Meet Natasja Tokyo Electric Fox. Yoga teacher, Chinese doctor and co-founder of charity organisation Traditional Healthcare.
I asked her a few questions about Yoga and her Yoga practice.
Why do you practice Yoga?
Practicing asana releases tension from my body, it increases my awareness of my muscles and bones and my breathing patterns. It also brings focus to my mental and physical patterns. Awareness of these patterns then help shine a light on the mechanisms that lie behind my behavior and mood. After practicing asana, pranayama and pratyahara I find that my mind is calmer and I'm able to concentrate on my day to day activities without rapid thoughts or random emotions. In other words it brings me into the present.
What's your favourite Yoga pose and why?
My favorite yoga pose is adho mukha Vrksasana, (free stand hand stand) as it challenges my concentration, proprioception. It keeps me very present.
What's the main thing you struggle with in your own Yoga practice? How do you deal with this?
The main thing I struggle with is one of the Yamas called Aparigraha, the desire to acquire beautiful things. I love beautiful things whether it be plants, art, shoes, quilts, scarves, books, sculptures, jewelery etc ....I love being surrounded by beautiful things, the more the better, this is not very yogic. When I lose a possession I love, this Yama helps me deal with it quickly and get over it. I have this yama above my bed to remind me to not gather more things!
What's the best piece of advise you could give a complete beginner?
The best piece of advise I can give a beginner is to love your practice like a precious gem, find a competent teacher, read the Heart of Yoga by TKV Desikichar, take the teachings of yoga into your everyday life, learn about the limbs of yoga and not just the physical part of the practice, do not get caught up in the 'flexibility trap' its meaningless and can be dangerous on your joints.
Random (unrelated to yoga) question - What is your favourite song of ALL TIME and who sings it?
My favorite song of all time changes all the time. It swings between songs from these genres mostly: contemporary classical, minimal electronic, jazz, funk and could keep going but randomly Tears for Fears are doing it for me right now..'Everybody wants to rule the world', brings back really sweet childhood memories of chasing the ice-cream van in the Dandenong ranges in my older cousin's car.
The Yoga Social Team