Name: Faye Lawand
Years teaching: 4
Years practicing: 10
Favourite yoga style: Yin, Yoga Nidra, Slow Flow, iRest, Restorative – any style really that allows me time to linger in a pose and to feel into the body, the breath and the moment.

Favourite time of day to practice?
Definitely morning!

What advice would you give someone who is new to yoga?
Forget what it looks like and focus on what it feels like. Yoga is for feeling, not for doing!

How do you prepare for teaching your classes?
It depends – sometimes it’s thematic, sometimes it’s seasonal, at other times it’s around regions of the body, chakras or Daoist elements. Regardless of which of these I go with, I always aim to structure my classes around practices that will soothe the nervous system and that will allow students to feel good deep down in the bones.

Do you incorporate meditation into your day?
Absolutely – all the tools, practices and protocols from iRest©. I can’t imagine my life (nor my yoga practice) without the teachings and tools from iRest.

What’s the most exciting thing about the yoga world right now?
The widespread recognition of the need for balance is very exciting. It’s wonderful how mainstream yoga has become, and with that comes the widespread appreciation for the systems and tools for wellbeing and balance that this ancient practice provides.

What troubles you most about your industry?
Hmmmm … a couple of things. Foremost is the increasing amount of yoga injuries out there. I think a number of things are at play with that. One of them being teacher to student ratios that don’t allow close enough monitoring in very mixed, very multi-level classes.

I also think that many practitioners can be overly focused on the ‘doing’ aspect of the pose instead of the ‘feeling’ component of the practice. This can mean taking on a posture (or a variation of it) that the body – or the mind – is not ready for, and therefore exceeding range of motion and creating self-injury. I’ve been there myself with my own yoga practice which has made me an even louder evangelist for ‘less is more’ and ‘feeling instead of doing’ when it comes to our asana practice. Yoga is not about the pose, it’s about how we get into the pose, and what we do with our attention when the body is in a pose!

What mantra do you live by?
‘Everyday in every way, my life is getting better and better’ from Emile Coue, the Father of Self-Hypnosis and Positive Affirmation. I prescribe this to my clients all the time too – it works!

Is there a yoga or spiritual book or podcast you’d recommend?
Anything by Eknath Eswaran. One of my favorites of his is Your Life Is Your Message. I’m also partial to the work of The Prophet by Gibran Khalil Gibran, who also comes from Lebanon. His hometown of Bcharre in the North of Lebanon has got to be my absolute favourite spot in the world!

What would you love your students to take from your classes?
The ease and joy of going inwards, and all the amazing benefits that provides.

What do you love about your part of town?
Morningside – walking distance to Western Springs Park where I love to watch the ducks glide elegantly along the waters, and gather in community on the land. I also love being within walking distance of all the wonderful cafes in Kingsland and Morningside. I love the ethos of cafes like Crave and Kind. We need more community-focused businesses in today’s modern fast-paced world. Community builds resilience!

Thank you so much, Faye!

Would you like to be a Featured Yogi? We’d love to know more about you! Or is there someone you’d like to nominate … another teacher, a stupendous student? Getting to know our fellow yogis creates connection. We like that. Get in touch here.

© The Yoga Connection 2020