or­di­nary people

The Courier-Mail - QWeekend - - UPFRONT -

Y oga has been my guide in life. I found a con­nec­tion with it as a child when a swami wrote a sim­ple bless­ing in my travel diary: “Do good, be good, may God’s light al­ways shine through you’’. That was some­thing I kept in­side of me.

I was born in Hamil­ton, New Zealand. Dad [John, 82] was a plumber [and later a property de­vel­oper]. He wanted to travel, so from when I was age seven to nine, the fam­ily trav­elled through Europe and Eng­land tow­ing a car­a­van.

Af­ter study­ing sci­ence at univer­sity in Auck­land, I did some trav­el­ling my­self and then moved to Bris­bane in 1984, fol­low­ing my par­ents. I’ve al­ways come back to yoga through my life. I have reg­u­larly. In the mid-’90s, I started study­ing yoga and set up my own yoga busi­ness, Manasa Yoga. I’ve also stud­ied natur­opa­thy and mas­sage.

In 2009, af­ter 24 years of mar­riage, I was di­vorced and de­cided to go to an ashram in In­dia

to study yoga fur­ther. Yoga is a jour­ney and I’m

thoughts take me away. There is a con­scious­ness in my liv­ing. My part­ner in life is a jazz pi­anist and he doesn’t prac­tise yoga. I love walk­ing, na­ture, be­ing out­doors and I’m learn­ing the piano again af­ter play­ing as a child. I’m also learn­ing gui­tar. I’ve al­ways had an in­ter­est in per­ma­cul­ture and ear­lier this year I bought 40 hectares of land at East Wardell in north­ern NSW, which will be a sanc­tu­ary for hu­mans and an­i­mals.

The only thing we con­trol in life is our­selves. I didn’t have the per­fect child­hood but I don’t iden­tify my­self by that. My mum died sev­eral years ago of early de­men­tia from al­co­holism. My dad has some mem­ory prob­lems and I’m help­ing him to re­main liv­ing in­de­pen­dently. I have huge grat­i­tude and love for both my par­ents and I care for my fa­ther now with love. I could have fol­lowed the pat­terns my par­ents had or spent my life blam­ing them for who I was. But yoga has shown me there’s no-one to blame. There is a choice for each and ev­ery one of us.

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