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Interview: Tegan Dobell

An Interview with Tegan Dobell

Tell me about your yoga background.

It took a couple false starts before I started practicing yoga regularly. It wasn’t until I moved to New Zealand about 5 years ago and found a studio that became my second home, that my practice became consistent.

A couple years and cities later, I found myself wanting to deepen my own practice and understanding of yoga, and completed the 250 hr Teacher Training at Iam Yoga in Fall 2017. My yoga practice started as a place to release mental and physical stress, but over time has evolved into a source for new adventure and continual learning opportunities from both fellow teachers and students.

What are you working on right now in your practice and/or in your life?

Tuning in – I’ve heard teachers say this in class for years, but only recently has this phrase started to resonate with me in the way I live my life on and off the mat. As a new teacher when I come to practice in class, I find myself thinking about what’s going on in the sequence or what the teacher is saying, rather than the pose I’m in and what’s happening in my body and breath. At work or in conversations with friends, I’ve started to notice I very similar pattern in which my focus is on too many things at once and I lose sight of the person, conversation, or situation that I’m in at that moment. Noticing this pattern on and off my mat is half the battle, and what I’m working on now is catching myself and trying to redirect my attention what I’m doing or what’s happening at that moment in time.

Are there any lessons you’ve learned in the past that really changed the course of your practice or your life?

1) Taking a deep breath, sigh, or walking outside can feel really good. The time it takes to do any of these three things can help your mind catch up with what’s going on, or put things into perspective.

2) Write the good stuff down! We often spend so much time running from one thing to the next, and don’t take the time to write down a couple highlights of the week or good things that happened. I’m not the best at journaling, but I’ve found writing down 1-2 good things that happened each week in my planner has had such a positive impact on my life.

What is the most important thing that you want students to learn in your classes?

It’s a practice! It’s an opportunity to try new things, and to take some of these ideas you learn on your mat off your mat as well. There are so many things to learn or try with this practice, so don’t get frustrated if your hips don’t feel open enough for a pose – one day they might, or maybe they will never, but either way it doesn’t really matter. We’re here to explore, and practice a form of self-care. It’s a chance to tune in and listen to what your body really needs, then act and move accordingly. It’s a place where you can cultivate or borrow ideas from the teacher and take those with you. I hope these are some of the things my students learn by coming to my classes.

What is your spirit animal?

Turtle! I had to call some friends for help with this one, but I’m very much a water creature. The hardest part of living in Toronto and not home in Vancouver is not being near the Ocean – it’s my favourite place to relax and brings me absolute joy! The turtle totem is described as slow moving on earth, yet incredibly fast and agile in water – those who have the turtle as totem or spirit animal may be encouraged to take a break in their lives and look around or within themselves for more grounded long-lasting solutions” (this is me!!).

Who would you cast as yourself in a movie about your life?

A young Jennifer Aniston, or Kate Bosworth.

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