Agata Rożeńska- yoga instructor, Italian language and windsurfing teacher. He has been living in Italy for 12 years, working on Lake Garda. She came to Italy to study, stayed because she found much more than sunny weather and blue skies. She studied political science and classical philology. She had a serious, responsible job, but she decided to put everything on one card and risk to live her own way, in harmony with herself. Yoga was the ignition link in these decisions, and because of it, wonderful changes and a happy life began.
How did yoga appear in your life?
Yoga in my life, I think, like many people, it appeared by accident. While living in my town in Italy, I saw by accident that a course was being organized and I just signed up for it. I went to my first class, I have to admit, it was not a very conscious choice, I think it was more of a curiosity. I have always liked sports and physical activity, and this is also how I approached yoga at the beginning. In the beginning I looked at the practice more from the point of view of the body, higher awareness came with time.
Did you take your first steps on the mat without any expectations or deeper knowledge of the subject?
Yoga for me started half seriously. Later, I attended classes more regularly and treated them more seriously. I was learning and becoming more and more aware. I began to discover that it was not just a physical practice and that there was a big world behind everything.
Yoga is a union of body and soul?
The body and the soul have never been separate, we just don't know how to pay attention to it in everyday life, we don't have time, we don't know that we should. Over time, we discover that the physical aspect of yoga is only a tiny part of the whole - awareness, balance.
How long have you been expanding your awareness by practicing yoga?
Yoga has been with me for about 10 years. In 2019. I did a one-year instructor course, it was hathayoga training. After this course, I had an additional three hundred hours next teacher training course. Not stopping there, I continued further training in online courses and additional classes. I have learned a lot since then and I'm learning all the time.
How has yoga changed your life?
Yoga has opened my eyes to everything I have inside. I have become more aware of how I feel, I have started to notice more things, I am more present, patient, I can be here and now. On my Instagram there is a signature agata.quieora, which in Italian means "here and now"
Being here and now has become my life motto. I feel that thanks to yoga I am better for myself, for the whole environment.
Yoga helped you make important life decisions that lead to big changes in your life?
At one point, yoga gave me a lot of courage and allowed me to follow my path, it became my own path. I quit my permanent job - I worked in transport and logistics. I had a real adult job that I had abandoned for yoga and a different lifestyle. I can confidently admit that I would not have changed this decision, even though it seemed crazy and irresponsible at the time.
Is there always the right time to change your life?
If someone is wondering whether it is worth taking the risk to be themselves, the answer is - YES. You can and it is worth changing your life at any moment, regardless of age.
Yoga has become your main activity / job?
Yoga is a big part of my life these days. There are other things I do, but yoga is at the center of my activities. I run internships for individuals and groups. It started with classes for friends, with time the group of my students grew. Now I run classes in Italy about four times a week, at different levels and individual classes for people from Poland and Germany, among others.
Apart from yoga, what gives you a sense of fulfillment and joy?
I teach Italian online, I like it a lot, this language fascinates me and gives me pleasure. I've always liked people's feelings, it was in me. Where I live, on Lake Garda, I also teach windsurfing.
You are very active, but I have the impression that you devote your energy to what you like, there is no sense of compulsion or obligation?
Yes, that's right, I'm doing what's really satisfying in my life now is yoga. If yoga had not appeared in my life, I do not know where I would be or if I would be doing what I enjoy.
What's your favorite yoga style?
The style I teach is- Jason Crandell Yoga Method. It is more of a method than a style, vinyasayoga combined with hathajoga flow. This method pays special attention to human anatomy, how it is given the item is to be made and why. The point is that the positions benefit the body, not harm it.
Does a poorly performed posture cause harm to the body?
If the postures are performed incorrectly and the body is not prepared, it can backfire. Repeated mistakes can lead to imbalance or unpleasant events in the body. I appreciate the Jason Crandell method because it aims to create a balance in our body between strength and flexibility. If a muscle is only flexible but has no strength, it cannot be called happy and vice versa. In my opinion, this method can really change anyone's practice. The static position, preparing the body for what is to be done next, is the key.
What is your advice for yoga beginners?
My advice to beginners is not to follow Instagram when viewing photos of rhythmic gymnastics items and not be scared by what they see. It's not really yoga really. The body reaches certain positions over time, and I also learned to do exercises that I never knew I would get to in my life. Regular practice leads to higher levels of difficulty and endurancebut that is not really the purpose of the practice. You don't have to be influenced by photos of other people, everyone has different predispositions and experience. Step by step, this is really important.
Is it best to start practice under the supervision of an instructor?
