Each morning for the last 3 years, we have woken up and done our yoga practice through the instruction of the incredible Natasha Rizopoulos. We reached out to her and asked if, in the middle of her insane schedule and quest to teach the world to take breaths and go through a natural progression of movements, she would mind talking to us about what makes her go. Her answers reflected both the grace and power that has made her one of the world’s most sought after yoga instructors. Since all design is a manifestation of the human mind, we thought it would be interesting to sit down with someone who knows how to control both body and soul.
1. If you had the microphone and could have the entire world listening to one thing you say, what would that one thing be?
Adopt a rescue dog. He or she will be your greatest teacher and give you more than you could ever imagine. They are the essence of Yoga.
2. For those living in New York, what would you recommend as a centering process to stay sane in the madness?
Do only one thing at a time. This seems inconceivable in a multi-tasking world but try it. Start with one task or activity, and then gradually expand the practice. Only talk on the phone. Only make dinner. Only walk the dog. The effects are truly transformational in terms of consciousness, and the impact can be felt instantly.
3. Can you tell us a little bit about what your home looks like in terms of decorations and energy flow?
My husband and I are extremely clutter-averse, and our house reflects that. We have large windows in every room, so green nature lives with wooden furniture from the Far East, comfortable couches and quiet colors. We knocked down a wall between the kitchen and dining room when we moved in, and now much of the downstairs space flows together.
4. You talk about cultivating a quiet mind – Can you give us some imagery we might use in our practice?
Water is a powerful image system for me when I teach and practice meditation… As we drop down in a sitting practice the feeling is similar to being underwater, aware of surrounding sounds but not directly impacted by them. There’s also the idea of floating in water and watching clouds drift by without trying to follow or hold on to any particular one. Both these images support the premise that in Yoga we are trying to calm and focus the mind, not silence it. It’s fine if thoughts and feelings arise because what Yoga teaches us is that we can observe the chatter without engaging or identifying with it.
5. How does your Asana practice help you focus and make decision from your gut without wavering?
A consistent Asana practice teaches the powerful principles of Abhyasa and Vairagya, persistent effort and non-attachment to results. If you believe that you’ve given your best, then you trust the outcome whatever it is.
Bonus Question: Nobody is perfect – can you tell us one of your guilty pleasures?
It’s a toss-up between NaCl and Tennis Channel!
The original article can be found at glossny.com