Carmel works in the field of allied health. In her work she models well-being to her clients and yoga is an important part of her own wellness regime. She loves yin yoga and comes to class two or three times a week to refresh her energy after working long days where she dedicates herself to the well-being of others.
Where did your yoga journey begin?
My yoga journey began many years ago but it was difficult for me to find the right combination of teacher and space at that time in my life. My first memory of what it is like to experience ‘yoga’ in terms of feeling peaceful and calm was at a park in North Perth. I had been to class and while walking through the park after class, I saw my then teacher journaling. He looked so serene and present to what he was doing and that was the beginning of my Aha moment. I saw his serenity and just knew that I needed that in my life.
For me yoga is like an instrument that helps us connect with ourselves. The teacher uses their voice, knowledge and inner wisdom to guide and to provide support. They hold the space for students and the student determines how to use the instrument for their benefit. My serious yoga journey began with Carol who is my first long term yoga teacher. I had never committed long term to a studio or to a teacher before. Carol uses a therapeutic voice that is inquiring and inquisitive, open and inclusive and non-judgemental. The way Carol teaches is similar to the way I work with clients. Her teaching style is a good fit for me. She seems to be able to intuitively tune into students needs and adjusts classes accordingly. Doing multiple beginners classes with Carol, some years ago, helped me get more comfortable with what I’m doing in the physical practice of yoga. Now I don’t focus as much on what I’m on doing but more on my state of being. I often have my eyes closed in class to intensify my experience of the practice and as an aid to keeping me grounded.
Tell us a little about your experiences at Glide Yoga
I really enjoy the space that Annie and Carol have created. The space feels like a retreat. I’m sensitive to smell and love the way the mats are cleaned with essential oils after class. The studio smells healthy and clean. I find the grey and white colour palate very relaxing. The gauziness of the curtains and the beautiful dimmable lights create a welcoming environment. It feels as though Carol and Annie have intentionally created a welcoming and safe space especially designed to induce relaxation. I love the way the trees and plants are visible above and below the window frosting which gives the illusion of nature being connected to the space. My favourite feature is the Phalaenopsis orchids that are the focal point of the studio. I often select one of the yellow throats of the orchids as my drishti point. I just focus on the yellow colour, breathe and find that it helps me to ground myself.
I love the sense of community that has developed at Glide. It’s a healthy space for me to be in and I feel a real sense of connection to others in class. At Glide it feels as though there is room for whatever you need from your yoga practice. There are many reasons why people practice yoga; rehabilitation, injury management, relaxation, strength building, anxiety and stress management, as a complement to meditation and many more. At Glide Yoga the programme of classes and workshops accommodate various needs.
I have attended some of the workshops and have been to one coffee club. These are lovely additions to my yoga practice that help me get to know people better and remind me to mindfully abide in the good space.
In what way has yoga changed your life?
I couldn’t imagine life without yoga which now feels like a natural complement to my healthy eating, walking and mindfulness practice which combines to make my personal wellness practice. Yoga puts back what work and life take out. My work days are stressful and busy. I have incorporated small but powerful yoga practices into my work day that reduce fatigue and increase energy. I love the slow movement of yin yoga. Yin feels like a massage and a physical therapy session combined. I always feel aligned afterwards, not just stillness and connection but skeletally aligned. As I work long days where I am sitting all day, this is the perfect antidote to stiffness and discomfort for me.
What would you say to people who are curious but a little hesitant to begin?
Everything at yoga may be new to you. You may not know what to do or what to expect and this can be scary. Yoga will not be familiar to you. You are entering another world which can be confronting. For some, consciously slowing down will feel uncomfortable. I want to let people know that it will feel different, unusual and it will push you out of your comfort zone, but afterwards you will feel a new sort of ease in your body and mind, like coming home to yourself so it will be worth it.