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Natascha Pereira

How would your students describe your class and what can they expect
There’s quite a bit of hardware in one of my legs, so some days I walk into the classroom fine, and other days I have a noticeable limp…quite honestly, I am sure new students sometimes wonder how I am going to manage teaching a yoga class! Be ready for a strong practice though, with a varied mix of basic and advanced poses. I don’t let my inability to do certain poses perfectly myself stand in the way of teaching them, so expect lots of verbal alignment cues in those cases.

My own experience has given me a better understanding of the long term effects of injuries and chronic pain on the body and the mind, and I understand it can affect someone’s physical and emotional state (and their yoga practice) differently from day to day. So if you have the all clear from your doctor, but are worried about doing yoga after recovering from an injury or surgery, make sure to check in and talk through some options—there’s usually a way to modify your yoga practice so it works for you!

Most unusual place you’ve practiced yoga
The stepping stones in the water of Berowra Creek on the Benowi Walking Track. Being surrounded by beautiful bushland and serenaded by cicadas while staying balanced on the stepping stones with water washing over your feet is quite magical and great for the soul…

What you want your students to take away from the class
I think it would have to be self-acceptance with a solid dose of self-appreciation… For my students to not only accept themselves as they are but to marvel at the things they are capable of doing and the progress they are making, both physically and mentally!

Star Sign
Virgo

Chinese Star Sign
Rat

Favorite yoga pose
Hmmm…I love a Half Moon…and a Triangle Pose. Even when I don’t plan to teach them in a class, they often manage to sneak their way in anyway! I love the heart opening aspect and the different perspective these poses provide.

Yoga pose you find the most challenging
I find Lotus Pose incredibly challenging, even with modifications; luckily I’ve found a beautiful alternative in Svastikasana that I can manage with the help of some blocks! And any balancing pose on my left leg…it took me nearly a year and a half to master tree pose!

How has yoga improved your life
The first time I walked through the doors of Living Om Hornsby, I had to stop and rest halfway up the stairs… I’d had leg surgery, and even though I’d done months of intense physio, I was still barely walking and always in pain. Physically, yoga helped gradually build back the strength in my leg. Mentally, it allowed me to accept and appreciate the new me, and to live in the moment, even if I can’t always do the things I’d like to. And it paid off, because against all odds, I’ve started running on a regular basis again, not to mention the fact that I now get to teach yoga every day!

What you love about teaching at Living Om
Living Om has such an open, welcoming and friendly atmosphere it’s hard not to feel at home here! I still crack a smile every time I walk through the door. And each and every client brings something special to the studio, whether it’s their unique personality, their determination in their practice, their empathy for others or their gorgeous smiles and quirky sense of humor, making it an awesome place to teach yoga at.

Something random we’d never know about you?
I try to learn something new every year, so a couple of years ago, I got a unicycle and learned to ride it…