Gold Coast Australia
Journey to svastha
"Feeling the need to deepen my knowledge of authentic foundations of yoga, after 10 years of teaching I realised I needed a teacher. I didn't find what I was looking for until I selected 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! On visiting the Svastha website, I subscribed to their newsletter and soon afterwards received an email announcing a seminar with A.G. Mohan & Indra Mohan right here on the Gold Coast! I signed up immediately. Discovering Svastha and the deep knowledge of the Mohans' teachings has changed my yoga practice and my life. Ever since, I have attend their teachings whenever possible - in Melbourne, Sydney, Bali, Gold Coast (again, this time as their host!) and Perth. Each time their living example, their knowledge and their personal guidance helps me gain more clarity and inspiration. My studies of 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 Svastha 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 Therapy.
In 1979, Paula took an in-depth training in TM (transcendental meditation) with the Meditative Relaxation Research Foundation based in Auckland, New Zealand. Then 15 years old, this was the first active step on a journey of inquiry.
Moving to Australia in 1987 presented many opportunities to meet and learn from inspiring teachers in natural therapies and other modalities, including 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, in 1993 was introduced to her first yoga class with Laurene Hassard, who had qualified through both IYTA and Swami Satchidananda's Integral Yoga Institute, U.S.A.
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, started teaching small, complimentary classes from home.
During her early years of teaching, Paula enthusiastically attended many workshops and trainings. Together with fellow IYTA graduate Fuyuko Sawamura-Toyota, in 2001 she attended a weekend seminar with T.K.V. Desikachar & Menaka and a weekend workshop with Donna Farhi.
Over the following years Paula attended courses with many well-recognised teachers at events, workshops, conferences, satsangs and YogaFest. While continuing to teach small classes at home, Paula took on other teaching opportunities as they arose:- large classes at fitness centres and Bond University; chair yoga at an aged-care facility; teen classes; yoga for pre-schoolers, as well as private students.
Paula joined Yoga Australia in 2010 as it transitioned from the YTAA. The popularity of yoga was on the rise, and so was the evolution of styles, brands and fusions of yoga with other practices. Paula began to withdraw to an extent from the many yoga events to focus on her own study and practice, while teaching smaller classes to allow for more personalised guidance.
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 45+ years, A. G. Mohan and Indra Mohan have studied and practised according to the ancient foundations of yoga.
Svastha offers an integrated and personalised approach, and 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)