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Meet 90 Days of Yoga mentor, Natalya Pemberton.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014 by Marianne Elliott

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Hi lovely.

I’m thrilled to introduce you to Natalya Pemberton, our yoga mentor for this final round of 90 Days of Yoga.  As an experienced home yogi  and 90 Days alum Natalya is full of tried and true wisdom; here’s one of my favorite bits from our interview with her:

Start small, and declare it “enough”! This was a game changer for me. Yoga doesn’t have to be a whole 90-minute-pretzel-sweat-fest (in fact, it never has to be that, which is probably just as well because it sounds kind of gross). However much or little works for you right now, give yourself permission to do only that.

Registration closes on Friday for what will be the last round ever of 90 Days of Yoga. I’d love for you to join me. Don’t hesitate to be in touch if you have any lingering questions about the course and whether it’s right for you.

Love,

signature_marianneS

 

 

 

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Meet Natalya.

Natalya Pemberton is a strategist, photographer and newly-minted yoga teacher. She has no idea how to keep those things in balance, but it’s a lot of fun trying! She’s @talof2cities on Twitter, skysailyoga on Tumblr, and rougenoirphoto on Flickr, if you’d like to join in the fun.

 

 

First off, we’d love to hear your voice. Introduce yourself & share your best advice for the days you don’t feel like getting on the mat.

Finish the phrase ‘my home yoga practice is’.

My home yoga practice is my space to explore and play. I love the challenge and guidance of a well-taught yoga studio class, but there’s nothing like being in charge of my own practice! Sometimes I have a plan or a sequence in mind, other times I make it up as I go along. Occasionally it’s a long or vigorous practice, but mostly it’s 10-20 minutes of slow vinyasa or pranayama in the morning before I check my email and dive into my day.

So, why did you decide to get on the mat in the first place?

My first yoga class was at a gym in Melbourne, Australia, more than 15 years ago. I loved it, but for years afterward yoga was a stick I used to beat myself with – I wasn’t slim enough, flexible enough, spiritual enough, whatever enough. I’d get into a regular pattern of going to classes, only to get discouraged once the inner critic got the best of me. Marianne’s courses showed me that I can do yoga on my own terms, and she taught me how the practice can bring me home to myself, instead of sending me on a chase to be like someone else. I’ve been practicing regularly at home for over two years, and my home practice is fundamental to my self-care routine.

Give us a snapshot moment of how your home yoga practice served you well.

One of the best things about a home practice is that it’s portable. Last year I was trying to simultaneously cover two full-time roles at work and it felt like I was getting nowhere in either one. I’d get overwhelmed and feel like such a failure. One day, almost in tears, I remembered nadi shodana. I started doing a few minutes of that in my office after stressful meetings or conference calls. It really helped to calm my anxiety and frustration. I also practiced kapalabhati breathing at times when self-doubt would set in, and it helped me feel more alert and confident. The situation still sucked, but having those two practices in my toolkit helped me work with and through it.

What’s something that gets in the way of getting on your mat and how do you move through it?

I have a long-time shoulder injury that can be the best/worst excuse not to practice asana. In particular, when I make up my mind that “YOGA IS [insert narrow, unrealistic physical definition here]” it’s easy for me to decide I can’t, or shouldn’t, practice. Yet the work itself shows me there’s a lot I CAN do if I start small, and modify appropriately. So I try to approach the practice with kindness (giving myself credit for showing up) and curiosity (paying attention to what works and how it feels).

Any words of wisdom for fellow home yogis struggling to sustain their practice?

Start small, and declare it “enough”! This was a game changer for me. Yoga doesn’t have to be a whole 90-minute-pretzel-sweat-fest (in fact, it never has to be that, which is probably just as well because it sounds kind of gross). However much or little works for you right now, give yourself permission to do only that. Then go do it!

And now, for the really important details.

A personality that influences you:

The life and work of Sister Chan Khong, a Buddhist nun in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hahn, reminds me that gentleness can actually be great strength. I was lucky enough to practice alongside her at a retreat a few years ago, and she’s an inspiration.

A book you think everyone should read:

This summer I read Michelle Alexander’s “The New Jim Crow”, and it’s haunted me (in a good way) ever since. Alexander explores how the consequences of the War On Drugs – and the institutions and systems that spring from it – have created a unique challenge for the US civil rights movement. It’s compellingly argued, beautifully written and impeccably organised, and it equips the reader to appreciate more of the complexities of race (and other social justice) issues in America.

A music that couldn’t miss in the perfect playlist:

“Shake It Out” by Florence & The Machine. It makes me happy every time I hear it. I’ve loaded it on all my recent playlists and whenever it comes on I’m uplifted.

A guilty pleasure:

I’m quick to brag that we don’t have a TV signal in our house, but what I conveniently don’t mention is that my summer indulgence is watching episodes of “Masterchef” and “So You Think You Can Dance” on Hulu.com…

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square_90 days90 Days of Yoga is a follow-on course for people who have already done my 30 Days of Yoga course. It is not an advanced course, instead it’s intended to deepen your yoga practice by exploring more of the philosophy of yoga, and practices of pranayama (breathing) and meditation. This course is also an excellent way to sustain and extend the home practice you established during 30 Days of Yoga, by introducing a wider range of practices to choose from.

Want to take 90 Days of Yoga but haven’t done 30 Days of Yoga? If you are familiar with the basics of yoga, and confident with basic online technology (downloading files etc) then I’m happy to make an exception for you, since this is the last time we’ll be offering 90 Days of Yoga. If you want to check that you’ll be comfortable and confident in the course, feel free to email us your questions on support@marianne-elliott.com

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