Carmen is both a mother and a studio owner, currently creating an Ayurvedic and Yoga space called Sadhana Yoga & Ayurveda in serene Lake Hawea, just ten minutes from Wanaka.
She’s offering Ayurvedic consultancy, luxurious therapies and yoga.
Carmen says it’s ‘a comfortable, relaxing, safe space with a strong focus in facilitating a deeper awareness through the knowledge of daily routines, diet, seasons, herbs and other such practices into daily life, that assist with restoring and maintaining balance as well as slowing down the aging process.’
1. What style of yoga do you practice and where do you teach?
Over the years I have practiced a few styles of yoga. I have found that each has revealed something unique, that has added depth, to my yoga awareness.
Presently my practice is steeped in the co-related systems and science of Yoga and Ayurveda. The core foundation of my mat practice is Hatha yoga, which includes pranayama, mantra, mudra, linking the asanas with vinyasa and breathwork, as well as meditation.
I also practice living, nourishing, and healing, aided by harmonising with with the elements, lunar & solar rhythms, the seasonal cycles and food. Which is often a challenge!!
Presently, I teach from my own studio, offering therapies and yoga sessions, located on the shores of lake Hawea, providing a sanctuary from the daily mundane.
2. How did you come to yoga?
The familiar old story, through, injury in my early twenties. I started developing arthritis and found that more often than not I couldn’t run anymore (which I loved) let alone walk, due to severe pain in my hips.
I was pretty disconnected on all levels during my teenage and early twenties, and didn’t treat my body well at all. The pain was a wake-up call… and as it turned out a real gift, as this was when I started to explore Yoga, I loved it from my first session it was a video at home… that was 15 years ago…..
3. When did the yoga bug really get you?
I moved to the Caribbean for 6 years when I was 25 and had the great fortune of meeting Diane, a truly inspiring,wise, authentic teacher, her yoga definitely shaped the way I teach today and I believe it was a combination of her amazing wisdom and compassion and my own path at this paritcular time that really deepened my love of yoga.
4. How has yoga transformed your life?
Fundamentally, it has awakened the infalliable internal wisdom to heal myself. When life gets a bit sticky, I feel blessed to have the tools that yoga offers in helping to undo and move through the stuckness! Yoga is a gift for us all!
5. What is your home practice like?
My personal practice is an extension of my day really, and as I am also a student of Ayurveda my practice now includes other factors, such as the time of day, season, weather, and my current state of balance… I ask myself “what do I need today”?
I always begin with Pranayama to internalise my senses and asanas to warm the spine. Genrally my practice is to maintain strength, flexabilty and a healthy nervous system and I tend to have a strong focus on ayurvedic daily routines.
I used to practice solid asana every day for 1.5, hours, nowdays, it can be 20 mins to 3 hours and will range from a restorative session to a strong vinyasa.
My body, life and knowledge are alot different these days, I would say that I am in less of a hurry to get there, as a result I have a deeper connection, confidence and awareness in my practice now.
6. When people ask you, “What is Yoga?”, what do you say?
The experience of yoga can be what ever you intend it to be. On a physical level it develops physical strength, flexability, grace as well as balancing the emotions, enlivening subtle energies and increasing the vigor of the mind. The physical aspect of yoga prepares our senses and body as we enter the inner realms of our exsistence. Yoga integrates all aspects of exsistence, body, mind & spirit.
7. What can people expect from one of your classes?
The Sadhana or practice of yoga is a gift, of which I feel priviledged to share and so, it is always a challenge as a teacher to facilitate this gift.
I foster the awareness that as you enter the class you let go of any ideal about what you can do and can’t do, this gap creates tension and limits our movement and in some cases adds more tension to our already knotted bodies and minds.
The intent of my class is to “undo”, and assist with finding your edge and balance through a balance of pranayama, asana, and dharana. If you are a relaxed kapha type that tends to be laid back, there is a need to generate energy to find your edge, or perhaps you are a pitta and have the tendancy to push too hard, in which case learning to relax helps to find yours. And what is the edge? Come to class!!!!
It is always my intention to deepen the expereince of yoga and to leave feeling open and unknotted both in body and mind.
8. What do you love most about teaching yoga?
Connecting with people…
9. What do you wish everybody knew about yoga?
The gift of the breath!
10.What role do you see yoga playing in our world?
Healing the disconnection that people have between their environment, the food they eat, their bodies, mind, and breath! Cliche, but with good reason, I know but it is the truth!!
12. And finally, how do people find you?
I am based in Wanaka/Lake Hawea at The Sadhana Studio. ph: (03) 443 7740 (021) 0221 5409, or email email@example.com