"If you can breathe you can do yoga" - Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya (the father of modern yoga)
Please tell us a bit more about how your personal story has been developing since we last met...
My Personal story is one of ongoing learning, so many things I fear I could bore you! I'll try to pick one.
The variety and number of classes (12 - 16 each week) and students (around 200 every week) I have enjoyed over the last 12 months and the illuminating experience of ongoing self practice have allowed me to live one of the key messages of my teacher Ricardo Martin "practice what you teach and teach what you practice". Always learning, from my practice to share with students, and from beloved students who greatly influence my practice of yoga.
I have had tendinitis in my shoulder which restricted my practice for quite some time (10 months) but I welcomed and blessed the injury as a humbling and as a profound teaching method. My practice and teaching have deepened in relation to my knowledge and awareness of modifications.
I believe I was meant to have the injury, as I have encountered so many students with shoulder issues during my time of modified practice and been able to better understand and assist them as a result.
Again I am reminded that if you can breathe you can do yoga, that their is no hierarchy of poses and that the "perfect" pose is the one that your body can do with what you have on the day...what is appropriate and possible in the moment.
Would you care to tell us more about the programs you are offering at Suncokret in 2016?
The programs of the "Yoga Banquet" and "Yearning for Yin" are again being offered as they were so very well received in 2015. The themes will be the same but the classes will be different and flavoured with whatever the participants bring with them.
What about the "Life Dharma and Perfect Imperfection" Event? What influenced or inspired the creation of this particular retreat theme and why?
The Bhagavad Gita, wow, what a text! The ancient wisdom in the text remains completely relevant, it informs, challenges and reassures. I've read it before but it just gets better!
It is indeed the inspiration for my third event offering in 2016 - Life, Dharma and Perfect Imperfection.
"...only when we rise above human schemes and calculations and awake to the presence of the indwelling Spirit can we hope to find an answer to our need" (Sri Swami Satchidananda)
It's a book about remembering, remembering who we are, who we were born to be and then living authentically to honour that in all ways...easier said than done hey?
Sloka 3:35 "it is better to do your own dharma (calling) even imperfectly, than someone else's dharma perfectly..."
Sloka 18:48 "if you perform the duties of your nature imperfectly that is no reason to abandon those duties and begin something else..."
It's often hard to know whether we are following nature's path or if it is the egoistic mind telling us what to do, the Gita exposes these challenges and invites us into "yatra", a spiritual pilgrimage taken through story telling, analogy, history and reason. We can begin a Yatra anywhere anytime, in any state or condition, with many resources or none at all, from a place of joy or despair.
Let's share the Yatra together at Suncokret.
Is there any advice you’d like to give to returning students from last year or to new students who are considering signing up for your event(s) this year in order to help them prepare better for their time with you?
The retreats echo with meaning when the individual experiences and curiosities are embroidered into the overall program. So bring what you bring.
Can you share some thoughts about your teaching and overall experience from your time with us last year?
The experience at Suncokret in 2015 is treasured for many reasons, the joy I found in my first international teaching experience and reconnecting with you both, Evening and Stipe, felt so warm, it was just like coming home. And meeting your little baby Evangelina and enjoying her new life force and energy at the retreat reminded me of how we all arrive so perfectly loving and loveable into this human experience.
Travelling the path with experienced yoga lovers and those with a newer practice is bliss, and then celebrating my birthday with you all and feeling so loved!
Evening, you are an ongoing blessing in my life. I feel your wisdom and faith in me as a human being and as a teacher from afar! (I am humbled to hear this, Russelle, and the blessing is mutual.)
Last year our full moon releasing ritual was also incredibly moving. We gathered at sunset by the beach to ritualistically release thoughts, beliefs and behaviours that no longer represented us. Such a privilege to share those very personal moments with yoga lovers from around the globe.
I do hope to share my love of yoga with some of you throughout the retreat season at Suncokret.
To learn more about Russelle, please see our 2015 interview with her here
and to see more information on her upcoming events, please visit our 2016 events calendar here