At the beginning of your adventure with Yoga, I recommend that you contact an instructor who will adjust the level of classes to a given person. I also do not recommend learning (by taking your first steps on the mat) yoga from videos, where nobody can see the positions you are doing, you can not correct them or tell you what to do when an error occurs. In Movies it happens that instructors talk a lot, and it is difficult for us to select what is really important, It's hard for us to choose the type and level that is right for us. You should also not push yourself from the beginning to chase a position or think that yoga is not for you because you are not as flexible / flexible as someone else.
Is yoga for everyone?
I bust the myth, yoga is not only for flexible people, yoga will make you more flexible. Not only on a physical level, but also on a mental level.
How would you encourage someone to practice yoga?
I'd just say- Take care of yourself. Yoga is a comprehensive self-care. It supports our physical strength, creates balance in various spheres of life. Yoga improves our breathing quality, our life changes completely. The breath is our most important thing. Awareness, health, healthy eating. There is a long list of all the benefits of yoga.
What would your life be like without yoga?
I have no idea. I think I would be less self-realized and less happy. Yoga changed my life for the better.
What is your dream direction related to learning yoga and spiritual development?
It would definitely be India, such a trip has been planned for a long time. It was supposed to take place two years ago, but I planned it for the wrong times. However, it was postponed, not canceled. Maybe that's what it was supposed to be like, let's approach it in a yogic way. I am patiently waiting for this trip and the opportunity to learn from the best instructors. I would like to visit Rishikesh, see this place, just be there. I even have a piggy bank, into which I throw a coin every now and then journey to India.
At the beginning of your yoga journey and in your life changes, were you supported by your relatives?
From the beginning of the changes in my life, I had support, my mother went with me to my first yoga class. My parents help me promote my classes, my dad is my most trusted photographer, almost all the photos on Instagram were taken by him. Many of my friends also started practicing yoga with me and are still with me today. From the very beginning, I felt supported and accepted.
In fact, not much is needed to practice yoga, how not to get trapped in artificial needs related to the spiritual life?
Our times are quite difficult, because thanks to IG we can easily reach a large number of recipients, but this large group of people also has a lot of information that can bombard us from all sides. There are plenty of companies offering clothes, mats, blocks and other items. It's not a bad thing, it's great that we have the opportunity and the choice. I love mats myself and have a bit of manna about them, I change the colors, patterns and materials they are made of.
How not to go crazy in all this?
You have to know your needs in all this, know what we expect and need.
Are you meditating?
I try to meditate every morning, there is a great application I recommend "Insight Timer", there are various meditation programs registered there. There is something for everyone. If someone is frightened by the vision of meditation, I will reassure him that sometimes it is enough to just sit down and breathe, and that is also a form of meditation. You can start with a minute, it does not have to be an hour immediately. In the application that I mentioned, there are meditations designed to start the day, for stress, etc. Of course, meditating also without the application, there are many forms of meditation.
A walk is also a great form of meditation
Yes, I agree, a walk can also be a form of meditation, everything is supposed to lead to a certain balance. Being here and now, being able to observe your surroundings, taking a deep breath. The existence of the present moment, paying attention to how we feel at the moment, how we rest our feet on the ground.
Is it worth giving up yoga sometimes, if this is what our body tells us?
Yoga practice may seem strange at first, but everything comes with time, it's important to give yourself time, it's worth silencing your ego. Practice aimlessly to become aware. Our body is also different every day, and this practice will also be different every day. Certainly, there will also come days when we wake up and we will not feel like practicing yoga, we are in pain, we do not want to. Whether the weather is not the best for us. Then it is worth to let go, take a break and listen to yourself. Maybe there really is a reason not to.
Recently, the largest number of practicing people are women, it is especially important for us to know how to listen. Every day our body is different, hormones change. The amount of water drunk during the day also affects us, it determines the well-being and flexibility of the body. Calmness of exercise, self-acceptance, and peace of mind are very important. Sometimes 10-15 minutes on the mat is enough to stretch the body. We don't always have time for one hour of practice during the day. Let's make friends with our own body.
What do you say to a person who, after the first class, feels that yoga is not for them?
I think people who think yoga is not for them have not yet found an instructor for themselves. Find another instructor who will resonate well with you, find a style that suits you, adjust the intensity of the practice to your level. A relationship with an instructor is like a relationship with a friend, you cannot meet a friend in the first person you meet. Maybe you'll be lucky and hit the right place, but not necessarily. You need to have a feeling with the instructor, he has to speak to you, feel whether his tone of voice is pleasant or relaxes you, not irritated by his behavior. This is a very personal matter.
Is there a yoga / spiritual quote or sentence close to your heart that you would like to share?
"Your body is in the past. Your mind in the future. In yoga they fuse together in the present. "