Gold Coast Australia
Journey to svastha
"Feeling the need to clarify my understanding of authentic yoga, after 10 years of teaching I realised that I once more needed a teacher.
Nothing resonated until I took A.G. Mohan's book Yoga for Body, Breath & Mind from my bookshelf. As I read, I realised that this was the depth of knowledge I was seeking, but it seemed improbable that I would ever meet up with the Mohans! But now, of course, the internet! I subscribed to the Svastha newsletter on their website and soon afterwards received an email to say that A.G. Mohan & Indra Mohan were coming to the Gold Coast. I signed up immediately!
Discovering Svastha and the deep knowledge of the Mohans' teachings has changed my yoga and my life. Since , I have attended their teachings whenever possible - in Melbourne, Sydney, Bali, Gold Coast (again - this time as their host!) and in Perth. Each time their living example, knowledge and personal guidance inspires and helps me gain more clarity. My studies in the Yogasūtras of Patañjali commenced in 2016 with Vina Shah (long-time student of the Mohans) until mid-2018, and now continues with the Mohans directly and via their online platform www.YogaKnowledge.net
Journey to yoga
Paula has been teaching yoga on the Gold Coast since 2000. She is a Senior Registered Teacher with Yoga Australia, a full member of IYTA, and has certifications in Yoga Teaching and Yoga Therapy from Svastha Yoga Ayurveda Chennai.
In 1979, Paula completed a course in TM (transcendental meditation) with the Meditative Relaxation Research Foundation, New Zealand. Just 15 years old at the time, this was a first active step towards seeking a better way of being human.
Moving to Australia in 1987 presented more opportunities to learn from inspiring teachers in natural therapies and other modalities such as massage, with much gained through Buddhist psychotherapy with Valerie Kamala Kennedy.
In 1992, Paula completed a Diploma in Swedish Massage and Certificate 1 in Shiatsu at the Gold Coast Academy of Natural Therapies and then, in 1993, was introduced to her first yoga class with Gold Coast teacher Laurene Hassard.
Instantly enthralled, and inspired by the obvious benefits of yoga, Paula joined the International Yoga Teachers' Association in 1998 and, while completing her IYTA Diploma of Yoga Teaching under Laurene's mentorship, began teaching small, complimentary classes from home.
Paula enthusiastically attended many workshops and trainings with visiting teachers including T.K.V. Desikachar & Menaka, and Donna Farhi.
While still teaching small classes at home, Paula took on other teaching opportunities:- large classes at gyms and Bond University; chair yoga at an aged-care facility; teen classes; yoga at pre-schools, and private students.
Paula joined Yoga Australia in 2010 as it transitioned from the YTAA. The popularity of yoga was on the rise along with an evolution of yoga brands, styles and fusions. Paula began to focus more on her own study and practice, while shifting her teaching focus to smaller classes to allow for more personalised practices and individual attention.
A.G. Mohan is one of the most senior yoga masters alive now, and a direct link to the authentic yoga traditions. Over the past 50+ years, Mohan and his wife, Indra, have dedicated themselves to the study and practice of yoga, which is evidenced by their humility and wisdom.
They chose the name Svastha to represent their teachings, which offer an integrated and personalised approach. All instruction is guided by an underlying set of principles - that yoga practice should:
be steady and comfortable, and make the body strong and flexible
emphasise the spine
be adapted to achieve your goal
proceed in intelligent, orderly steps (vinyasa krama)
use the breath to integrate the body and mind
use the breath to adapt postures
use the breath for feedback
(A.G. Mohan - Yoga for Body, Breath, and Mind)