MANUMISSION YOGA: Can you remember your first Yoga Class? Where was that?

SERENE: It was an Iyengar Yoga beginner course, in my home country, New Zealand, which ran for about a month. I was a little nervous for my first class and really didn't know what to expect but I was very inspired by my first teacher who I remember being very strict! I remember the poses and alignment being very detailed and I loved using the variety of props available. It was a beautiful introduction however I was not reintroduced to yoga until a couple of years later when I moved to the Gold Coast and tried a Vinyasa class, since that day I have been captivated by the yoga practice!

MANUMISSION YOGA: How long have you been practicing yoga? You seem to rock up at Manumission Yoga almost daily - can you describe what brings you to the mat and the impact it has on your life?

SERENE: I have been practicing consistently for a little over three years now. It varies however I try to do yoga at least once a day, sometimes twice! I am a self-confessed yoga addict! Yoga has greatly impacted my life, I have become much more self-aware, developed greater patience and understanding and my confidence has grown immensely. I try and take the yoga teachings into my everyday life, with the approach to enjoy things for what they are, while they are… this mantra has allowed me to give up attachment and be more free flowing through life.

MANUMISSION YOGA: Do you have a home practice?

SERENE: I do, yet it’s the one thing I know I need to put more energy into developing! I try to work on my home practice a couple of times a week however I love the atmosphere and energy a classroom environment offers. I love that in a lead class I can really focus on the movement and ‘switch off the monkey mind’ as they say. When I do my home practice, I think far too much!

MANUMISSION YOGA: Would you like to mention some of your most influential yoga instructors - here in Australia and around the world? Someone in the past who has had a great influence?

SERENE: I am forever thankful for all the instructors I have encountered throughout my practice but the following teachers have a special place in my heart: Erin Bourne, for her firm yet playful teaching style. Laura Humphries for her beautiful adjustments and incredibly inspired words. Vicky Simpson for her spirited and loving approach, her huge smile and big hugs, and Clare Merrifield for her creative sequencing, fun postures and groovy tunes! Each of these teachers have left an immense impression on my life.

MANUMISSION YOGA: At Manumission Yoga we call everybody here part of our Manumission family. But does anyone in your personal family do yoga?

SERENE: My boyfriend does yoga occasionally, ranging from once a week to once a month... he is a bit of a gym goer so enjoys the physical benefits and the stretch it provides. My family are all still in New Zealand, I try to encourage them to go to yoga however they can only access online or video classes as they mostly live in a small town.

MANUMISSION YOGA: Do you think yoga can make the world a better place? And could you explain your thoughts about this?

SERENE: Absolutely! I believe yoga can cure a world of troubles, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Yoga instils a sense of happiness and peace in people which then flows into the rest of their lives and others around them. Yoga nurtures self-awareness, self-love, patience, perseverance, creativity and inspiration in a person. I believe if more people practiced yoga, people would be far more accepting and understanding of themselves and others.

MANUMISSION YOGA: Thank you SERENE for sharing and giving us your time...