INTERVIEW WITH: DENISE DARBY
Can you tell us about your background?
My current passion within my scope as a yoga teacher and yoga therapist is to bring yoga to communities and groups which might not otherwise get to experience yoga as a healing modality. I am building bridges within our mental health community that I hope will help to encourage a more global approach to incorporation yoga into our healthcare system.
I am excited to be here for you as you explore yoga and experience all that it can do for you. Yoga is a brilliant practice that allows the practitioner to connect breath, body and spirit to create a practice that serves them, in whatever capacity they need, every time they step onto the mat. It isn't about being bendy (although it is a nice side-effect), it is just about being - and learning to discover what that means for you.
I have four young sons, and am an ERYT-500 Advanced Yoga Instructor, a Corrective Movement Specialist, a Personal Trainer and a Youth Fitness Trainer. I love being active both inside and outside in Nature. In the past I have been a mountain runner, marathon runner and a boxer.
What brought you to yoga?
I was first introduced to yoga in a prenatal class 14 years ago while pregnant with my eldest son.
Why did you decide to become a teacher?
I NEVER thought that I would teach. I am an introvert and didn't used to like speaking in front of a group. I took my first teaching module out of personal interest, but there was just too much goodness to keep to myself! Slowly but surely, my passion override my fear and I began teaching.
What do you love most about teaching?
I love getting to experience people reconnecting to themselves and learning to love and nurture their physical and energetic bodies.
What is your favorite pose?
Right now my favourite postures are natarajasana (dancer) and ardha chandrasana (balancing half moon).
What should students expect from you?
Students should expect lots of variations and permission to make the practice their own. My flow students should expect a warming practice that challenges their body and explores the power of breath. My Restorative students can expect a soothing and supported practice incorporating lots of props and permission to "do less".
What do you want your students to take away from your teachings?
I want my students to leave feeling empowered, and to learn to uncover the teacher within themselves. The more they practice, the less they will feel the need to be led -my voice will always be there when needed, but they will rely more and more on their own, inner voice for guidance and direction.
Proudest yoga moment?
When I finally mastered bakasana (crow) last year I could've danced for joy. That pose eluded me for years, so, when I finally lifted off and "flew" it felt incredibly amazing.
Most embarrassing yoga moment?
Hmmm....I am not sure. I feel like every little stumble is where the growth begins, so I do my best not to let my ego drive my practice. I fall out of balance poses often...which can be a bit humbling when demo-ing to a full class.
I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing light of your own being (Hafiz)
Rachel Brathen. I love that she is always so raw, real and relatable. If you don't already follow her, look up YogaGirl on any social media platform.
What is your advice for new yoga students?
It is called a practice for a very good reason - keep practicing and don't worry about not being "good enough"! The only way to get better is to practice, practice, practice! Grab your mat and get started!