In the final Q&A session with our team members we meet our editor, Hannah. What’s her favourite inspirational quote? What advice would she give to a beginner Ashtangi? And are there any TV series she hasn’t watched?!
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
I want to say the joy of yoga! But that’s not always the case, it’s more the knowing-how-I’ll-feel-if-I-don’t-practice that gets me on the mat each morning. It’s so unpredictable, you can never tell how your practice will be until you get on the mat. So I find it very intriguing to see what each day brings, both in terms of my practice and also my mental and emotional state. Oh and strong black coffee helps too 😉
What are your biggest challenges in life?
Trying to let go of the idea of perfection, not worrying what other people think of me, finding the joy and positivity in every situation, remembering to play more and be less hard on myself, and learning to have faith that everything will work out ok. Phew!
How would your best friends describe you in 3 words?
Hannah the planner!!
Ok, they’d also describe me as reliable, caring and fun (I think…)
Do you have a favourite inspirational quote, phrase or saying?
“Leap and the net will appear.” I’ve experienced this personally in my life several times when I’ve made huge, life-changing decisions. I have to remind myself to trust that the universe will support me. I find it’s usually after making the decision that you know whether it was the right one, guided by the emotions you feel. If the overriding emotion is relief, you can be reassured the decision was the right one.
What’s your favourite film or book?
That’s a toughie, there’s so many to choose from. For the film, I know it’s cheesy but I think I’ll have to go with “Dirty Dancing”, simply because I know I’ll never tire of watching it. Nobody puts Baby in the corner!
The book would have to be “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding, having studied it in depth at school and knowing there are so many different levels and hidden messages to it. Again, I could read it a hundred times over. “Wild Swans” by Jung Chang also had a big impact on me.
If you could share one insight from your practice for a beginner, what would it be?
To never think of a posture or series as being ‘completed’. I thought I had ‘completed’ primary series 9 months into my practice but now, 6 years later, I’m still learning and developing and tweaking and transforming. This practice teaches you so much, but you can’t predict exactly what it’ll teach you, or even really put it into words. There’s always more to learn – for both your body and your mind. It’s about the journey, not the destination. It’s about showing up as often as you can, because that’s when the real transformation happens. The most important thing is to get on your mat every day, not what you actually do on it.
If you had never started yoga where do you think you’d be now?
Working in an office. Doing the whole 9-5 thing. Going to the gym. Going to the pub every week. Drinking more often. Eating more crap. Not knowing myself very well, nor particularly wanting to. Not developing deep connections with people. Basically being more ‘normal’ – how dull!
How do you deal with stress in your life?
I do yoga! I also love to dance when I can, as I find it so freeing. I recently got into kirtans and chanting and find they take me almost immediately to a place of quiet serenity within. I meditate occasionally and I find being organised keeps my stress levels down. Trying to see the blessings in every challenge also helps, as does reminding myself that everything is impermanent and that I won’t always feel like this.
My biggest escapism (which is perhaps verging on obsession) is watching TV series. From Lost and The Wire to Dexter and Sons of Anarchy, from Californication and Downton Abbey to Homeland and Mad Men – you name it, I’ve watched it!
Are you more…
…digital or analogue?
It depends. Mostly digital, but because I look at screens all day I do prefer reading proper books made out of paper. There’s simply no substitute.
…Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter?
Lord of the Rings hands down.
…trainers or heels?
Trainers. I do have a few pairs of very low heels but I can barely walk even in them!
…sweet or savoury?
Sweet. I have a very sweet tooth – although it is becoming more refined as I get older. Only the best organic, fairtrade, dark chocolate for me these days darling!
…minimalist or hoarder?
Hoarder all the way. I wish I could be more minimalist but it just ain’t happening!