Name: Jase Te Patu
Studio: Power Living Aotearoa New Zealand
Years teaching: 25 years of Fitness/Dance and 7 years YOGA
Years practicing: 14
Favourite yoga style: Vinyasa Flow and Yin in equal measures

When do you prefer to practice?
Mornings. To start the day with a clear head and light body.

What brought you to yoga?
Rehab from a ripped achilles. A dance injury done in style, kicking a leg, dancing whilst on stage.

Highs and lows of opening your own studio?
The highs far outweigh the lows for sure. Seeing our whanau grow one soul at a time has been humbling! Creating a band of brothers doing Yoga with over 150 unique men attending 3 BROS events last year was humbling also! So many firsts with opening a studio. First class in Te Reo. First class with 120 people. Acoustic Vinyasa. Cups of teas galore in our community area. All Blacks and their wives ‘stretching’ at our place.

I keep reminding myself that people come to their mat for different reasons, so when I’m tired or in my head, a student can quickly shift me from that space with a share about how Yoga heals in many ways. Their body, their mind, their soul. It’s beautiful to know that I have a part in facilitating change for people.

What do you hope your students take away from a class taught by you?
Some ME time to get present in their body, quieter in their mind and lighter/brighter in their spirits!

What’s the best advice you’ve been given on your own yoga/life journey?
Just recently really…. so simple… My GM reminded me of the impermanence of everything. Good and Bad! “This too shall pass!” It’s super powerful in its simplicity.

Is there a mantra or affirmation that resonates particularly with you at the moment?
Yes. Similar to ‘this too shall pass’ is the idea of letting go. Clinging is what the Buddhists refer to as the major cause of all suffering. Meaning that when life doesn’t go our way, how much does our mind get buried in a never-ending library of stories. Letting go is so freeing and healing. Arishti – 10th Centry Buddhist Priest says, “The greatest medicine is the emptiness is of everything.” Letting go heals, leaving us spacious rather than overwhelmed, to deal with this thing called LIFE!

Favourite after class snack?
Rawgoodness white chocolate and raspberry gluten free/sugar free slices for sweet (HEAVEN!) or tamari almonds for savoury.

How important is music to your teaching?
Music can really heighten the vibration and energy in the room if used correctly. Sometimes it can crowd and distract (the opposite to the intention of YOGA 🙂 If I’m speaking to a theme, I select a playlist that aligns. For example, I wouldn’t play hard edged contemporary drum and bass if the theme was grace or ‘lavanya’. I do however teach a Vinyasa with Music on Thursday nights. It goes off! We move to Snoop Dog, Dr Dre, Rihanna, MJ – simply as a way to step away from the dogma of the practice. My students have been known to breakdance battle on their mats in that class – on the rare occasion!!! YASSS!

What’s the most exciting thing about the yoga community in NZ right now?
I love how Yoga just keeps evolving. More and more I’m seeing Teacher Trainings by different international and kiwi facilitators throughout Aotearoa. I’m mindful that we don’t start to dilute what Yoga actually is with homogenised versions of such a traditional, ancient practice. I love though that Instagram and social media is bringing it to the attention of the general public. We are holding a fundraising event next month called AWAKEN WELLINGTON – ‘Awaken Wellington’ is a call to action to bring our people together in conscious connectedness! Through inspirational conversation, quiet meditation, soulful music and nourishing treats, we can raise the vibe of our Wellington tribe! This to me is YOGA – off the mat…creating connection, oneness – KOTAHITANGA.

What do you love about your part of town?
I live in an apartment in the Wellington CBD. Wellington is such a vibrant city with so much to see and do. On my doorstep I have options galore: theatre, art festivals, galleries, awesome vegetarian restaurants, the waterfront (on a good day), plus I have my partner and nearest friends here. I’ve also reconnected with my Mum and healed my relationship with my birth Dad, both of whom live here now, so Wellington holds a very special place in my heart right now. They say home is a feeling NOT a place and I feel I’m in exactly the right place right now at this time in my life.

Thank you so much, Jase!

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 2017