after every class. It doesn’t matter what mood I’m in when I begin my class, but after each and every single class I feel an immense peace and joy. I have learned that even though I am teaching, it is me that is continuously learning. Focusing on others, forgetting myself during a class and sharing my knowledge with others empowers them. That’s the best feeling.What do you love most about teaching?

Is there a focus in your teaching style?

With Hatha Yoga there is always a focus on the breath. On natural breathing during asanas as well as focused breathing during pranayama. The breath is our flexibility and our strength and observing the breath makes us strong and healthy.

What do you love most about yoga?

There are many things I love about yoga – but one of my loves is the knowledge that my body and my mind are always changing. One day I can perform a posture perfectly and the next I can hardly touch my toes. It’s a lifelong relationship with oneself, mentally, physically and emotionally with a growing awareness of who I am. It’s a beautiful thing.

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

I had a pain in my neck and shoulders for many years after an injury sustained at 19. The doctors told me then that I would have problems later in life and true to their word, I was always in pain. The first time I tried a headstand I was in so much pain the following day that I was afraid to try it again – my teacher told me a very simple thing – he said if you don’t do headstand, you’ll never do headstand. He said sometimes it takes a while for the work to take place. I decided it couldn’t be worse than it already was and I began to practice headstand. In a very short space of time I healed and now have absolutely no problems.

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

Yoga is a scientific practice that benefits anyone and everyone who tries it. Not all people will fall in love with yoga, but once you’ve tried it, the benefits come so quickly that you will want to try it again. Just give it a try and experience it for yourself.

Do you have a regular practice?

Yes, I practice on my own about 5 times a week.

Favourite Asana

Ha ha that’s a difficult one. I have a few asanas I practice, maybe 4 or 5, and hold them for a long time in my own practice. I would have to say though that if I were to choose one asana it would be sarvangasana for its amazing benefits, but I don’t really have a favourite.

Strongest Asana?

Scorpion.

Any religious affiliations?

No – although I do feel an increased spiritual awareness.

What are your other interests?

I love to travel so going off to some exotic destination to learn yoga is always on top of my list. I love walking and living in Cape Town provides a beautiful setting for my walks.

Any “Thank Yous”?

Thank you to all my teachers and to the ancient masters who devised this beautiful science of mind, body and heart.

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