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Teacher of July 2009 - Tina Nance

My twelve-year journey along the path of yoga was first awakened when I left my home shores of Australia in 1996 and spent the majority of my twenties travelling and exploring the vast cultural and spiritual diversity of our planet. The further from my own culture I travelled, the more questions arose within me. And so began the inevitable unwinding of all of my previously accepted conditioned beliefs, the beginning of my life's passion and heart purpose; the exploration of a higher, universal truth, beyond individual and collective mind. And so, it birthed my quest for the truth within.

I found my first yoga teacher in London at the ripe age of 23, Sri Somananda, a gentle and wise Siddha Yoga guru with whom I studied fervently for a year. He opened me deeply into the world of yoga; teaching me not only asana, but primarily opening me to the depth and spirit essence of yoga practise. After every class we would chant mantra and practise meditation and he would give us extensive Satsang on all areas of Yoga Philosophy. He would sit patiently with me into the late hours of the night, satiating the endless questions of my opening mind. I am eternally grateful to this gracious being and all that blossomed from his inspiration and unconditional Love.

My evolving spiritual curiosity and passion then led me to continue to travel and live in various parts of Asia, including a year long exploration of India, where I experienced a variety of yoga traditions including Hatha, Sivananda and Iyengar Yoga.

Upon returning to Australia, I immersed myself in seven years of rigorous study, passionately exploring many aspects of the body/mind/spirit connection. An emerging knowing had begun to arise within me, that the body was an intricate map of the mind and a tool for deep transformation. I began to understand the nature of pain and disease in the body as being the voice of our core spirit, speaking to us of our alignment or misalignment with its truth. And this realisation fueled my thirst to understand this concept in depth.

I embarked upon a two year yoga teacher training in a Taoist Yoga Therapy known as Ki Yoga that explored the physical, mental and emotional effects of asana, in conjunction with the meridian system of Traditional Chinese Medicine. As I continued with my exploration, I studied a variety of forms of bodywork including Kinesiology, Shiatsu, Remedial Massage Therapy, Energy Healing, Vibrational Medicine and Dance/ Movement Meditation, among others.

Throughout this time my relationship with my own body/mind was deepening in my exploration of my own personal yoga and meditation practise. I was privileged to study with a variety of Australia’s finest yoga teachers in a myriad of traditions, including Jack Marshall (Ki Yoga), Peter Thompson (Iyengar Yoga), Simon Bjorg Olivier (Yoga Synergy) and Kristen Boddington (Shandor Remete).

I went on to teach yoga and movement meditation and to practise bodywork in Sydney, Australia, for five years. My teaching style became a consistently evolving fusion-yoga that moved and grew with my own experiences as both a teacher and student.

In late 2007 I began living and teaching in Bali, Indonesia and in mid 2008 I travelled to Thailand to study in the Tantra yoga tradition. Most recently I have moved to Taiwan in response to the rapidly expanding Yoga movement in Taipei.

Quite simply, I LOVE YOGA!! My practise has become the foundation of all aspects of my life and is my greatest refuge and teacher. On the mat I am able to unwind my body, reveal my mind, expand my heart and release my spirit! And off the mat, yoga and meditation is the root of who I am, as an eternally evolving adventurer in the unfolding wonder of life. Yoga has taught me to remember to separate from my mind and to move from my heart, to observe the wisdom of my body and align with the voice of truth within my core, and to accept everything and everyone, exactly as we are, wherever we are all at, in the perfection of the unfolding journey. It reminds me each day to let go of the ego's incessant striving towards a future perfect self, and instead fully loving and joyously experiencing ourselves, in all our contrasts and intricate unfolding stories, right now. Knowing that we are pure spirits manifest RIGHT NOW, and that all we need to relearn, is how to stop telling ourselves that we are not.

But most of all, yoga connects me to that divine ecstatic flow, the radiant life force energy that runs through us all- IS us all- and opens us to the deep bliss, love and consciousness that we have always been, all along.

Much love

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