Our excursion to Eliza Wierkowska’s idyllic nest was quite a trip! But what we found on the spot rewarded our over hour-long car journey. Beautiful natural circumstances and home designed with attention to every detail. This place is indeed an oasis of tranquility and Eli is eager to share her inner peace while organizing numerous meetings and workshops. Our heroine is an incredibly warm, open-hearted and empathetic woman. She teaches yoga during self-organized trips to various places and teaches yoga at her own YOGA House school while she stays in Warsaw. Come and meet her!
When we met for the first time you mentioned that you work in the event industry. How did it happen that now you teach yoga and we meet at your own yoga school? How did that happen?
I worked in event marketing for a couple of years. I practiced pilates, or rather I was exercising, for less than two years when a girl who was a yoga teacher visited one day while substituting in our class. I really liked the way she taught the class, as well as her personality. That’s why I decided to join her classes. That was my first encounter with yoga. Later on, I flew to Thailand and during a meditation session in one of the monasteries I came in contact with yoga practice again.
I remember that when I came back I started attending classes led by the girl who substituted that day. Soon after she suggested I chose a yoga school where the classes were held several times a day instead of two times a week as in a sports club, I definitely had a hunger for yoga. During one of my first classes, I was positive that my downward facing dog will be top-notch since pilates involves a number of similar positions. I trained various sports previously so it seemed to me I learned a lot about my body over the past two years. But yoga quickly verified what I can and unfortunately cannot yet do. Due to the fact that my body is over-elastic in many areas, it turned out I may do harm to myself in most of the yoga positions instead of benefiting from their healing and therapeutic impact. And this is where the “new quality” begins, a so-called collision with a proverbial wall, while literally – with a mat. It turned out that there is still a long, long road in front of me, which continues to this day. Previously the challenge was at a physical level, but later it turned out to be also a psychological and emotional challenge.
In fact, experiences gained during organizing a variety of trips, workshops, trainings and mass events in my previous job, as I call it – in my previous life, nowadays result in the fact that I don’t feel so stressed with similar tasks when I deal with them today, for e.g. when I organize yoga workshops or trips.
When did you realize you wanted to teach?
I think it happened a lot earlier than I started working – I always felt I’d like to teach. I had the feeling that my future will be related with passing on knowledge in some way, but since I can remember public speaking was a problem for me.
What does yoga bring into your everyday life?
I do not practice yoga to achieve some result in the future, instead, I do it to feel better today. It’s just like brushing your teeth – you might not do it, but it’s always better to just do it (laughter). It is my everyday ritual that makes me feel good with myself. With time, I found I became more conscious of my body, I became more mature in my practice. I definitely became more of a friend to my own body and myself than a few years ago – a good symbiosis emerged.
And apart from the bodily aspects?
I do not like to overuse the term “lifestyle” but it brings out what yoga is for me. Yoga is a way of life. It gave me the power of insight into myself, letting go, inner peace and acceptance. I became more open towards myself, as well as others – new relations and connections. I used to be afraid of the word “friendship” but now I see that there are many close people around me, that do not necessarily need to be named and labeled, who bring so much good energy into my life. Through learning, I find uniquely interesting people who inspire me every day. I am veeeery grateful for that.
Do you have any tips or advice for people who are interested to start yoga practice from scratch?
There are lots of opportunities to start yoga nowadays! It is best to ask yourself – what do I need? To read, ask and choose classes that will speak to you individually. If you’d like to blend into the crowd – choose a larger yoga school, while if you’d like to build a more intimate relationship with the teacher and get more attention then choose a smaller, more intimate yoga studio. Individual classes are also a great idea to choose the practice that suits you best. Try and experience!
I used to get sick a lot when I was a child and Augmentin was one of my best friends then. In fact, by changing my diet habits, such as giving up meat and later on also diary, it dawned on me that I can cure most of my ailments myself. I did not take antibiotics for several years and pain medication for around 7/8 years. So my interest in unconventional medicine was born and the inseparable diet habits. Previously when I lived in India I paid a lot of attention to Ayurvedic medicine. I am currently immersed in Chinese medicine, largely due to the availability of physicians, specialists, schools, and courses in this field.
In the meantime, it turned out that I was suffering from insulin resistance, which is a pre-diabetes condition. So the search for solutions to cure it without interfering with pharmacology began. With small steps, it started working! Half a year ago I started a school for Chinese medicine dieticians, I have my first exam in June and I feel a little stressed out (laughs).
It fascinates me how this subject is related to yoga practice. It’s very consistent and inspiring how this holistic knowledge can help each and every one of us.
Photos by Aleksandra Loska