‘The practise of yoga may change throughout your life, but there is something very special in being able to stay connected and to serve your body, mind and sport when needed.’ Natasha Moutran is everything you imagine when you hear the word ‘yogi’. An international yoga teacher, Natasha has completed her training with some of the industry’s most inspiring teachers. Fast forward to 2015 and she is now co-founder and holistic health coach at The Retreat Collection, offering yoga addicts the chance to practise in a handful of beautiful locations. Stumbling across her site, I’m struck by the quote from Susan Sontag ‘I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.’ If you ever needed a reason to start practising have a read of this.
How did you first get into yoga?
I started practising yoga at around the age of fifteen. I had been practising meditation for a while at that point and needed to start to move my body more, so yoga seemed like the perfect fit. I went to the odd class in my gym and started doing a little bit at home. It was not until I was a few years older that I developed a more regular yoga practise.
Why do you think everyone should be practising yoga?
If you look at anyone’s face as they walk out of a yoga class I think their expression usually sums it up. Happiness, peacefulness and positivity can be seen shining from their eyes and I wish that upon everyone. I believe that there is a style of yoga for everyone. My dream would be that people find the yoga that works for them in that moment. The practise may change throughout your life, but there is something very special in being able to stay connected and to serve your body, mind and spirit when needed.
As you mentioned, there are so many different forms of yoga. Which did you chose to specialise in and why?
I decided to teach vinyasa flow yoga because it allows for variety and creativity within the yoga practise. As a vinyasa yoga teacher I can create flows with a specific focus, whether that is anatomical, energetic or spiritual. I also specialise in prenatal and postnatal yoga, which I absolutely love teaching as it offers so many benefits to women at a real time of transformation in their lives.
In your experience as a teacher, what is the most difficult thing for beginners to get the hang of when they first start on the mat?
I would say the most difficult thing for most beginners is finding stillness. Whether that be finding a sense of stillness within the poses, within the flow, or through breath or meditation. For many, this is a big challenge.
How important do you think the settings and atmosphere are – can you practise anywhere or are some tools essential?
I believe you can practise yoga absolutely anywhere. Of course the outcome or feel of your practise may differ with the settings or atmosphere, however the intention can be there and the effects still wonderful no matter where you are. That is one of the most amazing things about yoga.
So true! How much of your practise is for spiritual benefits and how much is to keep fit?
I would say these days the majority of my practise is for spiritual benefits. I have always been drawn to the spiritual aspect of the yoga practise and the incredible benefits it has; that was my way into yoga, through meditation, therefore I hold that very close. Of course there have been times when the physical benefits have manifested and perhaps at times I have been keen to work my body in that way, but it always comes back to the heart and depth of the practise for me.
Do you think yoga is getting more popular?
Absolutely! It is fascinating and so brilliant to watch how much yoga has grown over the years and it has definitely become a trendy thing to do, which I for one am delighted about. The more people that practise the better I say!
I agree! What advice would you give to someone hoping to follow in your footsteps then?
My advice would be to stay true to your reason for getting on the mat. It can be very easy to get caught up in the competitive side of yoga, even if it’s just with yourself. It can also become even harder with social media and the ease at which we can start to compare ourselves to others.
Staying true to your own unique path allows you to stand out and offer what is real and true to you. That will attract people and help you stay focused and authentic as a teacher. When teaching, I also believe it is vital to keep learning and growing. There is so much information out there and so much being uncovered regularly, so I feel it is very important to stay fresh, inspired and knowledgeable in your teaching.
Finally, if you could only practise one pose, which would it be and why?
Savasana (the relaxing bit at the end) – the simplest yet most powerful pose in my opinion. Whether you need an energy boost, to quiet the mind or calm your nervous system, for me this pose will do the trick. As a society now days we push ourselves and rush a lot, often living off stress and adrenaline, so there is a lot to be said for the slowing down and rest offered by savasana.
Definitely – thanks Natasha!
If you need to find time to wind down and think yoga might be just what you need, why not take a look at the courses listed on our site? With plenty of options out there, what are you waiting for?