The Wellington yoga community is so blessed with a rich variety of yoga teachers – and Manu is another one of those teachers.
He brings a youthful vigour into any room, and thinks nothing of breaking out into a few dances moves post-kirtan.
It’s that kind of joyful expression of life that’s the best possible advertising for yoga.
Manu just exudes that “life is fun, let’s have a blast” kinda of feeling that is contagious, uplifting and inspiring.
2. How did you come to yoga?
It started as a kid, with my mother telling me about people staying vibrant and healthy into their old age from practicing yoga.
I started going to some classes with her in my teens, but only practiced sporadically until my early twenties.
3. When did the yoga bug really get you?
A couple of years back while in Boulder Colorado, USA, participating in a dance workshop, and then staying at an ashram in Crestone, Co, I had the opportunity to practice with some really inspiring teachers, including some one on one sessions.
I was blown away by the profound effect practicing yoga had on me, the vibrant, peaceful energy and clear state of mind it left me with, the way it enhanced my meditation practice, and the way it left me feeling more comfortable and at home in my body.
4. How has yoga transformed your life?
In so many ways…
That vibrant, peaceful energy and clear state of mind leaks out of my practice into the rest of my life, allowing me to be more present and content.
The yogic philosophy and wisdom from other teachers and from books is constantly opening me to be more real and compassionate, and the balancing, strengthening, harmonizing effect it has on my body lets me enjoy being alive even more.
5. What is your home practice like?
I think it is a very valuable counterbalance to being led by a teacher and practicing in the group energy. I find it emphasises certain qualities more, such as being able to focus deeper on my internal experience and listening to what my body needs, and self discipline of course.
I do find it challenging to set aside a time and place to practice every day though.
6. When people ask you, “What is Yoga?”, what do you say?
It depends who they are, I try to modify my answer so it is most understandable for that person.
So it could be; a set of exercises to make your body strong, flexible and balanced and calm the mind, or it could be; a practice to open the mind and body to your true divine nature.
7. What can people expect from one of your classes?
Then they’re completely open to the present moment and all the magic possible there. If they do expect something, then a fun, challenging, inspiring, sweaty mind/body experience that will leave them feeling much better than if they hadn’t come.
8. What do you love most about teaching yoga?
Being part of helping individual lives become more healthy and joyful, which then ripples out into the world.
It’s also awesome to be part of a great team, working in a positive atmosphere, and having the support of Lou, Claire and my fellow teachers.
9. What do you wish everybody knew about yoga?
What it could do for them.
10. What role do you see yoga playing in our world?
I see yoga as being a part of the physical, mental, spiritual transformation necessary to bring our society into a state of health and harmony.
11. Anything else you’d like to say?
Thank you for this opportunity to share, and I wish you all ever increasing love, health and connection in your lives, whether that is through yoga or any other path or practice.
And thank you to my teachers, students, friands and family, and all those who make it possible for me to do what I do.
12. And finally, how do people find you?
Keep an eye out in tall trees, sunny beaches and fun social gatherings, or you could come down to Hot Yoga of NZ, Wellington.