One of the many blessings of creating The Yoga Lunchbox is opening my inbox to find teacher profiles like the following picture and profile from Doris Blum.
What a sensational photo! It’s not of an asana, but captures so much of the spirit of yoga – the connection between earth and sky, the connection between us and nature, the opening of the heart, the joy of life…
Doris moved from Switzerland to New Zealand 14 years ago and soon after started her Yoga path. She says that living in NZ has provided her with the opportunity to study and teach Yoga.
“The move was one of the most rewarding steps in my life and I am truly grateful for being introduced to this magic path,” Doris says. “Two years ago I started studying Ayurveda medicine, the sister science of Yoga, which enables me to access the healing aspect of both as they are interlinked.”
1. What style of yoga do you practice and where do you teach?
I teach Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga and Hatha Yoga classes at Breathe in Havelock North, Hawke’s Bay.
I enjoyed a three-month’s teacher training with Nicky Knoff in Cairns, Australia, where I was introduced into the Nicky Knoff style, a mixture of Ashtanga Vinyasa and Iyengar Yoga. I loved the focus on alignment at that stage of my Yoga path. The precision aspect must have been a link to my Swiss roots.
A few years later I was introduced to John Scott & Lucy Scott’s Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga. I was instantly taken by their teachings. I had already practiced Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga before but thanks to them I started to understand the complexity and beauty of this practice. I was instantly hooked!
2. How did you come to yoga?
This is a funny story.
I was already in my mid thirties when my husband and I were invited for dinner to a friend’s house. Another couple was there as well and we were introduced. After the meal, Clare, the female part of the other couple, stood up and started some stretches on the floor. I was fascinated by her movements and asked her what she was doing. She explained to me that she was practicing Yoga stretches to digest the meal we had just enjoyed. My natural curiosity took over and I started asking further questions. Clare mentioned to me that she was a Yoga teacher and that I should join into her Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga lessons. So I did and I never looked back!
3. When did the yoga bug really get you?
The bug really hit me when i met John & Lucy Scott and when they taught me to work from the heart. I felt totally connected to what they were saying and knew instantly that this was the message i wanted to pass on to my students. Since then i work with John & Lucy on a regular basis and thanks to them my practice and my understanding of yoga has deepened and changed.
4. How has yoga transformed your life?
I can honestly say that I am much more compassionate person towards other beings since I started practicing Yoga with an open heart. I have developed a higher sensitivity and clarity.
Answers come to me when I need them and I have the trust and patience to wait for them. I just know that the answers will be revealed to me when the time is right. I am filled with love and warmth for myself and for others and I know I am here to serve humanity. It is such a rewarding task. I feel so blessed to be able to walk the yogic path and am totally committed to it. I was lucky and have found my purpose in life. Is there anything more important than to know where to go?
I can feel the transformation within me so well and I know from my students who have come along with me over the past six years how much I have changed. I hear it from my husband who practices in my classes on a regular basis as well. The feeling of contentment and happiness with life, the joy of living with consciousness and an open heart is what I was looking for all my life. As a human being I am growing a little bit with each day and that is what matters most to me.
5. What is your home practice like?
On a physical level I practice the Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga Primary Series for 90 minutes most days. I am very lucky to be able to add 20 minutes of breath work and 20 minutes of meditation to the practice. This is the time where I indulge in connecting with my inner self; it is the time where I travel the path of inner discovery, which is absolutely fascinating.
The Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga practice is a set sequence and when one practices it, one can observe her/his own changes with every practice. That is how I get to know myself better and better. It is an amazing tool for accessing your deepest core.
6. When people ask you, “What is Yoga?”, what do you say?
To me Yoga is a way of living. It is about letting the heart rule; it is about connecting with all, which is around us.
Yoga is the path of self-realisation, the magic of discovering who you really are. Most of us have moved away from our inner wisdom and are confused about life and ourselves. Yoga brings us back home where we are safe.
Yoga is about knowing the truth, speaking the truth and feeling the truth.
7. What can people expect from one of your classes?
The focus of my teachings is on synchronising movement with breath, the uninterrupted and easy flow of the breath in each posture.
Every class offers elements of asana work, pranayama, chanting and meditation. I put emphasis on the spiritual side of Yoga and the classes are all quite physical. I endeavour to provide an oasis of security, love and sharing.
8. What do you love most about teaching yoga?
The inner transformation of students when they practice on a regular basis; being able to make a difference in my students’ life and to be there for them when they need me; to be a light and a source of love to others; to see their glowing faces when they lie down in savasana in knowing they are enjoying moments of happiness and relaxation.
9. What do you wish everybody knew about yoga?
I wish that everybody would understand that Yoga is not just a physical practice but also a practice that works on many levels. I am often puzzled that people only talk about the physical benefits of Yoga when in actual fact this is only the gateway to all the other levels.
10. What role do you see yoga playing in our world?
Yoga brings us back to ourselves and in the end to love – as simple as that.
Love is the answer to everything and Yoga is the path to find it.
11. Anything else you’d like to say?
Love, love, love and all will come!
12. And finally, how do people find you?
I teach at Breathe, Havelock North, Hawke’s Bay. Call me on 06 874 60 39, 021 14 60 199 or send me an email via yodo [at] paradise [dot] net [dot] nz.