This month our Meet the Teacher edition is with the..
Very unique Sibel Olcer. Sibel is one of those teachers that you check the timetable for and ensure you make it to that class. This Yogini is humble, down to earth, tough and full of love – all essential qualities that make a strong teacher and leader.
What was the reason you started doing Yoga?
Working towards deadlines, long hours behind a desk and sales targets were taking a toll. That’s when I discovered yoga. A friend (thank you Richard Knowles) invited me to a Bikram Hot Yoga class in North London. To this day, I remember it. I had no idea what to expect. It was physically and mentally the most challenging experience I had done. Ninety sweaty minutes later, I came out feeling moved (and dare I say teary eyed) but felt G R E A T for it. I slept well and continued to feel light and joyful the next day. Curious to understand how 26 postures could have such a profound and uplifting effect, I went back and yoga became a part of my weekly routine.
How long have you been teaching for and how has your life changed since becoming a Yoga teacher?
I have been teaching yoga for 6 years. I became mother and then teacher within a short period of time. The flow of life is definitely different now. My perspective on life has changed, its more spiritual. I have a deeper awareness of my body, mind and those around me.
With deciding to become a yoga teacher I made a commitment to continuously grow as both a practitioner and teacher and this led me to other trainings and exposed me to yoga philosophy, which is facilitating the biggest change in my life
What did you do before you started teaching Yoga?
I was working in London’s advertising industry for large corporate media agencies for 15 years
What is it about the teaching that you love?
I love seeing the transformation in people and support them to further their practice.
I love helping and connecting with people. Before each class the intention I set is “ May I hold a safe place for everyone to find and receive what they need most”. Whether it’s to heal a physical injury, move into their edge, let-go, relax or better understand and feel the alignment of a posture, I hope for everyone to leave feeling light.
What is it about teaching that can be difficult?
Good question! For me; first starting teaching was the most challenging part of the journey and getting comfortable being in front of students. The more you start teaching you realise the less time you have to practice so the next challenge was to nail that balance.
What is your Favourite Yoga Posture?
At the moment it is triangle Trikonasana (triangle). I am enjoying feeling grounded in the feet and expansive through the arms at the same time.
What are your interests outside Yoga?
I love Argentine Tango and have been dancing for 12 years. I’m also interested in massage, reiki, karmic astrology and have the intention to eventually embrace all.
How long have you been teaching at Kula, and what is it about Kula that you really like?
Since September 2013. I love the energy and community at Kula. Gerry has always been a great studio owner to work for and given me the opportunity to grow as a teacher.
How would you describe your teaching style?
My teaching style is compassionate and precise with an emphasis on alignment and breath. It is informed by, different strands woven into my own learning and growth. Following my Bikram teacher training; I studied Tapasya Hot Yoga with Kirsten Campbell; to better support people in relaxation and meditation, I trained in Yoga Nidra with James Reeves; to gain a more energetic understanding of the body I completed the Chakra Therapy Training with Anodea Judith. I am currently in a 200-hour teacher training with Stuwart Gilchrist, deepening my understanding of asana (posture), alignment, anatomy, hands-on adjustments, as well as the roots of yoga through study of the history, philosophy, mantras, mudras and meditation. Just to jazz it all up further and add some F U N to the week with Gerry’s support I have also completed my Kula Sculpt training. On this path you can never stop learning and I hope my teaching will never stop evolving.
You connect very well with the students, and you have a clear passion for not just Yoga but healing, what led you to be here in life?
Thank you that’s kind. It was my endless appetite to better understand how this ancient practice had such a good effect, my desire to want to share the benefits with my community and the birth of Cam that propelled me onto this path.
What is the best feeling for you as you are teaching a class?
Best feeling is when I’ve connected with the room and facilitating a safe space for my students to move through their physical and energetic body. When I am not in my head but feeling the room.
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Free spirited and open hearted.
If you weren’t a Yoga teacher, what would you be?
I can’t imagine not practising and teaching yoga. I don’t like the idea of being boxed into being only one thing but I would have facilitating healing in some shape or form, always a mother and sometimes an Argentinian tango dancer.
Questions written by Suraj Ghumra.
Answers by Sibel Olcer.