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Spending Time with Sasha McDougall

Yoga Santosha Blog Spending Time with Sasha McDougall

MAY 7, 2018

Spending Time with Sasha McDougall

Sasha creates a safe space to practice in. Sasha enters the studio space with lightness and ease. In the midst of a youthful and radiant energy lies an innate wisdom.

We had a moment with Sasha to connect and for her to share some of her life and yoga journey with us.
Learn a little more about Sasha below and meet her on your mat at the Santosha studio Saturday’s @12:00 PM and at the Bodhi Tree Saturday’s @ 8:00 AM. She is also a regular sub, so make sure you look on line for a chance to connect.

How did you first find Yoga?
I was going to MRU for some upgrading and was hoping to take Ecotourism. I was unsure if I actually wanted to commit to a 4 year degree. I ended up looking at a course brochure and found a diploma called Yoga therapy. I needed my 200 hour YTT to take the diploma. It was very simple. I wasn’t going through a crisis or anything. I read a brochure and thought that
seems amazing and knew that I wanted to do that. So, I called a yoga studio the next day! I had never done yoga before but fell in love with the practice and the community.
I started practicing yoga regularly and then took my first 200 hr YTT with Eoin Finn. I became immersed in the community so quickly after that and have never looked back.

Why do you teach yoga?
There are so many reasons why I teach and yet my core reason is to hold space for people.
I aim to create and hold space for people to be present for their current experience and hopefully they feel a little better leaving their mat. When people feel good, they want to make other people feel good too.

What does life look like off your mat? Give us a glimpse of a typical day.
Yoga is my full time work. A typical day off the yoga mat consists of going on adventures in nature with friends and with my dog Sage. I don’t do a lot of errands that I know! I take as much time as I can to have fun and to enjoy.

What advice would you give to your younger self? What words of wisdom would you impart?
Allow yourself the space to make mistakes. Be kind to yourself when things don’t work out the way you expected them to. Be true to you and do not take life too seriously.

We are supposed to make mistakes, and we are supposed to experience life fully.
In my life, instead of going anywhere or doing anything I would stay put. I could never fully commit to anything because I was scared that if it did not work out it meant I was a failure. So instead of choosing left or right I would hold still at centre.
Now I will do it and maybe it won’t work out, but I am excited every time because no matter what, I know that I am growing.

I have cared so much about what other people think and based my decisions off of that. Now I allow myself to step into something and fully experience it without any worries. There is a lot more freedom in my life. I can say no. I can also fully say yes and it is super empowering. I feel
so much more grounded.

What obstacles has yoga helped you to overcome?
So many! I think it has helped me to deal better with life in general. I have a lot more control of how I react now. I check in and notice my emotions, my thoughts, and how my body is in the moment. I have so much more awareness of trying to understand myself so that I can understand others. I am much more understanding now. I don’t take everything so personally anymore, in relationships in particular. I know that everyone has their own stuff going on. This practice in mindfulness has helped me so much.

Share with us your favorite yoga pose.
Right now it is Deer Pose. . I am quite flexible but that usually just puts me past an edge that is comfortable. When I am in pigeon I find myself over thinking and over engaging. I am constantly thinking about alignment rather than softening into the pose and my hips. Deer feels very gentle and safe and it is an opportunity for me to go to an appropriate edge. It’s not too much and it’s not too little and it offers me space to relax into it.

Favourite indulgence.
I’d say coffee but that’s a need! Honestly just hiking and spending as much time in the sun as possible.

Share with us your favorite poem

This flurry of snow thoughts
inside my mind-globe is continuous
no room for sunlight, warmth, peace.
I’m stuck inside a pattern I can’t control
unless I see the woman trapped inside
and the one holding the globe–
the choice to shake it up again
or cradle the scene in her hands,
till all the cold flakes have settled
and quiet serenity abounds


You can read Sasha’s teacher biography here.