Name: Mary Del Dosso
Profession: General Manager Shopping Centres
Other interests: Cycling/Hiking

How long have you been practising yoga?
I have been practising what I thought was yoga for 11 years, the truth is I now understand yoga thanks to Nilaya house and its fantastic teachers. Moving my practise from twice a week to now four to five times a week.

What classes at Nilaya House do you attend?
I thinks its possibly best for me to answer this question in reverse. What don’t I attend. I’ve attended most classes including a number of workshops. Primarily my practice is Ashtanga minimum to four times a week, I support this with the occasional Iyengar class, and then once a week Yin and Yoga Nidra. Each has given me a little to think about in relation to mind and breath. I’m yet to try Kundalini

Why do you practice yoga? What benefits does it bring?
Initially I started yoga to learn to stretch, I was enduring an awful divorce and decided the best way to deal with the anger was to run a marathon. Asana practice at that time helped reduce the stiffness. Now I practice yoga to ground me. My time on the mat connects mind, body and breathe. I discovered me through yoga. I discovered most of the obstacles to a posture were not always physical they were driven by my mind telling me I can’t. Like life. Moving my focus back to my breathe and listening, I mean really listening to what comes up in each pose you discover who you really are and what you say to your self. What are your mindsets that block you. What benefits does it bring to you? It provides me the time to question my self talk, to listen to what arises and see where else this plays in my life. When I feel tension I listen to what the talk was before this. Reading books on yoga has opened another world, educating me on life principals. The greatest benefit it has taught me is to breathe and accept myself. Yoga is not exercise its life awakening.

What is your favourite posture and why?
Sirsasana (headstand) I’ve always loved headstands (I think because in my family I’m the headstand champion beating my kids for length of time upside down.) I love handstands, it brings childhood memories and pushes me out of my comfort zone. Although, I’m yet to master this. Practice practice practice. Many moons ago I was very good at backbending. Having spent too many years behind a desk has made me stiff, along with holding all my tension in my shoulders. This is the goal I have set for myself.

What’s your advice for people wanting to start yoga?
Start today, just get on the mat. The more you delay the decision the harder it is. Find a style, teacher and shala you resonate with and stick to them. Make a commitment to yourself that this is your time, you deserve it then dedicate the time. You will be rewarded in many ways. Your health improves, your food choices change as you will start to listen to what makes your body sing. Your mind be comes clearer, your energy improves. Asanas (postures) is only one part of yoga. This is the part that scares many away, look around the room we are all so different and at different levels/stages. A great teacher helps you see this. This is your journey. May you find your stillness.