Are you a big yoga fan? Does this activity give you great energy and mood? Do you feel better after doing it? Or maybe you are a yoga teacher yourself and help others feel better? Or maybe you are just curious to know more about yoga?
Then read on… ➡️ This information can be interesting and useful to you. ?
Recently, yoga has become a big part of my life. This can be seen from my articles. Although I do not always find time for practice, I want to start doing yoga more often. I felt that I needed answers to certain questions (if I correctly do yoga poses, breath well etc) so that I could continue it.
So I needed to consult with someone who really knows about yoga. The best solution was to contact an experienced yoga teacher. In my opinion the best teacher in Lithuania is Milana. She devotes a lot of time to yoga and learns from the best around the world. I would say her lifestyle itself is yoga. So I was very pleased that she could share her knowledge of yoga with me. Our sessions were very helpful to me and I got some important answers.
☑️ At the same time, I realized that there was still a lot to learn. However, it’s always the best is to meet professional people who can help you on your learning path. ?
So with the greatest joy I invite you to get acquainted with Milana and take a look at her life as a yoga teacher?
How did yoga come into your life? How did you decide to become a yoga teacher? Where did you study the basics of yoga?
To make a very long story short, yoga has been in and out in my life for more than a decade. I would remember this practise everytime I would face life challenges. And of course, I would easily drop the practise once I would feel better. That BETTER feeling has always been a great reminded how beautiful and helpful this practise is to everyone of us.
The major need which I felt for yoga happened after Lithuanian “Dancing with the stars” project which my partner and I won. The price for gold was my health - body, mind and emotional. All was disbalanced and it felt like taking everything slow, even my healing process.
Nothing can be better than yoga. For me, I just wanted to feel healthier, stronger, more flexible, in every sense. This is how I started practising yoga online every day. All by myself, taking it slowly.
Accidentally, that time I was often travelling to the USA so I would drop into every yoga class in the country I could handle. It became a way of travelling. From studio to studio, from town to town my practise became more and more solid. At some point I needed to know more about yoga, its’ philosophy. It was not a must, but something nice to have, so I was not in rush. If I find the right teacher, I would consider taking a Teacher training. In a month while visiting Santa Cruz, California, I dropped into Mark Stephen’s yoga class. In a few months I was back learning yoga with him.
The more you know, the more you understand you don’t know. At least for me, 200 H teacher training opened my widest ever learning and development door. Once you really start studying yoga, you can’t help yourself but share it with others, it is a natural flow of yoga in life.
How has yoga changed your life? What benefits you and other people get from yoga?
In every possible way. I am a new person or one could say I am a little closer to the real self with unlimited potential. Even if only physical part of yoga is practised, it is good for one's health and besides proper alignment which asana offers, I believe that everyone who leave the class, leaves it with a sense of peacefulness. Those taking it into the next level, heal emotionally, become more confident, calmer, more productive and being able to navigate through life lighter. And of course, due to yoga’s complexity, to some people it becomes a never ending journey, as a spiritual practise which is directly related to genuine happiness.
You are the most professional and most popular yoga teacher in Lithuania. You also have created a big yoga community in Lithuania. Have you ever dreamed about it or is it just the result of your work?
Thank you, Aiste. I think the most professional teacher is the one that is your teacher. My students migrate, some leave, some come. I change as a person, as a teacher, so my students. Teacher has students equivalent to teacher’s knowledge and wisdom. Everything in life is in a state of flux hence it all comes and leaves naturally.
How long did it take to grow such a community? How do you think what is your secret of success?
It all started very loud, to my surprise. I was supposed to deliver my first class to few girls that I know and… once I announced the first lesson on my facebook profile, 55 people came. I was so stressed out, I remember 🙂 All went beautifully and I still work towards my goal - to make yoga “a new normal” in Lithuania.
As for success, I will admit that success has played a big role on my path. It was my motivator to keep moving, keep learning. Imagine so many people want your classes, and you are just beginning to teach yoga teacher (with this vastness of all yoga aspects, it is a cold shower). I had to learn, to study, not that I had to but I wanted to and my students were a kick into my butt. I wanted them to learn, so I needed to learn 10 times as much. My biggest gift is curiosity, I observe and learn the art of life in every step I take and it is important to share it with others. It is so natural to me as breathing. How could Universe not support such people?
How much time do you spend on yoga workouts daily?
If you want to lose your yoga practise, become a yoga teacher
I have had different stages where I would practise daily, then I would have periods of only once a week practise (due to teaching yoga). You know, imagine yourself delivering 10 weekly classes and having your personal practise as well. It becomes too much.
Today I see if from a different perspective. I do practise daily but it looks and feels different. I have my meditation and breathing practise, I could stretch my body in bed only and would do no official on the mat asanas. Some days I would make myself Abhyanga massage which involves natural bendings, side stretches and then I would be sitting in my meditation. Another days I would have 2 hour long asana practise. In any case, my yoga practise has become more attuned to what I really need that time.
Yoga teaches to listen to one self, you become aware of what is good for you. Deep breathing while walking to my work is also my meditation practise, listening to people wholeheartedly, having a soulful conversation - all is yoga to me. Life is a living yoga.
What people should know before starting yoga? Can yoga be dangerous?
Take it slow and easy. At least on our yoga mats we may relax, stop expect and really enjoy ourselves the way we are. It is my most beautiful practise - it gives you permission and inspires you to take it easy - on and off the mat. Yoga is never dangerous if you respect your body.
Do you like other physical activities, or is yoga the only one?
One of the reasons I started doing yoga was that as a former dancer I could not find any other physical practise where I wouldn't be bored. In dance, you create beauty no matter the price, in yoga you practise something that is unlimited in its philosophy. I love this aspect of yoga, it is a never ending journey. No other substitutes are needed.
Do you need motivation for your physical activities? What motivates you best?
My best motive is the feeling during and after the practise. There was not even 1 time when I regretted coming onto my mat.
Do you give only physical classes or can people find you online as well?
I love both. Online especially because it gives us unlimited possibilities to learn worldwide. My Youtube channel is full of free yoga, travel videos. Definitely more to come.
You, Aiste, were a great example of online learning. I coached you via video call and it worked perfectly. Basically everything can be done online these days.
What are your future goals related to yoga?
Yoga is beyond the mat to me. I do have lots of information on various subjects due to my curiosity and plenty of study modules I have attended. My two biggest upcoming projects are Cultivating emotional balance training (where modern psychology meets Tibetan meditation practises) and delivering 200 h teacher training to future teachers. The first one will be launched online as well as on site. Plenty to do with no bullet points, only natural flow.
Fall will bring many beautiful news for Milana Yoga community. Besides regular classes and beginners’ courses (8-12 hours training), my favorite rejuvenation Soma/Moon ritual will be shared monthly to those willing to look within, to learn self massage with asana, Prana Flow practise and start learning to take care of one self. Cultivating emotional balance training (as though in Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies) will take place as well. This one will be longer and life changing, I am sure. 200 h teacher training is upcoming as well - super thrilled to share my knowledge to those who want to deepen their practice or want to become Yoga Alliance certified yoga teachers. March 2020 I am organizing Cultivating Emotional balance retreat in India, Himalayan mountains.
All will be soon published on Milana Yoga facebook page, @dance_yoga_milana instagram
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Thank you, Aiste, for a lovely talk and your curiosity to know more about yoga.