word yoga comes from Sanskrit and means union, the mind and body
forces in union. There are eight stages of yoga, and I practice
and teach Hatha Yoga. I started practising hatha yoga at a very
early age, encouraged by my grandmother. I had been dancing for
many years and for all these years I had seen my grandmother practising
hatha yoga every morning on her veranda.
One day back in 1974, she asked me if I wanted to come to her classes
with Jean Pierre Bastiou in Copacabana, and from that day, I joined
the classes and embraced yoga as a daily practise.
I moved to my grandmother's house, and together we practised every
day. We changed our eating habits to a more balanced diet and after
a year, she invited me to go to India, where we spent the first
month travelling with our yoga group, visiting ashrams and temples
all over India. After they left, we went to grandmother's ashram
in Adyar, and travelled for another two months. This experience
changed my life completely, and challenged me to see and live my
life in a more simple way.
In 1976 I went to study in Krisnamurti's centre in Brockwood Park.
Arriving there I met my yoga teacher Erich Shiffman and we had classes
twice daily. Together with the environment and Krisnamurti's teachings,
the yoga really sank in. Erich became a good friend as well as my
I feel the practice of yoga induces a primary sense of measure
and proportion of your body, your first instrument. With patience
and harmony we move and refine these movements through postures
or "asanas". And the breathing exercises or "Pranayamas"
enrich the practice with calmness and focus. Hatha means force,
yoga means union, so hatha yoga is the discipline of the body through
the exercises or asanas.