We asked our resident yoga instructor Aga some questions about yoga and how she got into it.
1 How did you become a yoga teacher, and how long have you been teaching for?
2 What type of yoga do you teach?
3 What do you think yoga has done for you as a person?
4 What tools do you think are essential for staring yoga practice?
5 What’s the main thing your clients can gain from practicing yoga with you?
6 If you could only do one yoga pose from now onwards, what would it be?
1. My yoga journey began about 10 years ago. At the beginning I attended classes only once a
week but this has quickly changed to a daily routine. Yoga is a powerful transformational tool and
knowing and observing that from the very beginning made me want to go deeper and learn more
about the practice.
In the beginning I attended class only once a week but this has quickly changed to a daily routine.
During the first few years I spent all of my free time reading yoga books and articles and going to
yoga workshops and trainings with world renowned teachers including David Swenson, Nancy
Gilgoff, Matthew Sweeney and David Williams to name a few. The practice took me to India
where I spent three months practicing at the source of Ashtanga Yoga, the K Pattabhi Jois
Ashtanga Yoga Institute in Mysore. My practice became a very important part of my life. I work
with photography, graphic and video (I studied Graphic Design at Salford University) and many
of my artistic projects have been yoga and spirituality related.
Encouraged by my teachers Basia Lipska and Matt Ryan I started teaching yoga in October
2008, soon after I came back from my first trip to Ashtanga Institute in Mysore, India. At that time
I had been practicing yoga for over three years with strong daily practice, I have completed an
Intensive Ashtanga Yoga Teacher Training with Basia Lipska who is an authorised direct student
of Sri K Pattabhi Jois and was co directing Ashtanga Yoga Studio in Japan at that time and
teacher training with David Swenson in London in 2008 .
I set up one class a week to begin with. Later I started to teach in different yoga studios around
Manchester. In 2012 I brought all my classes to one place and founded full time dedicated
Ashtanga Yoga Studio in Manchester city centre on Lever Street in Northern Quarter. There was
no such place in the City Centre and I thought that there was a need for it. I invited two other
teachers who were my yoga friends to help me with the studio. We stayed there for three years
building it up slowly.
I have been teaching for 7 years. Ashtanga Yoga Manchester has grown, we now teach 20
classes a week and have 9 wonderful teachers involved. Just recently we have moved to a
beautiful new studio which is based on 38 King Street West on the edge of Spinningfields by St
Mary’s Parsonage. Teachers who work with me at Ashtanga Yoga Manchester say that our studio
has got a good authentic vibe and yogic atmosphere. This was always my intention so I am very
happy to hear that. The studio is constantly evolving and I am very happy with the direction it is
2. I teach Ashtanga Yoga. The practice combines asana practice (postures) with pranayama
(breathwork) and concentration/ meditation. Ashtanga is a dynamic form of yoga. During the
3. Yoga practice has had a big impact on my and my life. It has helped me to appreciate life a lot
more and stay positive. It made me feel stronger internally and more flexible with life and other
people. My relationship with people around me has improved. It has taken my depression away
and it keeps me fit and healthy. It made me feel good about myself. But most of all it has set me
on a spiritual path and this is what I am most grateful for.
4. Pattabhi Jois, the guru of Ashtanga Yoga used to say “Everyone can do yoga except the lazy
ones”. There is a bit of truth in it as all you need to do to get yourself into practice it is to commit a
bit of time to it. The first step is the most difficult and scary one so what I want to say to everyone
who is thinking of starting their yoga journey take this first step, go to your first class/ beginners
is never too late, it does not matter what age you are and whether you are fit or not. The greatest
obstacle to achieve or to do anything, including yoga, is our mind.
course, every single yoga practitioner has been there, has done it. It is never a bad time to start, it
5. Yoga is a holistic practice, meaning we work on the body, mind and spirit, we work on the “whole
being”. That is why yoga can really help people to improve every aspect of their life. It is good for
keeping our body fit and healthy but also it helps with being positive, creative, stronger, open to
life, people, new experiences, more trusting, relaxed and even assertive if this is what you are
lacking. The list is long. The main goal of yoga is self realisation or discovering our true nature
and we can measure the progress of it by watching the level of joy and happiness in our daily life.
6. Padmasana! Some teachers say that we only do all of the yoga poses to prepare the body for
sitting comfortably in padmasana or lotus posture for a long time to meditate. Meditation has
become the most important part of my yoga practice so this would be my pose, if I only had to
practice we work both on strength and flexibility. It is good for both men and women. Ashtanga
yoga practiced in its correct sequential order, gradually leads the practitioner to rediscover his or
her fullest potential on all levels of human consciousness – physical, psychological and spiritual. I
wholeheartedly recommend it to everyone.
To sign up to Aga’s Yoga class, Have a look at her Facebook Page