Ayala has a sincere appreciation for creativity of any kind. Through her work with children and their parents she hopes to create a space of no judgment, connection and an uncompetitive environment. Here she shares her own yoga journey.
What, when and where was your first experience of yoga?
I believe everybody is born as a yogi and then the challenge is to maintain it or rediscover yoga as we grow up. So based on that, I will have to say that my first yoga experience was when I was born and started my journey in this world. However, the first time I remember experiencing yoga was when I was advised by a friend to go to a yoga class while being pregnant with my second son, back home in Tel Aviv. I remember sitting in pregnancy yoga class for the first time, taking one deep, soft breath and feeling my whole body and soul starting to radiate with joy.
What made you decide to move from student to teacher?
It is a tricky question as I do my best to stay a student forever who is looking to grow and feed my curiosity like a child. For me teaching yoga to children, adults and families is about sharing knowledge, experience and space. My background is in classical ballet, where there is a lot of competition and self judgment. I loved the sensation, that in yoga you nourish your soul and allow your body and mind freedom without the competition and the judgment. I wanted to be able to share that feeling with everyone around me. So, when I moved to London with my dear family, 15 years ago, I decided to join the teacher training at Yogacampus.
Tell us about Enchanted Wonders – how did you come up with the concept?
As my yoga journey evolved it felt so natural for me to work with children and to be inspired by their creativity and imagination. I have noticed, during my kids yoga classes, that if I manage to create a safe and happy space that includes trust, acceptance and respect towards the children, the children who share that space with me allow all their creativity and self expression to flourish. I believe we are all born creative and all we need to do is find ways to maintain this incredible asset and turn it into a strength. That will allow children, and later on as they grow up into young adults, to be able to fully express themselves and be able to be happy in their own skin and manifest their best version. I was looking for ways to share that magic with children and families and this is when Enchanted Wonders was born.
How does your teaching influence both kids and their parents?
I would love to know that the yoga space I create in my classes enables children to believe in themselves and their abilities. I would love to know that I offer them an opportunity to share their thoughts about yoga and feel good within themselves. For me this is priceless. As for the parents, in one of my family yoga workshops a dad came to me and told with teary eyes that the family yoga session was just an amazing opportunity for him to bond with his son and it was just magical.
I would love to believe that I am offering parents moments where there are no judgment about their parenting, where they can connect with their children without words but just with their own breath, and where they can be present in an uncompetitive environment. If my teaching and sharing enables that then I am a very happy person.
If you only had 10 minutes with a toddler, what would you do?
I would first tune into their energies and take it from there. Singing and chanting works like a miracle. The vibration of the sound and the fact that when we sing we breathe, immediately creates a space of softness and peace and reduces stress.
Who/what is the biggest inspiration on your yoga journey at the moment?
Children are my biggest inspiration in everything I do. Their authenticity, honesty, creativity, curiosity and imagination reminds me to stay tuned and connected with myself and remember the joy of life.
What role does yoga play in the way you live?
Yoga for me is an anchor, a reminder that there is more than what we see. A bell that rings and tells me every moment that I am where I am for a reason. That I am enough.
Yoga enables me to be an observer of my actions and reactions. I have become very aware of my breath and how it can determine how I feel, act, think and move.
Which yoga text could you not live without?
Rod Stryker’s book ‘The Four Desires’. I feel enormously grateful for his teaching. To be his student and follow his path for the past 10 years enabled me to gain tools and become the person I am today. His book gave me the opportunity to unlock a door that was locked for many years and let go of beliefs that didn't serve me at all.
For that I will be forever grateful.
Describe the meaning of yoga in 10 words or less.