Yildiz graduated from the Yoga West Teacher Training in 2020.

How did you get into yoga?

A friend convinced me to come to class one day. I’d never tried it before and she sounded like she was loving it, so we decided to share the experience. I’ve always been interested in exploring new movement practices, and yoga seemed so graceful and calming. After my first class I wanted to go every week. Soon after that, I discovered YogaWest, tried different classes and then never looked back.

Was there a moment when you realised you wanted to pursue yoga seriously?

Once I realised I could go to my favourite classes a few times a week, I knew I was steadily becoming more passionate and dedicated to the practice. After a couple of years, I had an opportunity to change direction career wise, and started working in the health and wellness industry. Back then I didn’t think I wanted to teach, so I just focussed on my own practice. But that changed, and when I found out YogaWest was offering a Teaching Training Course, it was the tipping point for me and I enrolled.

How has yoga changed you?

For me, yoga has been transformative in different ways. It has taught me to challenge myself (physically and mentally), pushing past limiting beliefs. It’s shown me the power of resting and resetting. That it’s OK to not be constantly on the go. I have definitely developed a steadier mind and pay more attention to the little things. I try not to take anything for granted and feel a deeper connection to myself and those around me.

What’s your advice to people considering starting yoga?

Try out different classes and see what’s out there. You may have preconceptions about yoga that might be holding you back. Don’t let them. We all have to start somewhere, so try to leave your ego at the door, and come to class with an open mind. Notice how it makes you feel and if you find something that resonates with you, keep going. The longer-term effects if you stick with it, are not to be underestimated.

What is your approach to teaching?

I encourage students to really ‘tune in’. Where the practice can begin to feel like a moving meditation. Listening to and learning from the body, with a commitment to every transition, posture and breath. And with an openness to pay attention to whatever comes up.