We have a new instructor at PYC! Austin Ince joined us earlier this year, here we find out about him, his background and his Yoga practice.
When and how did you first get interested in Yoga?
My interest in Yoga was accidental. I had a painful lower back problem that my back specialist reckoned that surgery. I didn’t like the idea of going under the knife but didn’t know what to do to remedy the problem. I’m not really a gym person but I decided to join one hoping that I’d find something. So, I stumbled into a Yoga class, I couldn’t get my hands below my knees in a forward fold. I was awful but I did enjoy it and decided, there and then, that I’d do four classes a week to see if after a month, there was progress with my back. It was an experiment, if there was no improvement I would have stopped. The improvement after a month was incredible, so I started practicing, more or less every day, sometime twice a day. The pain subsided and after a couple of years, everything went back to normal. Nerve damage that doctors said would be permanent began to heal. I can do things with my body that I’ve never been able to do but I have to continue to practice to manage the condition.
My attitude to my back condition has changed from wishing it didn’t exist to recognizing it as being an enabler; it brought me to Yoga and all it’s benefits. Yoga does that to you, you see positives where before you saw negatives, you see challenges instead of obstacles.
What motivated you to move from practicing Yoga to teaching it?
The more I practiced, the more I wanted to learn about Yoga. So I decided to take a teacher training to increase my understanding of both the philosophical and physical aspects of Yoga. Once the training ended, my teachers went away to Goa and offered me classes to teach. I found that I enjoyed teaching and found it hugely rewarding. Previously, I’d worked full time in the music business as a recording engineer and a music producer, which was high pressure with long hours. It was time for a new challenge. I’d been fortunate to have a long and relatively successful career but every now and again I enjoy taking myself out of my comfort zone. Whether it’s learning to ride a horse or training to become a Yoga teacher.
What do you love most about teaching Yoga?
The look on a student’s face when they make a breakthrough and achieve something for the first time that they thought was beyond their grasp. The most important thing to realise as a teacher, is that it’s never about you. It’s all about the student, as teachers we are just there to guide and support.
What mindset should someone be in when starting regular Yoga practice for the first time?
Don’t be too hard on yourself. Have realistic expectations, or better still, no expectations. Turn up keep an open mind. Practice, it will all happen if you practice. When we push we tend to push it further away and paradoxically it takes longer to get there, wherever there is. Your mindset will change and evolve, as will your physical practice and your attitude towards the practice.
How did you hear about The Power Yoga Company?
I’ve been aware of PYC for a few years but through circumstance I’ve not been able to come along to practice there until very recently. I often practice with Stuart Gilchrist and knew that he had lead their teacher trainings. Also, I teach alongside Aram Raffy and Sue Gregory at another studio, so I know the style of practice. I’m similar but I did my training through “It’s Yoga” a San Fransisco based School, so my approach is a little bit different.
If you could do only one pose from now on, what would it be?
If it was only one pose, it would have to be “Utthita Trikonasana,” it has everything. Hip-opening, hamstring stretch, lateral side body stretch, heart opening.
Second – “Sirsasana,” headstand, they have a very calming effect and I love the feeling of liberation.
Third – “Malasana,” yogi squat. I could hang out in it all day!