One of the oldest sciences in the world, yoga's origins can be traced to northern India over 5,000 years ago. We don't have time to unpack all of its meaning here, but since becoming popular in the West in the early 1960s, yoga has taken on new meanings and accumulated myths. In its worst light, 'modern' yoga is a type of exercise associated with a certain smugness, a performative flexibility and something only for rich, thin people. In its best (and originally intended) form, it brings inner peace and literally saves lives.
Tell us why and when you started taking up yoga? How did that lead into teaching?
O: I started yoga during a huge reset in my life. I left my job, packed my car with what I could fit and moved to Dallas. I did yoga, ran and saw a therapist for 18 months and told no one but three people where I was. I was asked to do teacher training based on the growth of my practice and the interactions I was creating with other students. And the rest is history. Best thing that has happened to me thus far.
How would you break down the following myths for anyone who is curious about yoga, but is holding back?
'I'm not flexible enough for yoga'
'I'd get bored doing yoga'
'I don't have time for yoga'
O: Yoga is not about any of those things. I ask every person I'm leading to do two things; breathe & listen -that's it. You have to start from somewhere, none of us entered the world walking and talking.
What sort of pose might you recommend for someone who is anxious and wanting to re-energise while settle down their thoughts?
O: Mountain pose. Inhale. Exhale.
Move to a forward fold. Inhale. Exhale.
Finally a supine twist. Inhale. Exhale. The most important thing is to breath to movement.
We're delighted to have you as a brand ambassador. Can you tell us your favourite Three Spirit drink? And if that drink was a yoga pose or type of yoga, what would it be and why?
O: I'm excited to be a part of the brand, Social Elixir is my favorite, it's definitely a headstand. It has a striking taste but the euphoric bliss it gives makes me feel elevated and confident after experiencing it similar to the rush you get from doing a headstand.
You're also an enthusiastic horticulturist. Tell us more about that.
I love watching my effort and attention make change in real time. Decorating my home with specific vegetation based on light, temp and style is calming and satisfying. The trial and era phase of taking care of plants gave me patience and taught me to give grace towards myself when I'm learning new things.
Finally, where can we catch you for a class in yoga or pilates?