INTERVIEW WITH: LAUREN ROEGELE
Can you tell us about your background?
I’ve been practicing yoga since 2001 and teaching yoga fulltime since 2005. I live locally in South Surrey and am married to a wonderful man and we have a 6 year old daughter. I have owned and operated a yoga studio (which I sold after 4 yrs), am the co-founder of an online yoga website, and am the current program director at the Vancouver school of yoga, where I lead 200/240hour yoga teacher trainings 4 times a year. You can also find me leading specialty yoga classes, workshops and clinics throughout British Columbia.
What brought you to yoga?
I found yoga in my darkest hour. I had been a pedestrian hit by a drunk driver years prior (MVA was 1999) and was suffering from chronic pain and fatigue, was diagnosed with an auto immune disease that left my colon chronically inflamed and was overwhelmed with anxiety and depression. I later found out all of this was heighted from my undiagnosed PTSD. With all of this haunting me, I decided that I couldn’t live like this anymore and planned to commit suicide at the end of the week.
To spend as much time as I could with my family, I asked my mom (who was practicing yoga at the time) if I could attend class with her. It was extremely challenging and I’m pretty sure I terrified the teacher when I told him all of my “issues”. However, I made it through class and found the breath-linked movements transformational. So much, that I ended sobbing in Savasana (final resting pose) and told my mother that I was planning on ending my life and that I didn’t actually want to die, I just needed help adjusting to life as it currently was. Something I had been bottling up for a very long time. So you can say, yoga literally saved my life and I’ve been practicing yoga ever since (that was 2001).
Why did you decide to become a teacher?
Yoga saved me, so I feel inspired to help others see the value in building a relationship with themselves and empowering people to take ownership of their body and choices.
What do you love most about teaching?
I love to watch people evolve in their yoga practice. Especially when the students move away from seeing yoga as another fitness class and start to recognize it’s everyday benefits and start to bring their yoga into their everyday lives.
What is your favorite pose?
My favorite posture changes as my body does. However I’ve consistently loved Pincha Mayurasana for a decade, so I’ll say that one.
What should students expect from you?
Students should expect a well planned and thoughtfully sequenced yoga class. I wear my heart on my sleeve and believe that setting intentions and breathing deeply are essential for living a wholehearted life, so students can also expect to have an intention to embody or contemplate while practicing yoga asana (postures) and deep breathing techniques in every class.
What do you want your students to take away from your teachings?
That yoga can be a resource for everyday life, empowering people to take ownership of the choices they make. That simplicity is powerful and breathing deeply transformational. Lastly, that the relationship you have with yourself is the most important one, as it’s the foundation for all the other relationships in your life.
Proudest yoga moment?
I’ve had too many, however one that stands out is assisting a student into headstand for the first time. A posture she had been attempting for years and hadn’t had success. She got up in the posture, held it for around a 1 minute, came down slowly and burst into tears of joy. I cried too. So did the other students. Her hard work paid off.
Most embarrassing yoga moment?
I said “stink your bum back towards your heel, vs stick”. OMG!! There are many more, however that one always makes me laugh.
Sigh! So many, so to pick one I choose, “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beautiful.” – Maya Angelou
Everything. Life, and watching my daughter navigate life. My other relationships, my struggles, my joys, and of course my personal yoga practice.
What is your advice for new yoga students?
Try a number of yoga classes and teachers, be patient with yourself and trust your inner guide. That inner voice that says, “it’s ok to take child’s pose” or “just try”. Let go of the comparison game and focus on you. The yoga postures are there to take you deeper into your self, so trust the journey and know you’re not alone on the path.
Find Lauren at: www.laurensyoga.com .