Downward dog anyone?

September 23, 2016

When a star All Blacks player—Beauden  Barrett ( number 10)—is crediting yoga for his recent sensational form, you realise it must work some magic.

Patty and our writer, Michelle
Patty and our writer, Michelle

Once thought of as a little alternative and a bit of a soft option in the exercise world, yoga has definitely become more mainstream. Around the world elite sporting teams, schools and large corporations are adding yoga practice to their schedules.  Even Aussie supermodel Miranda Kerr practises yoga every day.

I caught up with Patty Tayag from ‘Begin Yoga’  for a coffee and a chat at Café Tara to talk all things yoga.

Yoga for beginners

Patty rekindled her love of yoga during a trip home to see her family in the Philippines. She had been working in the public service for fifteen years, but began practising yoga seriously. Soon this branched out into children’s books about the principles of yoga.

“In the Philippines the pace of our life is slower,” she says. “We were island hopping and I was able to go on retreats and experience yoga from the perspective of many different teachers.

The art of yoga
The art of yoga

“When we came home after about 15 months I was hooked,  so I trained at the Byron Bay Yoga Centre and have now been teaching Vinyasa Yoga (a flowing style of yoga) for three years.”

Patty is currently studying prenatal and post-natal yoga and when free, penning a few books!

“I’ve been teaching kids yoga for two years. It helps kids focus, calms them down by teaching them about their breathing, improves their motor skills, and gives them a gentle physical workout without depleting their energy,” she says.

“I first wrote my story as a lesson plan. I wanted two characters so I could incorporate some partner yoga and also added elements of kindness and  heroes which were other areas the children were focussing on at the time.”

Lucky for Patty she had met some other talented parents at the school and they decided to collaborate  and polish her story.

Bringing the book to life

Patty's book comes to life
Patty’s book comes to life

Patty’s friends—a teacher and a professor—helped her edit the book.

“English is my second language,” she says, “so I wanted to make sure my work was perfect. Then Ela Ryder, a local artist, turned my vision into reality with her soft watercolour illustrations and Ela’s husband printed my first run of one hundred copies.”

The whole family had a hand in Patty’s creation with 11-year-old-son Jade drawing the yoga poses and his younger brother Flynn cast as the hero of the story.

The story flows through the yoga poses so that children can perform the actions along with reading the book.

What’s next?

Patty practicing a yoga pose
Patty practicing a yoga pose

“I have already started on my second book based on mindfulness and meditation; I am looking to organise some retreats for adults, as well as the new pregnancy classes,” she says.

“Yoga can help people with all aspects of their health. It strengthens balance in older people, teaches self acceptance, calmness, and the poses prepare you to look inside yourself. The ultimate aim is to create stillness within you by the end of the class,” Patty says.

Give it a go

 After reacquainting myself with yoga 10 years ago I can attest to its benefits – I  have more energy, I sleep better, and I am always happy and calm.

So why not give it a go? There are yoga classes all over Brisbane from hot yoga to physio-based yoga to meditation retreats.

If you would like to read Patty’s story go to ‘Begin Yoga’ to grab a copy of her book. Namaste!

Michelle Beesley
Freelance writer, wife and mother of three sons, occasional supply teacher and aspiring romance author, Michelle Beesley can be most often found in a coffee shop chatting with friends or beside a rugby field cheering on her favourite teams.

Michelle is a prolific—albeit reluctant—traveller, keen walker, bookworm and yoga enthusiast who loves anything pink or sparkly (including champagne!).