Interview with Deborah Caruana, by Irina Kotikova
Deborah Caruana graduated from ISHTA 300-HR TT in 2010. She has been teaching fitness and private yoga classes for 20 years. Her specialties are Private Yoga, Yoga for Healing Addictions and Eating Disorders, Holistic Coaching, Energy Healing, and Fitness for Yogi’s. Deborah’s website is http://www.vitalsignsfitness.com.
1. How did you know that the ISHTA Lineage was something that you wanted to practice and immerse your life in?
I had been practicing and teaching yoga for a few years (when I say yoga I mean asana), but I wanted to go deeper and have inspirational breakthroughs and insights and knew that Alan Finger had studied with multiple great yogis from India and decided this was where I needed to study.
2. Planning for a class, what is your approach and how/where do you begin? i.e., with music, a sutra, building to a peak pose, incorporating philosophy, or see who shows up?
I love leading with anuloma viloma (nadi shodhana) breath; it relaxes and opens inner expansiveness, and brings consciousness into that expanse. Sometimes I use kapalabhati or padadirsasana. I had decided on continuing to teach private yoga and once I made that decision the clients came. They prefer no music, and prefer the mood created with breath, voice and soft instruction. Before the session I ask about injuries, aches and pains, and desires for the session to accommodate their needs. I find that within the practice, the lesson unfolds, and the sutra reveals itself based on what comes up in the session. The body is a metaphor for the inner state and all issues are revealed and expressed through the body, which is an ongoing resource of information. Sometimes at the end I take them into meditation or an extended savasana or sometimes very brief! I focus on bringing in the light to ignite the inner radiance.
3. What were the milestones in your teaching and practice; how has your approach to teaching and practicing changed with time?
Teaching and practice simply deepens, becomes more insightful, more easeful, and I witness amazing transformations with my students as the heart opens and the spine realigns, or the hips get stronger, or they stabilize and find their foundation and feel their roots, or they unwind, creating an internal opening, and I see them ten years younger. I see people transform into their true, magnificent, happy, joyous and free states as I bring them into happy baby. I give them focus assignments to help them maintain that state through their day to day.
4. What challenges have you experienced as a yoga teacher?
Whatever I view as a challenge I know is a reflection of my inner state. I can choose to react or search deeper into source to find the ease, and there is no longer conflict but enlightened response. We create our reality and I try my best to remember that.
5. What are the lightest and most fun moments for your students and you during your yoga classes? What about classes you have taken from other instructors?
They always laugh when I tell them the back half of their body is asleep so they look like warrior in a hurry.
6. What are your recommendations for new teachers during their first year of teaching?
Get as much experience as you can teaching to get more at ease with it. The more you share it, the more you retain and are open for more.
7. Is there anything else you’d like to share with our alumni about your experience with ISHTA over the years?
Your greatest challenges are you greatest gifts, look for the lessons. So instead of going into resistance, go into acceptance.