I’m Tehla Jane Bower, And This Is My Dharma
I am a yoga teacher, writer and mum of two from Wollongong in Australia. I love practicing yoga, writing about it, learning, reading, teaching and sharing all things spiritual and yoga related. I recently created a little yoga community named after my girls (‘Kahvah Yoga’, a combination of my girls’ names Kahlan and Avah) and we run classes and conversations, workshops and retreats as well as free community yoga classes once a month.
I also run a blog called tehla-jane.com which shares my journey on motherhood, yoga, health and all things in between! It’s quite un-structured (a reflection of my life at times!) and I love sharing quotes, posts, and musings on life in general.
Personal or Professional Goals:
A couple of years ago I shifted away from my long-term career for a while to focus on my yoga and writing pursuits – and I’m loving it so much! I pressed pause on my ‘busy busy’ life and truly listened to my body for the first time in my life. For this reason I now avoid placing pressure on myself by developing hard and fast goals, however I do have some aspirations such as continuing my yoga path, writing about it along the way, increasing my online offering as well as growing our retreat offerings. I also have a huge passion for yoga philosophy and would like to share this more with others as I feel it is often a neglected area in the burgeoning global yoga movement.
I also hope to one day finish my book on motherhood that has been 6 years in the making! Personally, my main aim is to be a good mum to my two young girls, and to be supportive to my husband, family and friends. When you receive positive vibes from young children you know you are on the right track in life!
What’s Your Offering to the World?
I love to help people, to make them smile, and to know that each day I have somehow made a positive contribution to make the world a better place. I have a saying that goes something like “I don’t want to be known for what I do, I want to be known for who I am”, and that has become my personal daily mantra for everything that I do. To share from the heart, to be true to myself and others, to treat everyone equally no matter what their status or role in life.
Who/What Inspires You?
My children, who keep me grounded in the present moment each and every minute of the day, my super supportive husband, my parents and my Nan.
My amazing regular students who bring so much energy and positive spirit into class each week – they have no idea how they have kept me going even at times when my health was failing me and I felt like giving up.
I’m inspired by the monumental leaders such as Gandhi and Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama and female yogini role models such as Indra Devi. Teachers such as Simon Borg-Olivier, John Weddepohl and Bianca Machliss. Those strong individuals who have had the courage to walk the path less trodden, carve out a new direction, and back themselves 100%. To encourage us to think differently about ideas and concepts that have conditioned us to the point where we wonder if there are any other possible alternatives in this life (and of course, there always are!). Writers such as Tim Winton, Kazuo Ishiguro, Yann Martel, Helen Garner, Bryce Courtenay and Mitch Albom. Musicians such as Xavier Rudd, John Butler Trio, The Waifs, Mark Wilkinson, U2, Angus & Julia Stone, The Cranberries.
I want to make a difference, to educate, to encourage people to ask questions and listen to their inner intuition. To stay true to myself at all times and challenge conventional ways of doing things. To find solutions to problems that are disregarded as unsolvable, to learn by doing, to schedule in regular and non-negotiable ‘technology-free’ days in order to actually use my own brain and prevent ‘smombie’ (smart-phone zombie) status taking over, and to stay closely connected with nature, consulting her as my wise guide in life:)
“If there are no ups and downs in your life, it means you are dead” (Unknown)
“Is Yoga for you? The answer will be realised in your blood, rather than understood by your brain” (F. Yeats-Brown)
“If you are feeling helpless, help someone” (Aung San Suu Kyi)
(sorry, I know this is more than one quote but I am a huge lover of quotes!)
I’m one of those people who are approached by strangers for directions, or for help, or advice, or any number of things really! I have often had people tell me that they’ve felt that if I can do it, they can, and I love that I’m seen as approachable and relatable. So I readily help people as I feel this is my selfless service offering that is so easy to do. Simply by smiling at someone as you pass them on the street can light up their day like you wouldn’t imagine – I’d love to see more of this, people helping others for nothing in return. My big dream is to one day open up a ‘retreat house’ of sorts that offers yoga, books, writing space, free meditation garden and café – I’ve never told anyone this but it really is my hope that I can merge together all my loves in the one place and make people feel like anything is possible:)
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