Power is the key here, and the common thread for all of the women I met on my journey through the island of abundance. Power was the theme for our daily dances (or wrestles) with the surf, and the yoga mat. One way or another, it’s the reason we all ended up there; to find it, awaken it, cultivate it, learn it, harness it, release it (or, all of the above, *cue an Eat, Pray, Love joke*). But in all sincerity, cliches exist because they’re real, and when a bunch of gals are together feeding on the sun’s rays, ocean waves and each others energy - magic happens. And Tye, or ‘Tyger’ as we came to learn her, played a huge role in this.
In a post travel glow my curiosity took hold. I started to explore the symbolism of animal totems in some cultures, and was delighted to uncover that in the kingdom of spirit animals, the tiger is generally recognised for putting an emphasis on raw feelings and emotions. They are symbolic to our primal instincts, unpredictability and an ability to trust yourself. When in play an affinity with the tiger heightens your intuition and reflexes to act quickly as needed: they hold up your willpower, personal strength and courage.
Like I said, power is the theme here - or rather, *girl power*.
Synchronicity is one of life’s real joy’s, and so the timing of this interview and meeting our teacher Tyger, are not lost on me. We all possess an innate, fierce and feline ability to land on our feet, but thanks to shared and magical encounters like ours in Talalla, with Tye, we were left feeling re-connected and empowered to ride on the next tide. Only this time with a little more instinct, grace and grounding at play.
Where are you from?
Born in Sydney Australia, but I have also lived in India, Thailand, and now Sri Lanka is home.
When you're not teaching, what are you doing/ where can we find you?
I spend a lot of my time at Talalla spa doing energy healings, and in my spare time I’ll definitely be plonked in the ocean surfing. I’m also a designer, so I spend time working on that project too.
What types of energy healings do you do? How does this type of work affect you?
My healing sessions consist of Reiki/ vibrational healings and bio dynamic prana work.
My core teacher (Usha Ji) was trained through the Buddhist tantric lineage and a lot of my study and experimental practice is inspired by these teachings. I call upon a combination or energetic tools including Reiki, crystal and colour chakra healing, Tibetan sound and bio-dynamic prana work to activate and cultivate universal life force within my clients.
These healings work with the subtle body in particular the 7 major chakra points.
Through communication with the subtle body I read energetic stability and instability and then work to cleanse and heal incompatible energies through Reiki. The beautiful thing is that all our sheaths or bodies are so connected and can be made relatable for clients through specific communication with the physical and mental body. This is a major aspect of my healing. Communicating and coaching to provide information for clients and ultimately encourage ways to self heal through life choices.
Where did you learn yoga philosophy? What was that journey like personally?
My first lessons of yogic philosophy was at Rishikesh Yog Peeth where I completed 500hrs of teacher training. I fell in love with the philosophy lectures. It was all so fascinating, interesting and frustrating! I felt that as soon as I began to understand one aspect, a whole other aspect would appear unanswered and questions would arise.
Since my formal study I have continued a journey of personal study through books, online lectures and special workshops on the yoga sutras, limbs of yoga and Hatha Yoga Pradīpikā.
As a woman, what has the practise of yoga done for you personally?
Honestly I don’t even know where to begin! Before I found a strong practice in yoga I really had a hard time holding love for myself. I loved Asana practice because it would bring me out of that unconfident place and I would feel weightless for that while.
Studying yoga in Rishikesh is what really shaped my awareness of self love and respect. I felt like a secret code had been cracked and almost instantly I viewed myself and the world around me so differently. I remember my Yoga philosophy teacher explaining the concept of ‘So Hum’ - the universal connection of all creation. I realised if I love the world, environment and my friends, then I must to love myself because we are all the same. This gave me a completely different perspective of myself and allowed me to finally begin to love and nourish my own self like I would others.
Outside of teaching, how do you share this with other women?
Women circles and girl tribes have been building so strong in my life, now more so than ever before. I have recently found such an amazing support group of female healers, disciples of yoga and just incredible empowering souls! I’m so happy that more and more women are naturally coming into my path supporting and teaching me just through everyday life. It’s magnetic and natural the way we’re coming together to share everything with each other - our joys, struggles and insights. We lift each other up.
I feel my beliefs and offerings of my yogic understanding and spiritual truths, naturally extend to the incredible women I’m so lucky to meet everyday inside and outside of teaching and healing sessions.
What is it that you love about women?
Goddess energy is so powerful, gentle and nurturing. I love that women are able to build such a tribe of support with real understanding. Girl power is real!
Are there any rituals or tools you have to activate or harness your creative energy?
This is so important for me! I have a ritual of meditation and Asana every day. Even when I am busy teaching, designing and doing healing, I always set a time for this gift to myself.
In what ways do you think surfing is empowering for women in particular?
Surfing is so empowering! I think it is largely dominated by men and the idea of surfing can be rather intimidating for women. At the end of the day, to surf you must let go and give yourself to the environment this vulnerable state is so liberating! As soon as all things line up and you’re gliding along the face of the wave, all things dissolve and you are absolutely free.
Who are three women you admire and why?
My Aunty Sandra is the most bad ass woman I've ever met! She has been a women's rights activist since the 70’s and has helped so many women stand up against abuse and mistreatment. She taught me so much about standing up for what matters and that regardless of how big a problem can seem, we are never to small to make positive impact.
My Mum is also in the list of most special and admirable people. She has supported me like nothing else my whole life. Mum was one of my inspirations to begin yoga and meditation. She is a counsellor and helps people every day. Ever since I was a kid she has inspired and influenced me to help heal others and the world.
Shiva Rea is so inspirational to me. Her platform in yoga is so empowering to other women practitioners. She holds tradition strength and divine goddess power.
When do you feel most in your power?
In my practice. Yoga is the strongest of all things for me.
What is your one wish for women everywhere?
To love ruthlessly, honestly and unconditionally.
What do you love about Dharma Door?
The Dharma Door’s philosophy, work and execution is exceptionally empowering from the founders, to the artisans and even to the buyers. Each product is a beautiful story of empowering women, empowering other women. I think this is just amazing.
What is your favourite Dharma Door piece?
The Saba String Bag has my heart.
Words by Ellen Watts | @_theatelier_
Photography by Seren Langlands | @photoshutte at the Talalla Retreat in Southern Province Sri Lanka.
Tye wears our Suriya Cotton Throw in linen in the first three images.
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