If you’ve been part of the 42Yogis community for a while, you’re no doubt familiar with Celest Pereira, and have done some of her fabulous yoga videos.
A trained dancer and Martial Artist, Celest has had a fascination with the movement of the human body since she was young. Celest has her Bachelor of Science in Physiotherapy, and she completed her yoga teacher training in 2009. Her background in Physiotherapy gives her a more in depth understanding of proper alignment and the body’s musculature. This insight she in turn passes along to her yoga students and fans.
In this interview, Celest talked to me about her yoga practice, and her proudest yoga moment (which is very heartwarming).
Ysmay: How long have you been practising yoga? What drew you to yoga?
Celest: I have been practicing yoga for 14 years. At first I was introduced to it when I was at theatre school. What drew me to yoga was the emphasis on the mind body connection. No other discipline I ever encountered ever described this relationship so simply and beautifully as yoga.
When did you start teaching? What was your teacher training like?
I started teaching full time as a yoga teacher 5 years ago. My teacher training was in the middle of India and taught me the classical version of hatha yoga with an emphasis on the spirituality and relaxation elements of the practice – VERY DIFFERENT TO WHAT I NOW TEACH! I found when I came back to London, through trial and error, that what I needed to do was be myself.
Being a naturally hyper person, the calming yoga vibe wasn’t me being true to myself, and so I decided to play modern music, make jokes and get people sweaty.
What has been your proudest yoga moment?
Seeing my dad, who has been riddled with arthritis since he was 19, show me how my videos taught him how to do crow pose. Dude can’t even walk straight sometimes and he starts busting out crow pose 😀
Your videos are great; why did you start teaching on YouTube?
Nobody breaks down challenging poses in class, so I started looking online for tutorials and in general just didn’t find many good ones. I thought, if I feel like this, then others out there must be going through the same thing. So here I am 🙂
What are some of the challenges you had to overcome to develop high-quality yoga videos?
The biggest challenge is to have the confidence to keep going… when you watch videos of yourself your natural instinct is to never release them. You find so much fault with what you said, how you looked, what your technique looked like, that you feel by releasing this video you’re going to murder your career. But for some strange reason, these voices in my head never stopped me from producing videos week after week. And slowly with time they started to improve.
I’m not saying they are perfect. I still have a long way to do to raise the standard of my channel. But I am slowly gaining more interaction and so far I get lots more positive comments from nice people than negative ones.
What is your favourite mantra?
I always loved the Gayatri mantra. But I’d be lying if I told you i used it regularly. Mostly, when I am meditating, and if I choose to use a mantra, I just focus on the word ‘love’. That must sound very airy fairy/hippy dippy, but by doing this it has helped me with lots of my struggles and challenges.
I say, do what works for you. For me, speaking in English makes more sense than sanskrit, but I know lots of other people that think sanskrit sounds way cooler and for that reason it works best for them.
What’s one thing you wish you were told when you started practising yoga?
I loved the surprises that yoga threw at me along the way. I’m glad nobody told me what I now know 🙂
What can we expect to see next from you?
I am passionate about getting newly qualified yoga teachers teaching yoga! So I am releasing a book and an online course that teaches them how to do this. You can get added to the mailing list for the release of this content by visiting www.theyogamentor.com
Main photo by Karen Yeomans. Additional photos by Celest.