Stories - Nothing more, nothing less
Just another story with all the colours of the rainbow and all the shades of black.
Paula found yoga in 2009 when she was once again having a challenged life situation and this time she chose to develop herself instead of becoming a victim. She found Anthony De Mello’s and Eckhart Tolle’s books which led to yoga philosophy books. As a natural robot she wasn’t interested in posture-based yoga at first. Though, she fell in love with yoga asana in Thailand when she met a 77 years-old yogini standing on her head and started practicing with her the next day. Thailand and South-East Asia became her main (yoga) home for years, spending time in Chiang Mai practicing yoga and movement/dance meditation (DanceMandala, BioDanza), travelling, doing illustrations and finding several home-like communities from local yoga studios. In Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City, the only english spoken yoga studio was Sivananda Yoga Center where she immediately fell in love with the traditional Sivananda yoga practice, therefore she continued to her first Yoga Teacher Training in Chiang Rai in 2013. After RYT200 graduation she moved to Cape Town, South Africa, which she again called home, to teach yoga for local surfers. Teaching didn’t go as well as planned as life situations kept changing and she ended up in Turku working as a kindergarten teacher and focusing on self-inquiry and her own practice. Mirroring with some influencial yoga teachers she found her calling and the only dream again, to be able to live and teach yoga. She left her current job, moved to Thailand again to study more. She found another yoga home from Koh Tao, took another Advanced Yoga Teacher Training (RYT500) in Chiang Rai and finally in 2016 everything suddenly shifted in place. Teaching yoga had become her main inspiration and profession and continues to do so.
Just sit and watch
As a yoga student I will always remain a beginner. Curious, open-minded, intuitive. Ready to unlearn and learn again. I believe every single Adho Mukha Svanasana could be performed as it was the first time, paying attention to alignment in detail and just feel what is there to be felt. I love to question what I know, break my understanding into pieces and rebuild my puzzle of yoga again and again. I don’t believe in only one teacher or approach that would work for everyone, I prefer to explore different perspectives, schools and lineages to remain open, to evolve. I’ve studied with traditional hatha yoga teachers, Sivananda yoga lineage, vinyasa flow, yoga to prevent back injuries, vinyasa slow, Jivamukti lineage and in 2019 I’ll join another training focusing in Vinyasa flow structures and hands-on adjustments.
You are always perfect as You
As a teacher of yoga I wish to share the knowledge and tools I’ve learned to awaken the interest in people to explore more. I believe the practice is for anyone to benefit from and yoga always shifts to fit a person. Anyone who practices is enough for yoga, you don’t have to change to fit any made-up standard or label. Yoga doesn’t judge.
Surely I do love strong flowing vinyasas and strong asana practice to actually feel and expand awareness into each cell. On the other hand I love the counter-poses, the undoing, reverse actions, the opposite energies, to surrender only to observe and take a seat of a witness. I aim to create loving and allowing space to safely connect with yourself. I do my best to offer each practitioner challenging but loving practice without need to be productive or perform. Yoga begins when welcoming the uncomfortable.
I get inspiration from everyday life, self-inquiry, incompleteness and questioning choices and actions. Halfway there, almost, process and transformation excite me the most. I believe bravery is to go towards the unknown, towards the fear. Challenge and struggle in a loving manner are allowed to arise.
Moving whilst going nowhere
As a student and a teacher of yoga I’m interested in how to remain truthful and honest towards yourself and how to face whatever needs to be faced? How to find gratitude and pay mindful attention towards small things that already are perfect just as they are? How to remain open, honest and respectful at all times? How to set and respect boundaries? How to remain truthful in speech, actions and thoughts? How to act based on love, not from fear? How to take yourself more lightly? How to surrender into the unknown? How to judge less? How to stop and connect to yourself even though everything isn’t completed or solved yet?
Twisted humour, bad jokes, loving sarcasm
The last but not the least… However dark it might feel - even darker sense of humour. I usually won’t feel ashamed when making a bad joke that doesn’t even make me laugh. I get inspiration from playfulness, irony, sarcasm and dark shades of humour. I actually do believe that the fourth guna is laughter. (other three being sattva (purity, harmony), rajas (activity, passion) and tamas (dullness, ignorance). Free jokes are available with or without request during my yoga classes.