Qualifications and Training:
Teacher Training Course in Ashtanga and Vinyasa Yoga - 500hr
Three one-month Intensive Trainings in Asana and Pranayama at Prana Vashya Yoga School in Mysore (over 300 hours)
"Ashtanga Yoga - a New Level of Precise" - 27 hours teachers further education with Dr. Ronald Steiner
SOT (Seat of the Teacher Course) with Suzanne Faith Yoga - CPD course
(around 40 hours)
Meditation Training for teachers with Sally Kempton (around 40 hours)
Therapeutic Wisdom of Yoga course with Doug Keller (30 hours)
Four 10-day Vipassana Meditation courses
Teaching yoga internationally since 2011, experience running variety of classes (Vinyasa, Ashtanga and Hatha Flow), workshops, retreats and modules for TTC courses (alignment, anatomy, adjustments, teaching methodology) in India, Sri Lanka, UK, Italy, Spain, Poland and Costa Rica.
Founder of Magsyoga (www.magsyoga.com) - yoga workshops and retreats around the world.
How did you first get into yoga?
I first stepped onto the mat in 2003 after years of playing basketball, having developed a number of issues with my knees, ankles and shoulders. At that point, yoga was merely a physical exercise that was meant to help me keep my body in shape, heal injuries and release tension accumulated over the years. I practised a couple of times per week, enjoying the effects yoga had on my body and slowly developing more body awareness. In 2009, I fell in love with ashtanga yoga, which then became my daily practice. The discipline and strength it gave me was exactly what I needed at that point in my life.
How has your practice evolved and which style do you practise now?
In 2011, I quit my full time job as a translator and bought a return ticket to India - I wanted to study yoga at its source and discover the world beyond asanas, which seemed impossible in the west, where most people focused on the physical side. I continued my exploration of Ashtanga, but I also started getting a better insight into other yoga styles as well as into pranayama, meditation and Ayurveda. About three years ago I started feeling stuck and restricted by my Ashtanga practice, I felt it wasn't giving me what I needed any more. So I started getting more into anatomy and observing my body closely - analysing its strengths and weaknesses and working out what my body really needed. They say that the poses you hate most, you need most - and that turned out to be very true in my case. This was one of the biggest shifts in my life and practice - I was able to step back, leave my ego behind and say "right, I really suck at this and that, so this is what I need to focus on". I used to think that my background in basketball rather than dance or gymnastics meant that I would never be able to do certain things, but I realised it was just an easy excuse to make. Everything is possible if you put enough effort into it.
These days my practice is still physically strong and demanding (I need it to keep my "Kapha" body in shape!) - mainly Prana Vashya (style developed by Vinay Kumar from Mysore, whose shala I join every year for at least a one-month training), dynamic Vinyasa Flow or Hatha Flow with pranayama and meditation. Sometimes I also practise Yin or Slow Flow, or just get onto the mat and move in a way that feels good in that particular moment. Whichever style I choose, I try to focus more not on getting into poses, but on observing what my body and mind need and how I can make my practice serve me and support me.
What's your teaching style and experience?
As I mentioned before, I had no intention of becoming a yoga teacher when I first came to India back in 2011. But life had a different plan for me and when my teacher asked me if I wanted to stay and help him run the school in exchange for training, I decided to give it a go. I taught my first class the day after I finished my training and I knew straight away this was what I wanted to do.
Since then, I have been teaching full time internationally (mainly Ashtanga, Vinyasa and Hatha Flow classes as well as modules for TTC courses), launched my own website www.magsyoga.com and started doing my own workshops and retreats all over the world - I organised retreats and workshops in Spain, Italy, UK, Costa Rica, Poland, India and Sri Lanka.
My teaching always reflects my personal practice - I feel that only in this way I can really "teach what I preach" and remain passionate about what I do.
When I first started teaching in 2011, I taught only Ashtanga, as this was the style I practised at the time. I loved hands-on adjustments and used them a lot in my classes. As my practice evolved, so did my teaching. I started teaching more Vinyasa-style classes, putting my own sequences together and trying to incorporate things I've learnt through my own practice and training. The result is an intuitive blend of asanas, breathwork, mantras and meditation, with the aim of guiding students in the process of exploration of their bodies and minds, balancing energies in their bodies, dissolving blockages, and building awareness, so that their practice supports them in their every day lives.
What's your favourite yoga pose?
So I've been working on learning to love the poses I hate and the two poses I struggled with most are Baddhakonasana (Butterfly) and Urdhva Dhanurasana (Wheel) - I couldn't even lift my head up from the ground in the second one when I first tried it, my body was so tight! And I dreaded it each time it came towards the end of my Ashtanga Primary Series practice. These are the poses I had to put tremendous effort into, poses I got the furthest with, considering where I was when I started. But I also really enjoy simple poses, there are so many subtleties in them and so many benefits!
One thing people may not know about you
Before I started teaching yoga, I was a translator and I translated four novels from English to Polish. When the first one came out, I remember going to the bookstore and finding it somewhere at the bottom shelf, so I moved it to a more prominent place! I remember I wanted to shout "Look, that's my book! I translated that!", I was pretty proud.