This week we are delighted to be interviewing Rebecca Hannah. Rebecca is our newest ambassador here at Yogamasti, and we’re really excited to be working together! We’re putting together a series of interviews with Yoga teachers to give you all a little peek behind the curtain of teaching. (Check out our interviews with Aanika and Ervin).
Every teacher has a unique perspective on what it means to teach this multi-dimensional discipline. Every teacher has differing opinions and a uniquely valuable approach to Yoga practice. Variety is the spice of life, and it’s through accessing differing perspectives that we ourselves grow. So let’s get started!
Rebecca grew up in England and was introduced to yoga through her background in physical theatre, circus and performance. As a performer she was initially attracted to the physical side of the practice and how it could be used as a tool for creative expression. The more that she practiced the more she noticed the grounding benefits it had on her life.
Rebecca initially trained as an Ashtanga Vinyasa teacher before going on to train, assist and teach with Master Duncan Wong and his Yogic Arts System which is an integration of yoga, martial arts and Thai massage. Through Yogic Arts she was then introduced to their sister system KiDo Kids Yoga created by Master Heather Kamala. Both teachers have played the biggest influences on Rebecca’s Yoga career and through their support she has been lucky enough to travel and teach classes, workshops, community projects, retreats and teacher training all over the world.
Rebecca’s classes are innovative, fun and playful with a strong focus on alignment and the creative use of props and partner work. Students can expect a lively, uplifting and caring teacher, who wishes to cultivate a sense of community and confidence in her students, empowering them to be themselves finding a sense of peace and power both on and off the mat.
Class styles taught: Vinyasa, Hatha, Ashtanga, Rocket Yoga, Inversions e.g handstands and ark balancing, Flexibility, Yin, Yin Yang, Core, Hot Yoga, Yogic Arts and Children and family Yoga and Yoga for Special Needs
Currently she is teaching Yoga Classes and Workshops Live on Zoom. She also has her next KiDo Kids Yoga Teacher Training coming up on Saturday and Sunday the 5th and 6th of September.
What was your first experience of Yoga?
I was on a physical theatre course in Barcelona and we used to do yoga as part of our warm-up every morning. I was instantly drawn to it and how calm and grounded it made me feel.
You’ve been in the industry for a long time – how has it changed since you first started?
I’ve been teaching yoga for about 8 years now. I would say that when I first started my view of yoga was fairly narrow. I came from an Ashtanga Yoga background so my physical vocabulary and spiritual path was very much influenced by this. I think since the popularity of Instagram Yoga has definitely exploded into the marketplace a lot more and has become increasingly more popular and competitive. Personally though I would say my view of what yoga is in terms of a life-style has definitely expanded. Also my physical vocabulary has become increasingly influenced by other art forms and disciplines including circus, capoeira and dance.
What made you decide to become a teacher?
I come from a family of teachers and have always taught in some capacity whether it’s been theatre, performance or creative writing so to me it seemed like the next natural step.
What’s a common misconception about Yoga you’d like people to know?
To me I feel that sometimes can be quite narrow minded as to what yoga is so if you do something different in your practice they can have a tendency to judge and say “That’s not yoga” To me movement and the body is just the vehicle. It’s your attitude and intention behind what you do that makes it yoga.
What aspect(s) of life do you believe Yoga practice helps most with?
It helps me to deal with my relationships both with myself and others. It also helps me to respond rather than react and see the opportunity and learning in situations rather than the obstacles.What resource(s) have you found most inspiring?
I spent a lot of time with the Russian Community in China and found going to their weekly Kirtans and reading of the Bhagavad gita very inspiring.
Describe milestone or a time where you felt like you’d really achieved something in your Yoga journey?
Moving to China and getting a full time job teaching with one of the biggest yoga studios in the World there was a huge milestone for me. Also moving to China was a big personal challenge for me.
Who in the industry do you find most inspiring?
How have you adapted your teaching during the pandemic?
Yes because I have been locked in China where I normally live and work I have been teaching online classes, workshops and teacher training on Zoom.
Do you feel the pandemic has affected your ability to teach in a negative (or positive) way?
It has been a great opportunity to learn more about my individual style and what motivates and inspires me both as a practitioner and teacher. It has been a real blessing to be able to spend more time planning and structuring sequences more as normally at the studio I teach at in China i’m teaching 20 classes a week.
What are your plans going forward?
I am currently waiting for the borders to China to open but who knows. One thing I have learnt in life is to be open to new possibilities! I would definitely like to keep my connections outside of China though and lead more retreats and teacher training.
How To Find Rebecca Hannah And Her Classes:
You can find Becky on Instagram as @rebeccahannahyoga or check out her classes and what she’s up to via Facebook. All of her classes are currently online due to lockdown measures – so you can attend from wherever you are in the world!
We hope you took a little inspiration away with you from this leg of our Yoga teacher interview series. Stay tuned for more valuable thoughts from the folks who keep our Yoga world afloat!
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