We asked our barre and yoga teacher, Phoebe Begg, about her thoughts on yoga practice and teaching. From professional ballerina to yogi, Phoebe shares how her practice has helped her stay better connected to her mind and body.
How did you become interested in yoga?
My first experience of yoga was incorporated into my dance training in Christchurch to help improve flexibility, strengthen deep core muscles as well as help with posture imbalances.
How have your views changed on the practice?
I would only go to yoga for the stretching. But as I learnt more about it I began to realise that there are so many more layers to it. I could write an essay on this but one of the greatest benefits of yoga for me is the reminder that mind and body are one. That tension in the mind creates tension in the body and vice versa. It gave me space in stressful times to reconnect with myself and appreciate my body - and I think that is why in our fast-paced, technology-based society that this practice is becoming more and more popular and important.
What do you love the most about teaching yoga-inspired workouts?
They never run the way I plan them. Each class seems to roll a certain way and I love the challenge of trying to match a suitable practice to the energy in the room. It doesn’t always work but when it does, it’s great!
Biggest misconceptions about yoga?
One is “I’m too inflexible to do yoga” - it’s like saying “I’m too dirty to shower.” Another one is the belief that it is religious. It obviously has religious roots and I think it is important to honour that, but it has evolved so much (especially in the western world) and is unique to each individual teacher. I think that’s another great thing about it! So many different types!
What benefits you the most from yoga, and why can’t you live without it?
Self-awareness is a wonderful quality that yoga continues to teach me. Not just physically but more so mentally!