Dearest of hearts, Welcome!
Is there someone bold you’d like to learn more about via a Bold Interview? Message me and I’ll see what I can do…
Love Meg x o
Hi Yaisa! I’ve 5 (+ a few) questions for you…
1 What do you love most that yoga gives you in life?
The beauty of yoga is that it can give me everything I need. It gives me focus when my brain is scattered. It gives me distraction and takes my mind of things when I’m too uptight about a job or a project. It opens my body when have tension, gives me energy when I’m feeling low. It takes my hunger away on the days that I’m fasting but can also awaken my appetite by doing a stronger physical practice. Yoga inspires discipline as well as kindness to myself. It helps me to think twice before I speak my mind and encourages me to speak my truth when appropriate. The best of all, is that I can choose all of the above and more. Yoga is a way of life that I can choose, nobody imposes it on me and I am free to grow on its foundations as I see fit. Yoga gives freedom.
2 What is your unique offering as a yoga teacher?
Students tell me that I am down-to-earth and authentic. I believe it’s important to stay true to oneself and I do not believe in a one-size-fits all kind of yoga practice. Every person is different and needs something different, depending on their intention in life and their physical, mental and emotional condition of that very moment. I teach a variety of yoga classes and my teacher training courses are multistyle, showing our students that yoga has something to offer for everybody. And all the while, I stay myself, acknowledging my shortcomings, my skills, my qualities and my weaknesses. As a yoga teacher, that’s the best gift I can give to the people practicing with me: the belief that everybody is just perfect the way they are, including their best efforts to become an even better version of themselves.
3 Why do you write what you do, whether on your own blog or when guest blogging?
Writing blogs is a great tool to share the knowledge that has been passed on to me and personal experience that I believe can be of benefit to others. I like the idea of inspiring people as I have been inspired by others, with my own spin. This in turn, hopefully motivates people to inspire others too. Sometimes, writing is also a way to put my own thoughts in perspective. When I write, I attempt to express precisely what I feel or think, giving words to my emotions and opinions, forcing me to reconsider or nuance.
4 Can you tell us how living in alignment with your values and priorities relates to the lifestyle you’ve designed?
It’s always work in progress, a subtle balance between what I wish as an individual and what is possible in the society that I choose to live in and with the people I share my life with. Mundane things, like time, money and other finite resources are restrictive. My personal dreams and wishes are infinite and so are those of the ones I love. In the middle of all this, I try to walk the fine line that makes me and the people around me the happiest. Some of my priorities in life are the friends I have made over the years, living the healthiest life I possibly can for myself, being as kind as I can for nature and sharing my passion for yoga with as many as are willing to listen to me. The problem is of course that some of these priorities require conflicting actions. Teaching yoga is not a huge money making machine, whilst money is necessary to buy the healthiest food and fly around the world to see my friends. Flying around the world is not very kind for the earth. I could try to grow all my own food, but then I wouldn’t have time to teach as much as I would like to. And so on and so forth. I endeavor to find a balance between all these things and more, knowing that compromise and sacrifice are often necessary but never regretting any choices that I make.
5 Your business name is Yoga Here and There … How do you keep your life cohesive when you live in so many places in one year? What do you find special about the Fleurieu Peninsula, that you’ve chosen to base yourself here for the longest period of the year?
Despite my nomadic lifestyle, there are many elements in my existence that keep me anchored and sane. Stefano, my husband, is probably the most important one at this stage in my life. He is earth element itself. Grounded, balanced, with his feet always firmly planted (preferably in the sand while fishing and often also with his hands in the soil as he gardens or forages), extremely caring and supportive. Even though we are not together several months a year, he is one of the most stabilising factors in my life.
Another big influence of stability in my life is Darja, my oldest friend, soul sister, business partner, the yin to my yang when it comes to running Yoga Here & There teacher training courses. I’ve known her forever and though we are not totally not the BFF-joined-at-the-hip kind of friends, my life would be quite different without her in it. In Bali, she is my buoy.
