Meet The Teacher: Ana

Name: Ana Katerina but just Ana is fine 
Country of origin: Australia
Position at OM Yoga Stuttgart: Resident Teacher
Years of yoga practice: 15 Years
Before I became a yoga teacher I…worked in Retail Management and bartending
I loooooooooove this song: My meditation song is “Black Milk” by Massive Attack and I love Tom Waits.  
I cannot resist: Kona coffee Ethiopian food and ice cream 
My motto: “Keep it simple and choose happiness”
My favourite Asana (for the moment): Dandayamana Bibhaktapada Janushirasana otherwise known as Standing Separate Leg Forehead to Knee 
When I don’t teach…I am a mother and I love cooking and baking

I remember my mother practicing yoga when I was a child in Australia. On quiet days at home, we would practice together. As I have a connective tissue disorder Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and have experienced chronic pain since birth, she thought that I could benefit from learning how to meditate and soothe myself using my breath. To this day, learning the skill of mastering my own breath and finding peace and comfort inside my own body has been my most powerful pain relief tool.

I began a regular Hatha yoga practice aged 16, with daily meditation. Into my late teens and early 20s while I was working two jobs it became difficult to maintain a regular practice, but I always remembered my breath when I needed to center myself. After moving to Southern California in my mid 20s, I started practicing regularly again and took my first hot class. I had recently become pregnant, and rediscovering yoga was hugely beneficial in discovering my new body and opening myself up to the many ways my life was changing. 

I had to take another break from practicing shortly after the birth of my daughter in 2014, as I developed severe sacroiliac joint dysfunction which required multiple surgeries and several periods of prolonged bed-rest. I always remembered my breath, and looked straight ahead. As soon as I was able to walk again, I took my first class with Oz at the studio. I can’t think of a better way to describe it than: “It made sense”. 

I practiced regularly, attending 4-5 classes a week, sometimes even two classes right after another, as often as I could while working full-time in retail and taking care of a small child! In early 2018 I decided that I would like to start teaching, and with encouragement from Oz, I booked myself in for Teacher Training in Summer 2018 with Evolation. I loved every moment of my training, and taught my first class here at OM Yoga two days after I returned. I have already signed up for my next teacher training: Yin Yoga Teacher Training with Sarah Powers in Bali, January 2020. I can’t wait!

I describe my yoga practice as “nourishment” and “housekeeping”. With nourishment I refer to the energy rush, healing and happiness that I experience during and after class. With housekeeping, I refer to how a regular yoga practice helps me separate what is important from what is unimportant. “Turning off the noise”, so to speak.  

I am filled with gratitude when I teach, both humble and strong, and the goodwill and warmth I feel towards the students is immense. 

If you want to know more about Ana's journey as a Yoga Teacher and her experience with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome...

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