Noelle Beaugureau is a gifted yoga instructor based in Los Angeles, California. For Noelle, yoga is the journey of understanding the connection to the true self that resides within us all. Her classes are fun and challenging and she encourages students to discover more about the self by peeling layers of the ego and connect with a more authentic place inside. Noelle practices and teaches yoga in an artful way, combining body strength and spiritual development. We are honored to present you this interview with Noelle!
What does Yoga mean to you and how do you express this in your classes?
To me, Yoga means to truly love and accept our divinity. To find the ultimate highest self within and to put into practice connecting with that source in our lives. Yoga, in my opinion, should help us reach into our hearts and find our inherent joy and happiness. In my classes I express this by explaining that our bodies hold our souls, that while it is beautiful to become strong and healthy in the asana practice, that the main aspiration should be to come into awareness of our divinity and love within. I also express that we can use this practice to see the divine in all things and living creatures around us and to use the practice in our lives, to essentially be the yoga.
How did you come in contact with yoga?
A great friend of mine took me to my first class and after savasana I was hooked. I had no idea what I had just done but I knew deep in my heart that I had found something so powerful, something that was going to change my life. And it did, more than I could have ever imagined.
Do you feel it’s hard to practice what you preach and what helps you in maintaining this discipline?
I feel that as a teacher, you have to live your yoga and your teachings. Therefore to always try to practice what you preach. While we should try to be a great example to our students, It is also okay to make mistakes. I think radical self acceptance is key. We as teachers are on the path like anyone else, so to expect to always be perfect is maya (illusion). We are all divine creatures, but we are also human. For me, I use what is calling me spiritually in my classes. All I can really do is teach what I know and be a channel of information. I think the best teachers are the ones who are really being themselves and allowing whatever is meaningful to them about the practice come though the teaching. I try to teach from my heart, and guide students in a way that is compassionate, loving and fun!!!
Even though Yoga is not about competition, the physical aspect often triggers competitive behavior in students. How do you deal with this in your classes?
It is true, some physical yoga can trigger competitive feelings. I think that happens when we loose sight of what we are trying to uncover through the practice. In my opinion we are trying to heal ourselves, our souls, our minds. When the external becomes overly important then ego-driven thoughts or competition starts to arise. I do my best to explain to students that the yoga lives in the heart and that the postures are tools to go deeper into the spirit. The physical asana can be so fun, healing and empowering but we have to kind of leave it at that and not attach to it.
Do you still find time for your self practice?
I do still find time for my self practice! I wouldn’t be able to teach if I didn’t. I have to make time for it, sometimes I get to class, sometimes I practice at home. My practice also consists of meditation, chanting and studying yogic texts. Yoga is pretty much my life!! I always feel more connected to my students and self when I make time to practice.
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?
I think I would change the way we view violence as an answer. For yogis it is an easy thing to grasp, but for some out there in the world it doesn’t make sense to view everyone as one. As it is often said in yoga when we see ourselves as separate that is when we suffer. If we could grasp that everyone and everything is completely divine consciousness would shift greatly. I would love to see even more people practicing all forms of yoga (asana, meditation, kirtan etc.) I think that could do a lot of good with how we see each other and ourselves.
Do you have a message to share with our readers?
Love who you are. Treat yourself well. Practice yoga. Chant. Meditate. Eat foods that come from the soil. Don’t be hard on yourself. Don’t attach. Enjoy your life. Help others. Surround yourself with inspiring, loving people. Be Happy!!!!!!
For more information about Noelle please visit her website: www.noellebyogini.com