Marcos Pérez, The Argentian Yogi

25 September 2018

Mostly all of my stories on the blog are by London based yogi's so from time to time I love to get someone from accross the other side of the world to tell their story. On that note Marcos caught my eye a while back so I got in touch to hear a story all the way from Argentina.

And an amazing one it was too..

Firstly, do you remember the first time you practiced yoga and how it made you feel?

Yes! I came across some photos of people doing yoga when I was 19 years old, and I became so curious about it I ended up searching for an online class on YouTube and practicing in my living room. At that time I hated doing any kind of exercise and I remember my legs burning like crazy for the first time in downward dog and thinking "well, maybe this is not for me!", but there was something more to it than just the movement of the body that kept me interested like connecting with my inner self, being so conscious about the breath and the present and of course the magical moment of savasana! When I ended the practice I just felt good and I definetely needed that in my teen years. One year later, I started studying theater and my modern dance teacher used to finish his classes with yoga, and there I really noticed the benefits for my body and also felt sort of a calling to take this practice as my lifestyle.

Asking this question from London, UK all the way to you in Argentina, the yoga scene here in London is getting more popular by the day, what is it like in Buenos Aires and how have you seen it develop in the past few years? 

Luckily, same here! I think a huge part of the world is being a witness of a beautiful shift of consciousness in the past few years. Buenos Aires has now so many options where you can practice or become a yoga teacher. You also have yoga festivals, yoga libraries, free yoga classes on parks, etc. And I also see the growth in the rest of Argentina. I was born in a smaller city, 200 km away from Buenos Aires, called Gualeguaychú, and when I go there to visit my parents I always hear about new places where you can practice and it makes me really happy to see that people are getting more and more interested in Yoga because I truly believe in its power.

How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Do you have a “favorite failure” of yours?

A few years ago I had a huge project where I moved to another country and invested literally everything I had, I even sold all of my furniture!. It didn't work out at all. It was actually one of the most nerve-wracking experience I've had to go through (meditation came in handy to keep myself sane those days). It was a series of unfortunate events that within a year left me back in my parents house with nothing but a suitcase with my clothes. I remember how I wished I've never gone there or that I could forget it all. But last year I realized how stronger that experience made me, all the things I learned that made me see life in a different way and all the tools I got which I am using now to build a solid ground for my life. I learned that when it comes to dealing with a past we feel like letting go, I think gratitude is the best way. Honoring the past is how we embrace our being with all the impressions our journey through life has left us and actually accept the present moment. Even if at first glance gratitude seems like a passive reflection, it's actually how you build resilience, so I would recommend to not take it as a chore but to truly feel it deep in your heart because by doing so you'll witness how far you've come, how much you've grown, how your beliefs have changed, how much stronger you've become.. and also you create space for more things to be grateful in the future.

Regarding my practice, I think my favorite failures are when I fall from inverted asanas! It's amazing how much you learn from falling, from how to move your body to not get hurt to the fears you leave behind, which obviously you then apply on your everyday life.

What five items can you not live without? 

I have to say that after that very hard experience I had where I lost all my belongings, I became sort of a minimalist. My phone is important to me, mostly because my closest friends and family don't live in Buenos Aires so keeping in touch with them on a daily basis is crucial for me, and also checking on the amazing online yoga community where I learn new things every single day thanks to so many people sharing their practice.

Another fundamental item for me is my yoga mat. I just love to have it near me and knowing that within seconds I can unroll it and practice or just sit to meditate. Is like carrying a portable shelter! Is the first thing I put with my luggage if I had to go somewhere.

And then, I think I like to have a good book and a cup of tea near me. That's about it. I still have one more thing to pick right? Umh.. Does having some "me" time to just be alone and practice count as an item? hahaha!

Minnie Samengo-Turner, Yoga Teacher at Core Collective

19 September 2018

Some of my regular readers will recognise Core Collective, a boutique London studio in which I have featured a couple of times in the past, reason being they somehow find the best London teachers!! 

This one no less is a little beauty, Minnie Samengo-Turner, Sports-mad former sprinter and tennis player, is passionate about her yoga having been introduced to it through her mother. She is now a fully fledged teacher, living the yogi dream so to speak, here is her story...

How did you come into yoga and what was the thought that went through your head after your first yoga class? 

My mum introduced me to yoga. I’ve always been very sporty and played tennis, hockey and athletics to a high level. She thought I needed something calming. She also knew I would love the savasana at the end! 

After my first class I was thinking gosh I’m so bad at that! I never knew you could sweat that much just moving on a mat! My hips were so tight, pigeon pose was my nemesis, I could barley touch the floor with my hands! I usually hate doing things that I’m bad at but i stuck with it because I felt so good after. I felt I was an inch taller and as if I was floating down the street walking back home! Also I would always sleep so well after.

Any tips for improving ones practice or starting a home practice? 

Persistance is key! I’ve learnt to be patient with my body and has taken me 2 years to build up my flexibility. But if I can do it - then anyone can! 

There are so many amazing teachers online. Use YouTube and Find a teacher you like. Don’t feel like you have to do an hours session every time. Even if you just have a 20-30 mins it’s still just as beneficial to get the body moving. I love doing it in the morning but do what works for you :)

Coffee or green tea, protein shake or green juice?! 

Green tea and green juice. I’m lucky I’ve never got hooked on coffee and don’t need it to wake me up in the mornings. 

Favourite yoga studios in London? 

Obviously I love Core Collective but I’ve got a few favourites for different reasons. Union station yoga is fab, I love the community feel it has. Battersea yoga is a little haven in the middle of London. KXU - I love Danielle’s and Kathryn’s classes there. Blok is my new favourite too in Shoreditch. We are so lucky we have so many amazing studios all over London.

What's are your favourite books which have inspired you?! 

Power of Now, Happiness - a guide to life’s most important skill (currently reading this and loving it!) and The Kite Runner

What's your morning routine? 

My coach has given me some drills to work on my flexibility and handstand etc so I like to do those for about 15 mins, then I meditate for 10 mins and then I journal. Write down my goals, what I’m grateful for and anything else that might be stuck in my head. I’ve only just started doing meditating and journalling and I’m finding it’s helps. I feel as if I approach my day with more ease and calm. I definitely notice the days when I don’t do it! If I’m not teaching in the morning then I go to a yoga class. I like to have hot water and lemon and usually don’t eat breakfast until about 10am. I’ve been reading up about fasting and trying to fast for 14 hours to give my digestive system a break. I actually never really feel that hungry when I wake up so I find it quite easy! 

Five items items you can't live without?

yoga mat, my lululemon leggings, mayonnaise, sleep and my family

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