March 14, 2020 3 min read
When Lydia Sasse’s grandfather, a member of the Nepalese Gurkhas, passed away, he left a small sum to her parents who decided to quite literally, head for the hills. They opened a small trekking lodge at the foot of a Himalayan mountain and the family moved there when Lydia was 5 years old.
The lodge’s back garden was the preferred spot for meditation and the mountain would shine pink with the morning sun - a sacred spot, as Lydia describes it. It was here, 7,000ft up that Lydia was introduced to yoga and it's been a core part of her life ever since.
She’s now a full time yoga instructor with training in multiple areas including pre- and post-natal yoga, facial yoga, physiology + anatomy, co-hosts ahealth+wellness podcast as well as being a full time mum! Clearly an incredibly busy woman so we are thrilled to have nabbed a bit of time to sit down and talk about her approach to yoga, how to (realistically) build your practise into your daily schedule plus a few tips and pointers from two of her areas of expertise: parent+baby yoga and yoga for stress relief - coming soon!
Lydia describes her relationship with yoga as one built on love as well as necessity. But in her more than 15 years of teaching, Lydia has found there are many mistaken beliefs surrounding yoga and yoga teachers:“There’s a common misconception that yoga teachers are yoga teachers because they’re naturally bendy, flexy people. It’s not true. I’m not one of those people which is the exact reason why I do yoga every day. My body actually needs it, every day.” Lydia reckons the best course of action is to find a way to build your practice into everyday life.
“A huge part of yoga is teaching people how to deal with challenge in everyday life. It’s really about everything that happensafter you leave your yoga mat.”Most people spend a good chunk of their time at a desk, sitting down and Lydia says trying to go from that straight into some serious yoga poses isn’t that good for your body. As an instructor, Lydia’s aim is to learn as much as she can about her clients, their lives and their bodies so she can tailor her teachings to suit their needs as well as limits.
Yoga isn’t about how far you can push yourself, she says.“It’s not about going to the mountaintop to have your epiphany moment, it’s about how you build [yoga] into your day. The mountaintop is the epic Instagram picture, but it’s in the valley that you do the work.” If you have 5 minutes you can set aside then you should take it, says Lydia, adding that research indicates 20 1-minute slots of meditation, yoga or stretching is just as effective as 1 20-minute session in your day.
Taking time to learn the boundaries of your body, knowing whether you have the capacity on a given day to go at 100% or, recognising that your muscles need a rest is all part of the learning. Lydia approaches her classes with a slow-build: create heat through stretching, focus on the stress points in your body and give your system a bit of a shake-up, then create the space to bring it back down,“allowing us to work out the things in our body that we can’t work out in our mind” and then, she says, rest.“That’s when the new information can be addressed - your body will know where it needs to send attention.”
Lydia has been teaching at several of our Gym+Coffee events over the last couple of months and she’s brought so much to our community already. We’ll be chatting with her further to discuss how yoga can help to reduce stress in your life and all about the benefits of parent+baby yoga too so keep an eye out for those blogs coming up!
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