Seriya Cutbush is a passionate yogini who practices what she teaches. Here is the story of her yoga path.
What is a yogini?
A yogini is a female yogi. A yogi is someone who has dedicated themselves to living the yogic lifestyle by practing yoga on all levels, not just the physical.
How did you find yourself on the yoga path?
I grew up in the Byron Shire with my parents practicing meditation, yoga and chanting at home. From when I was born until my teenage years I was travelling a lot to India, and also living in ashrams with my family in different parts of the world. This was my foundation.
And then I rebelled against it all as a teenager, only to rediscover it within my own direct experience as a young adult when I was living in Canada and fractured my tailbone. That period led me to seriously reflect on how I was living my life and guided me to spend my twenties travelling the world in search of answers about who I really was.
Over time, I was led to the Sivananda tradition where I began to study and practice the asanas, philosophy, ritual, chanting, and power of breath within that lineage. From then on I kept opening up more and more, studying with different teachers, different traditions and most importantly, unleashing more of my own practice.
What do you offer people in your workshops?
I have so many passions. So I just simply share these within my workshops. I share what works for me and if it has helped me along the way then I trust it may also help others. Crystals, mantra, sound, yoga, chakras and meditation are all part of the retreat.
It’s important to me that I offer space where women can experience for themselves, rather than feeling like someone is teaching them. I love to empower women in using tools to discover more about themselves.
If you just listen to what your heart resonates with, then that in itself will often crack you open and increase the desire for more.
Who, how often and why should you meditate?
I believe everyone benefits from meditation. However, different personalities resonate with different practices. What I do is offer various techniques which women can then adopt what they like and leave what doesn’t work for them.
A daily practice of some kind is ideal. And to find the balance. For example, being disciplined when it gets challenging, but not judging yourself if you don’t meditate on another day. Meditation nourishes you when times are running smoothly and supports you in the challenging times.
How can yoga practice and meditation help women in their everyday?
Meditation helps us in many ways. Our minds as humans are usually incredibly busy. Meditation helps us in quieting the mind and can assist you to take a pause before you go into reaction in your life. It helps you in understanding your emotions, your ways of being, your patterns and fears.
It gives you an opportunity to look deeper at why you might be feeling or acting a certain way. If you lead a hectic life it’s an opportunity to find stillness.
Practicing yoga supports you in being more in tune with your body. When you take the time to listen to what your body communicating to you on the mat, then you can begin to understand your own limitations on and off the mat. When your body is nourished in this way, you naturally support yourself healthily in other areas of your life.
What effect do you believe yoga practice has in the big picture?
Yoga, meditation, chanting, sound, Indigenous traditions and the yogic philosophy are all guiding forces for me to really learn, open and discover my essence and what I really want, not just for myself but for our global community.
At the same time there are numerous paths for this discovery and no one is better or worse than the other. Quite often, however, they are all journeys into deepening our self-awareness.
I strongly believe that the more we understand ourselves, the more we can be conscious in our actions in the world, which in turn can help bring peace to the planet in a bigger way.