Yogaclicks Ambassador Spotlight: Tanja Mickwitz, Yoga Teacher, London
Tanja Mickwitz is a London based Rasa Yoga Teacher and a YogaClicks ambassador. In this interview with author Lucy Edge, she shares how Rasa Yoga opened her heart and brought her home, what she sings when she’s cleaning, her favourite South Indian food, and what 2019 holds for her.
An inspiring interview that will leave you wanting to experience Rasa Yoga, and Tanja, for yourself.
Q: What motivated you to become a yoga teacher?
A: It was simply a love for the practice. I applied for Teacher Training because I wanted to immerse myself in yoga, I wanted to deepen my understanding and knowledge of the practices which had transformed my life in such a profound way. So my motivation was really to just be with yoga more and then sharing the practice through teaching naturally followed.
Q: Who is your most important yoga teacher and why?
A: I have been blessed to study with so many remarkable and incredible teachers over the years. Currently I’m working closely with Sianna Sherman who envisioned and founded Rasa Yoga. I was on the first Rasa Yoga Advanced Teacher Training with her in 2015 and I remember how as she unpacked the vision of Rasa my heart just kept exclaiming ‘yes’ to each component.
It was like a homecoming after 15 years of practice where finally all parts of yoga which were important to me were now together in one place - with Tantric philosophy and Bhakti heart as the foundation bringing in mantra, mudras, mythology all weaved into a biomechanically savvy and soulfully creative asana practice. I also love that there is a big emphasis on shadow work, accountability and earth guardianship - and of course community, which to me is a vital ingredient on this path.
Q: What’s the best thing a student of yours has ever said to you?
A: Many years ago one of my students said coming to a class with me was like going on a journey and I’ve always cherished that sentiment.
Q: What advice would you give someone who is not sure yoga is for them?
A: I would ask why they feel that way - people have many different and skewed preconceptions about what yoga is, what it entails, who it’s for and so on. There are so many different styles and paths of yoga, so many gateways into the practice, I’m convinced something to suit any person. Often it’s just about finding the right combination of teacher, place, approach and style.
Q. What projects are you currently working on?
A: I’m in the middle of teaching my first Rasa Yoga 200hr Teacher Training which is incredibly exciting. It’s a real privilege to share the vision of Rasa Yoga over here. I love witnessing the journey of students becoming teachers, how the trainees are soaking up and integrating everything they are learning. It’s a real joy and the group I’m working with is incredible, they are all such an inspiration to me. I’m so grateful to be doing this work.
I’ve also got amazing retreat adventures coming up in 2019. I’ll be collaborating with my dear friend and soul sister Bridget Luff, who is a wonderful teacher, for our Fire & Flow Retreat in Bali in spring. Then I’m back at my favourite European venue which is a stunning bohemian modernist house in southern Spain for Summer Solstice as well as a Full Moon in June. And finally, perhaps the biggest adventure, will be to the Himalayan foothills in early autumn. I love teaching retreats for so many reasons, particularly the opportunity to go really deep and immerse into practice in a different way when you have a consistent group of people and you’re removed from everyday chores. It paves the way for personal breakthroughs and lifelong friendships.
Q. What do you dream about?
A. I pretty much always dream about being in hot weather and walking barefoot... often I dream of a simpler lifestyle than living in London allows - and being closer to nature. Having said that, I do absolutely love London with its creative pulse and abundant offerings in all ways, however day-to-day living here can at times feel quite draining. It’s a challenge to stay balanced.
Q. What is the most interesting thing about you that would not appear on your CV
A. I was recently taught how to read the Tarot and I’m really loving it. The cards are an amazing tool. Though come to think of it, if I ever needed to write a CV again I probably would put that on it!
Q. What is your favourite food?
A. I love South Indian food and in particular Masala dosas... and Vietnamese cuisine comes a close second!
Q. What songs do you sing in the car alone?
A. I don’t drive but I love to sing Spirit songs and Mantras when I clean, cook and do chores.
Q. What’s a surprising fact that your students don’t know about you?
A. They might not know that I’m also a trained Celebrant. So I can create and officiate alternative ceremonies for name givings, hand fastings and funerals - or any other threshold you might want to mark with a ceremony. I grew up in a very atheist household so we didn’t engage with the usual religious ceremonial celebrations. I feel like I’m reclaiming ritual for myself on my own terms. I think it’s important to mark moments of crossing a threshold, to acknowledge and create a sacred space for new beginnings, achievements, initiations as well as endings. It’s potent, powerful and very beautiful to bear witness to each other on these momentous occasions.
Q. What is your favourite thing about YogaClicks?
A. I love that YogaClicks brings together so many independent, ecologically and ethically sound makers under one roof, that we can read about their stories and intentions. It’s so good to support our community of yogi-creators and it’s always great to support small businesses.
Follow @tanjamickwitzyoga on Instagram and @tanjamickwitzyoga on Facebook.
Check out https://www.tanjamickwitzyoga.com/ for yoga classes in London and yoga retreats including Bali in April 2019 and Almeria Spain in June 2019.
Join Tanja for a very special Summer Solstice and Full Moon Retreat at spectacular Finca del Alamo in Almeria, southern Spain. This week will be an opportunity to embrace the light of summer and fill yourself up with soul nourishment. There will be a full spectrum of yogic practices to nurture deep inner connection including creative flow with mindful alignment, mantra, mudra, pranayama, meditation, yoga nidra and restorative yoga. Yogic philosophy and inspiration will be woven through the practices with opportunity for reflection and contemplation. In between practice times plenty of opportunity to relax in the beautiful surroundings, swim in the spring water pools and enjoy delicious, nutritious meals in lovely company.
is a yoga advocate and writer with three yoga books to her name, including the beloved travel memoir Yoga School Dropout. She writes regularly for the national press, has authored over 150 guides to types of yoga and yoga poses, discovered nearly 250 proven health benefits of yoga through her painstaking classification of 300 clinical studies, and collected more than 500 personal testimonials to the real life benefits of yoga. She is also the creator of our yoga shop – YogaClicks.Store – handpicking yoga brands that are beautifully made by yogis committed to environmental and social sustainability.
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