My first experience with yoga came about because I suffered from migraines as I grew up. My mum thought I needed to learn how to relax so we tried yoga. My first yoga teacher was a ‘wild’ woman called Kristina - who believed she originally came from a tribe in the Amazon. I only studied with her for 6 months and then she got a scholarship to go research the tribe. She never came back. It is thought she was murdered by the Chief of the tribe. I have a very clear memory of this women, she was an inspiration for sure.
I didn’t return to yoga until years later when I had moved to London. A friend invited me to a yoga class and I absolutely wanted to go. I tried a few different styles of yoga but felt most at home with Ashtanga. The Mysore style eventually came into my life and since then I have stayed with that. It is what makes most sense to me.
Was there a moment when you realised that you wanted to pursue yoga seriously?
In the back of my mind I always did - but it was never the right moment. I don’t know if there ever is ‘a right moment’ sometimes you just have got to go with things and one day, that is what I did.
How has yoga changed you?
Yoga has helped me to calm down both physically and emotionally. It helps me to make better decisions and to approach life with greater equanimity. I have worked through a lot of injuries and illness too and it has been a tremendous help in healing my body. It makes me smile!
What is your approach to teaching?
I try my best to stand back and let the student do the work. I think it is important to give space and I hope I do. It is hard and there is so much to learn from looking at peoples practice as everyone is so different. It is important to be patient as a student too and if you can develop some of that it is pretty amazing.
What advice would you give to people who are considering taking up yoga?
Don’t think about it - just come!
Is there anything outside your yoga that people should know?
I am originally a fashion designer. I have studied the body and identity from such a very different angle. In looking at how fabric drapes you need to have a great understanding of what the body is doing underneath those layers of fabric. Studying life drawing is its own form of anatomy class cause if you get it wrong it will look as if the person is about to fall over. I still think about this sometimes when I look at people practicing.
Join Titi at Yoga West on the following days:
Ashtanga, Mondays, 16:00-17:15
Mysore Self Practice, Wednesdays, 6:45-8:45
Ashtanga, Sundays, 8:30-9:45