We have so much gratitude and love for our teachers here at Fusion Hot Yoga. They are inspiring, challenging, caring and dedicated to their practice and sharing their passion, each with a unique journey.

Have you ever wanted to know a little bit more about your teachers here at Fusion?

Introducing Contessa, the first in our series of Teacher Features. A dedicated and loyal teacher and student at Fusion Hot Yoga, we asked Contessa a few questions about her practice and yoga history that we share with you here.

Tell us about your first yoga experience…

It was a very challenging one. My mind was blown away!

My first ever class that I attended; the teacher got us all into ‘headstand’, then into some weird poses that transitioned to ‘bird of paradise’. I thought how could you even possibly get into it.

I wasn’t flexible, fit or strong like everyone else in that yoga room but then I was determined to be able to do those poses one day.

I love so many things about yoga but my favourite thing is how it challenges me and how it rewards me physically, mentally and emotionally, in equal parts.

My guru once told me, ‘the poses are there to practice in order to help us learn about ourselves’.

Do you have a favourite yoga book? Tell us why you love it…

When I was doing my teacher training I bought so many books. I have a handful of favourites that I still refer to. One of them is The Yoga Bible by Christina Brown. I take it everywhere with me; perfect size and what I love about this book is that it is very accessible. It has clear, easy to follow instructions, helpful photos and breathing techniques. It also has the benefits of yoga in healing, de-stressing and meditation.

I find myself constantly referencing this book all the time.

What motivates you to keep coming back on your mat?

I’m on my mat every day. The feeling of calm and focus motivates me to keep coming back on my mat. I always have it rolled out in my small lounge, it’s my space. Sometimes I simply just sit there, practice my breathing, then slowly that familiar feeling leads me to explore and drives me to do more. A challenging pose excites and motivates me to achieve it.

Other than a big improvement in my physical strength, flexibility and fitness, I like the way it centres my mind and my soul. It has shown me how to slow down, find greater balance and develop a sense of gratitude. I also notice an overall feeling of contentedness which reminds me to practice yoga every day.

My yoga journey has been amazing so far. I began my practice about eight years ago. I am growing and improving each day. For me, yoga is a lifetime commitment.

These days, as a teacher, what motivates me the most is helping others grow by setting a good example.

If you were a yoga pose, which pose would you be?

Bird of Paradise!!!

I want to be a bird with a free soul, love the sound of paradise and the beauty of a flower in bloom. Coming into a full pose of Bird of Paradise is invigorating.

If you had one line of advice for someone beginning their yoga journey, what would it be?

Practice, practice, practice… The more you practice, the more you’ll learn about yourself on and off the mat.

Thanks Contessa!!

Contessa is a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT200) with Yoga Alliance. She began practising yoga in 2007 while living in Bangkok. In 2009 she completed her yoga teacher training at Yoga Elements Studio under the guidance of Adrian Cox. Contessa has explored and studied many different yoga traditions to include, Ashtanga, Vinyasa Flow, Yin Yoga, Anusara and Power Yoga, developing her own unique style of flow and alignment. Contessa’s classes focus on the union of body and mind via the breath. She enjoys helping individuals to achieve better body awareness, core strength, alignment and connection to their breath. By incorporating yoga philosophy, she creates a space for others to explore and experience how the mind, body and spirit are all connected. She also draws upon a love of movement and her personal experience of using the body as a way to purify the emotional body. Contessa often plays with a variety of inversions and arm balances suitable for all levels and anyone who wants to have fun. Students get a work out but come away from the class feeling grounded and centered. To see when you can catch Contessa at the studio click here.