If you’ve been to the studio before, you’ve likely already had the privilege of meeting this beautiful teacher. However, Tanja isn’t just a teacher at the studio, she’s actually the founder of this beautiful space and the reason we all get to enjoy the community that is Prana Yoga & Wellness.
Tanja originally ran a very successful home yoga studio called ‘Yoga on the Deck’, but after years of operating out of her home, she took a leap and moved her studio to the beautiful space in Dromana.
As you can imagine, Covid-19 was a serious obstacle for the new space, however, slowly but surely, Prana Yoga & Wellness has become a nurturing environment where we can all feel at home, all thanks to the determination and passion of this beautiful soul.
Now you might be wondering, how did Tanja become so passionate about what she does and open up her own studio? So were we! That’s why we’ve put together a teachers spotlight series all about this lovely lady. Follow along as we get to know the owner of Prana Yoga & Wellness a bit better in this Q&A!
When Did You First Discover Yoga?
Back in 2005, I was seeing an osteopath for mild scoliosis and a very stiff upper back, it was at this time that my osteo recommended I give yoga a try. I signed up for a beginners Iyengar course and I continued to practice this for about 3 years.
During this time, I had been suffering from anxiety and depression and noticed a real change in my mood and energy levels when practicing regularly. I was a personal trainer at that stage and thought that offering yoga to my clients would be a great addition. This is where it all started!
As a Yoga Teacher, What Have You Studied?
My first training for teaching yoga was at a fitness convention back in 2009 in Sydney. The course was designed to teach ‘Flow Yoga’ in a fitness center environment. I began teaching in gyms in alignment with this training and soon developed an urge to go deeper. This is when I went to Byron Bay.
I completed my 200hr Hatha Yoga training in Byron with Purna Yoga to start and began seeking out more learning opportunities soon after. Since then I have completed a Yin Yoga teacher training, Hatha Therapy, and Yoga for Trauma & PTSD.
My most recent studies were with Brad Hay and focused on 50hr courses for Hatha & Tantra and Hatha & Ayurveda.
If You Could Share One Piece of Yoga Knowledge with Your Students, What Would it Be?
Yoga for me is so much more than just a physical practice. Once you dive deeper into the practice, you begin to understand the profound effects.
For myself, it took years to understand and appreciate how truly powerful the other limbs of yoga are and I hope that every yogi and yogini has the opportunity to embrace these other incredible teachings that come from your yoga practice.
For me personally, chipping away at the ego is probably the most profound learning I can share. I hope to encourage and empower my students to embrace themselves as they truly are in this moment and unlock an unconditional love for exactly that.
All in all, I hope to share a message and practice of being present, grateful, and humble.
What Can Students Expect in Your Class?
At Prana Yoga & Wellness I offer both group and private classes to really suit the needs of the student.
For group classes, I offer 2 types of practice. My Hatha Flow class is a strong and dynamic practice. This class focuses on building strength through standing postures held for longer periods of time.
My Hatha therapy class is an amalgamation of traditional Hatha yoga poses, made accessible to people with injuries or restrictions. This focuses on strength, balance and flexibility with some functional Pilates exercises involving all core and stabilising muscles. We also use therapy balls to work through tight areas, which always gets a few laughs out of people when we hit some sensitive spots!
The class is suitable for everyone, but especially for those students who enjoy a slow and steady class – this is one of our most popular classes!
In all of my classes, I love to include mantra, meditation, and pranayama practices. I use affirmations throughout the class and enjoy having a bit of a laugh as we go!
I also enjoy adding a bit of pampering goodness for my students with some nurturing adjustments and aromatherapy during savasana.
What Is Your Mission as a Yoga Teacher?
I want to create a space where all students feel welcome and accepted. I truly believe that yoga is for all bodies, no matter their experience level, balance, or flexibility. My goal is to make yoga accessible to everyone.
For my students, I wish to help them on their journey to connect with their body, breath, and heart, allowing them to experience themselves in the most beautiful and profound way.
Is There Anything You Wish You Knew When You Started Yoga?
When I first started practicing yoga, I treated it like any other workout. In fact, for years, I believed that’s all that yoga really was. Looking back, I wish I had spent more time in an Ashram or in India to really connect with the ancient roots of this beautiful practice.
Now, yoga isn’t just a workout anymore, it’s actually my ‘work-in’. Practicing regularly is what keeps me sane. It gets me out of bed even when I’d much rather stay there and has been the source of so much of my inner growth.
There’s nothing more rewarding for me than seeing my students chat and smile after practice because just like me, I know they feel better than when they came in.
At the end of the day, I love what I do. Teaching yoga and building this community where people can come together and connect is so much more than just my ‘job’.
I feel so fortunate and grateful to have found my true passion, my dharma, and my purpose and I can’t thank all of you enough for being a part of this journey.
The Teachers of Prana Yoga & Wellness
And there you have it! From Tanja’s first introduction to yoga to the motivation behind creating Prana Yoga & Wellness, it’s a pleasure to get to know this superstar.
We hope you enjoyed this spotlight feature of Tanja and can’t wait to introduce you to all of the amazing humans that make Prana Yoga & Wellness a yoga community you don’t want to miss out on.
Stay tuned for the next feature in the Teacher’s Spotlight series as we dive into the backstory of our lovely Vinyasa teacher, Dave!