Next of course, is the practice of yoga. Even when not on my yoga mat, the yogic lifestyle values are something I carry with me everywhere I go. I’m not pretending to be an enlightened being, far from that. Rather than an imposed, dogmatic set of rules, yoga is like a compass to me. I can choose to ignore the direction it points me towards or I can go forth and explore. Whether I am in Bali, in Europe or in the Fleurieu, the values of yoga are the same and they give me a strong foundation in life.
In between all that travelling, the Fleurieu is my home. The vibe in the Fleurieu is very special to me, both Stefano and I felt it the very first moment we drove into the region without any expectations. The balance in nature of sea, vines, hills, space, the climate, the eclectic collection of people that live in the area and the magical property we are privileged to live on are the main reasons for us to want to stay here for the better part of the year.
5a Bonus Lightning Round (short answers are fine here): What are your recent most memorable in the following categories?
1 yoga venue: I have so many favourite yoga spots that it’s difficult to choose. I’d have to say the shala at Kelapa Cottage where we conduct the teacher trainings. The reason why it’s the most memorable one is because of all the intense and beautiful memories we have created there, together with the trainees and the teachers.
2 food: Good food is a big thing in my life and I have countless memorable moments involving food. But one recent experience that I won’t lightly forget, is the sushi at Kaiko, a small Japanese restaurant in Amsterdam last July. It is so memorable because it was a treat by a very good friend, and aside from the fact that quality sushi is a bit beyond my yoga teacher’s income (not the sushi train quality we get a shopping malls), good company makes a meal even more unforgettable. Downside however, is that eating sushi is not a very sustainable activity… But boy, was it ever so tasty!
3 environment: The most recent impressive moment in nature was a trip in the Sahara desert in Egypt in September. The vastness, rawness and power of the landscape was beyond words. [see pic below ~ M]
4 event: A most amazing recent event was a family reunion in August with my dad, his two brothers and all their children and grand-children. Including partners, we were 21 people and we came together for a week in Italy at the Garda Lake. This was the first time we had a reunion of this kind ever and the purpose was to share stories about the past so that we, my cousins and I, can pass on the stories to the next generations.
Amazing tales of the childhood years of the three brothers, who were born in Indonesia where my grand-dad set up regional hospitals and research centres. They then roamed around Europe as illegal refugees before emigrating to China, living there during the apex of the Cultural Revolution before fleeing China again and finally settling down in the Netherlands.
The whole reunion, the re-newed connections we forged among family members and our partners and these extraordinary stories blew my mind away. And of course there was lots of good food and wine to enhance the experience.
5 unexpected awesome sight. Seeing my little brother as the airport in Amsterdam in September. I had said good bye to him a month earlier not expecting to see him before next year May again. I was due to fly in from Egypt the next morning but my flight was rescheduled to the evening prior. He was due to fly in from a business trip to Monaco earlier that evening but his flight was delayed.
So my mom ended up picking us up both at the same time and we had an hour to catch up as we drove to his house. A very precious one.
When Yaisa is passionate about something, she usually finds a way to turn the hobby into a vocation. After discovering yoga in 2007, she trained to become a teacher in 2013, definitively leaving behind a banking job and a scuba diving career. In 2015, she emigrated to South Australia and founded Yoga Here & There.
The name of her business reflects her nomadic life style but mainly the holistic nature of yoga. It can be practiced anywhere, anytime and at many different levels, in different ways.
She settled in Sellicks Beach, teaching yoga here and there. Now also a registered yoga teacher training school, Yaisa runs yoga classes, workshops, courses and trainings in Australia in Spring and Summer.
The rest of the year, she runs teacher training programs in Bali and travels around the world to catch up with family, friends and former yoga students.
Her two single best choices in life were to marry Stefano and not to have any children.
Visit Yaisa online at www.yaisanio.com