People-loving yoga teacher Celest Pereira has a background in dancing, and a degree in physiotherapy. She travelled to India to study Hatha Yoga and Vipassana meditation and is the author of “The Yoga Mentor” a book written to help freshly qualified yoga teachers build their careers. In this compact yet colourful interview with her, we learn some nuggets of yoga wisdom while keeping it grounded, even though it seems (in pictures at least) that Celest never seems to have both her feet on the ground!
1. So Celest, great to have you here on Keep Fit Kingdom! If we could start by asking, when did you first discover yoga and what was the defining moment when you realised that yoga was going to be part of your life long term?
It’s my pleasure, thanks for having me! Well, yoga came into my life briefly at theatre school. After that I found this great Ashtanga Yoga teacher in a gym whose classes I supported religiously. I think it was with her that something in me realised the power of the practice and I was hooked for life.
2. Great start! So what inspired you to want to teach yoga?
I did a teacher training and travelled. When I came back I was broke and a friend asked me to cover her class. I was terrified but did it purely because I needed the money. Now when I look back I am so happy and grateful I went through that period of my life. If I hadn’t been desperate, I would never have started teaching.
3. Needs must eh! Celest, you have had a really exciting yoga career to date including appearing in “Om Yoga” magazine, travelling with your teaching and have many yoga videos available. What has been your most exciting moment in your yoga teaching career so far?
I’ve had so many! But I guess one is when Dylan Werner asked me to assist him through his workshops in Asia. It was so much fun and we are great friends now. But it was especially good because I learned so much! Dylan is super intelligent and a great teacher, so the experience was amazing.
4. Having the right people around is a huge benefit of course. Well, can you tell us about the style of yoga you teach?
I teach Vinyasa Flow, where I link the postures like a dance. However I am a trained physiotherapist so I love geeking out about anatomy and physiology and using that to inspire my classes.
5. Sounds ideal! So, how has yoga impacted your life personally?
It helped me to love me! To realise everyday that my body is perfect as it is and that I am enough.
6. Now just if everyone else would think like that…Is there a mantra or life motto that you live by that you can share with us and Keep Fit Kingdom readers and visitors?
Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.
7. Popular phrase, apt one too. What do you enjoy doing when you are not practicing or teaching yoga?
I love playing my guitar and I love rock climbing.
8. Ah! musically and physically artistic! Do you have a daily routine, healthy habit or ritual that you resolutely do everyday that you can share with us?
Every morning I write down three things I am grateful for. It sets my mind up for the day ahead and helps me see the positive in people around me.
9. Such rituals can be great anchors. So, what are your ambitions and dreams moving forward?
I’d like to run my own teacher training one day. I love teaching and that’ll be a great step forward.
10. Wonderful. Tell us why should people give yoga a try and what advice would you give to yoga newbies?
Try out as many teachers as you can until you find one you love. Everyone is so different. You can’t make assumptions on yoga based on a single class.
11. Sound reasoning…What is your favourite yoga pose and why?
Handstand, because it’s hard to get and hard to maintain and it makes me feel like a superhero!
Such a fun way to perceive oneself, thanks so much for sharing Celest!
You’re most welcome!