Erika Josa – Yoga

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I grew up in France where I spent most of my childhood in a lovely little village called Lagrasse. It was a wonderful place to grow up - in between nature and medieval architecture. I moved to beautiful New Zealand in 2005 and it was this move that sparked my passion for health and wellbeing.

My yoga journey started slowly by attending the occasional class to supplement my other physical exercise. In 2011 I got injured and stopped my regular high intensity activities to practice yoga daily hoping it would help me heal. That regular daily practice during those three months provided me complete injury recovery and it also meant I would not need surgery. However, little did I know that this was also the starting point for my life-long yoga practice that would eventually affect every aspect of my life and transform me as a person.

My passion for yoga continued to steadily grow over the following years and I became a qualified Hatha yoga teacher in 2012. I also studied complementary fields of health that have added to my knowledge. These areas include: sports and exercise science, ayurvedic medicine, anatomy, nutrition, sports massage, coaching, and neuro linguistic programming. I have brought all of these disciplines together to form part of my personal and teaching practice for my own yoga journey as well as my students benefit.

Then in 2014 I realised my long-term dream. I opened The Yoga Lounge Studio in central Wellington. My vision has always been to own and run my own Shala that has a sense of welcoming and community - as well as provide an open, caring environment for my students. It has required determination and hard work to realise this vision - but I’m so happy with how the community has grown, how good teachers have gravitated to the studio - and how our students have deepened their yoga practice.

With the supportive community at the Shala and my own practice, I have developed a distinctive teaching style with my students that's very holistic in its approach. I draw on all my life experience, study and professional background and bring these elements together into my classes and my practice. Working this way requires me to constantly evolve, learn and grow as a student, a yoga practitioner and a teacher. I love the challenge this brings and how it also contributes to my own journey. I am always seeking, looking to grow, and looking for opportunities to learn.

It is this same keenness that led me to find Ashtanga Yoga and my dear teacher - Mike Berghan who I'm so thankful for his guidance over the years. I also regularly attend workshops with the amazing Peter Sanson and feel very lucky to have such a knowledgable guru to be studying under in New Zealand.

So where to from here?! I’m really looking forward to seeing what’s next for me, my practice, my students, and the Shala. The road I have traveled so far has been very eventful - sometimes difficult and challenging, but also SO very rewarding - and I know there is much more to come. Siri K Pattabhi Jois said ‘practice practice and all is coming’ - and it is absolutely true. I come back to this quote again and again because for me it is what yoga has been and is for me. Do the work - there is no magic pill (thank goodness) - and the rewards will come along the way. What a journey it has been!

Erika