I feel honoured to be able to feature Damian Joseph this week. His passion for yoga is very real and it translates into humility, kindness and durability.
He opens up to us about his practice. Allow yourself to be inspired;
- How long have you been teaching?
After spending a month in the mountains of Nasik in India, I completed my first yoga certification in January 2014. I did not start teaching until I completed my second certification in New York two years later and felt more confident with myself and my practice. Now teaching yoga is my way of life and I'm loving it.
2. What motivated you to start teaching and what have you learnt from teaching?
My friend Kashiek dragged me to do this 'strange thing called yoga' and I immediately fell in love with the practice.
I felt a deep sense of peace and the urge to share the love I experienced became stronger. So then, I decided to get my certification. In as much as I am a teacher, I am also a student. I am always open to new experiences and approach every situation and person that I meet with love and compassion.
3. What is something that you have learnt from a fellow teacher?
Everytime I take a yoga class, I walk away with something. Depending on where I am in my life, messages resonates differently. It's in the gap that we allow the connections to take place. A fellow teacher once said during class that, "The mirror was there for alignment - not for judgment." This has been one of the most profound lessons that I have learnt.
4. How many times a week do you practice?
I incorporate yoga into my everyday living whether it's meditating, going for a jog, treating myself to a cup of cappuccino in a cozy cafe, calling an old friend or taking a yoga class. Yoga is my life and life is yoga.
5. Who inspires your practice?
New students always inspire me because they bring a certain level of openness that I find refreshing.
6. Why is it necessary for you to practice?
Having a daily practice of yoga keeps me equanimous. I try to respond as opposed to reacting to life's situations and live in the moment - this moment.
7. What message do you like to spread through teaching?
It is through our cracks that we let light in. I connect to my personal truth and teach from that place, sometimes it's painful but that is the place I find my voice. Whatever challenges I'm working on in my personal life, I allow myself to face it then it's easier to talk about it. Also if I get inspiration from someone or something I sometimes share those messages while teaching.
8. Where are you currently teaching?
I am currently teaching Hot Yoga and Vinyasa Power Yoga at different studios in the New York City area.
9. What are the best ways that you have learnt of approaching studios that you would like to teach at?
If you want to work for a particular studio you must SHOW UP. Volunteer your time, help clean mats, check guest in or even stay back after the last class and offer to clean the studio. Be active, be honest, be passionate, the opportunities will follow.
10. Has yoga helped through some painful? If so, what and how?
A good friend of mine recently died tragically and I felt a lot of pain having heard this news. However through the practice of yoga, I was able to allow myself to feel the sadness and pain of this loss without becoming attached to these emotions. Through the awareness of my breath I am able to keep his memory alive.
11. What is your Instagram, Twitter and Facebook name?
Damian Joseph Yoga is both my Instagram and Facebook name.
12. Is Social Media easy or challenging for you?
After many years of being inactive on social media, I am finally back on and excited to recreate my presence. I find that social media is easier now as I have removed my mental block and I am willing to be vulnerable and transparent. We live in the age of technology, therefore it is imperative to go with the flow in order to keep current with our times.