Name: Iryna Guinot
Profession: Past – Lawyer
Present – full time Mum
Other interests: Cooking, Art, Music, Traveling

How long have you been practising yoga?
I have been practicing yoga for more six years. It started with Vinyasa Flow classes two to three times a week. At that time the practice was more like ‘playtime’ for me, experimenting with poses, learning how to do the arm balances and headstand.

Looking back, I would say that my real yoga journey started four years ago, when I was introduced to Ashtanga Yoga. Before that I never thought I would be doing yoga every day. During the first Mysore class I was attracted to the fixed sequence in Ashtanga and I liked how structured the practice was and how the guidance was personalised to each practitioner’s level. I was hooked instantly and started coming to practice daily.

What classes at Nilaya House do you attend?
I attend Ashtanga Mysore and Led classes, Yin Yoga occasionally (on Moon days)

Why do you practice yoga? What benefits does it bring?
Beyond gaining physical strength and flexibility, yoga helps me  feel grounded, focused and stable. It is my everyday routine that helps to clarify the mind and relax the body. Yoga is like en endless evolutionary tool for creating tranquility and inner peace.

What is your favourite posture and why?
I like practicing backbends. When I started my daily Mysore practice, I felt emotional every time practicing backbends. It was a roller coaster of feelings: fear, sadness, anger. Sometimes, I had tears after finishing Urdhva Danurasana and drop backs.

However, slowly, the practice helped me release the stored and suppressed emotions that I had inside for years. Now, I feel light, fluffy and joyous after the practice – and if sadness comes, I know how to deal with it.

What’s your advice for people wanting to start yoga?
Try different styles of yoga and find the one that resonates with you. Start coming regularly, make a commitment, dedicate your time and energy. Do what you can and very soon you will feel a positive change in the body and mind. It will be a small change, but you will notice it. And that change will keep you coming back on the mat every morning. Happy practice!