Quick Chat with Charlotte
Miss Runner: When was it that you really started to become passionate about yoga?
Charlotte Dodson: I love being active and it’s always been an important part of my life. Yoga actually found me, it was a blessing in disguise. I moved from advertising into teaching yoga, and now it’s my full time passion. I got into Yoga (literally) by accident, and it completely changed my life … It started when, on a weekend away, I broke my arm surfing. It meant my daily boxing and soft sand running schedule came to a stand still. I had loved the adrenaline of being fit and healthy, and then suddenly I had to stop everything that was important to me in my world. I got thrown onto another path. Ultimately, the practice and teaching of yoga has shown me that as I follow what I truly wish for, my path will lead me the right way and I won’t need to question the journey I’m on.
MR: Which do you think is the most challenging posture?
CD: There are many challenging yoga poses depending on your body shape, age, level and condition. Generally, strength and inversions like handstands can be more challenging for females and flexibility poses like backbends for males. But like anything in life, the more you practice the better and more effortless your practice will become!
MR: How often should an average person practice yoga?
CD: I'd encourage any participant wanting to look and feel their best to practice on a daily basis, whether it be for 20 minutes or an hour. This could range from a dynamic movement of several poses to "simply" sitting in meditation. Like anything in life, the more you practice something, the more you'll reap its benefits! Yoga changes your body shape and your life for the better!
MR: You practice yoga regularly, what are some nourishing practices you adopt to maximise the benefits?
CD: The ashtanga system has all the moves and shapes to get you looking fit and feeling blissed-out! This practice has aided me immensely in deepening my knowledge and appreciation for yoga. This particular practice is a dynamic one, filling us with lightness, strength and flexibility. It’ll take you into the depths of your being, more than any other practice found in the vast expanse of yoga teachings.
This particular form of yoga creates an innate sense of freedom and peacefulness; it teaches us to surrender and trust; it boosts energy; it’ll change your body shape, and it will open up your mind. There’s no going back! Once you find your groove within this practice, it becomes a precious, life-affirming experience that will stay with you forever.
MR: What is the best advice you have ever been given?
CD: My teacher, Eileen Hall once said to me , ‘you don’t need to try anymore’. She said to ‘let go and your world will open up’. For years I was wondering what should I be letting go of? And then it hit home one day. It was to let go of everything, no more predicting the future or holding on to the past. Yoga, for me, was actually the opportunity to drop everything – fears, expectations, and even thoughts. I learnt, finally, that our breath is the anchor for us all to live in the present moment. That this is the ultimate gift: to live in the Now.