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An Interview with Yoga Instructor Deniz Tosun

deniz-tosun-yoga-instructor- Deniz Tosun

Yoga seems to me an ocean that make me feel to sail. An ocean with hidden treasures. But I also feel that this journey requires a devotion, without it yoga will not reveal its treasures. 

I had the pleasure of interviewing Deniz Tosun, a yoga instructor who made the journey. We chatted sometimes on yoga and its aspects when we gathered for our occasional yoga class. It looked like a good idea to share her opinions publicly. So, here is the interview and happy reading! If you would like to follow her, she is on Instagram as @deniz_yoga

What is your story with yoga? 

I have been practicing yoga since 2013 and teaching yoga for 3 years. In 2013 my brother was working for a yoga studio to design their website and one day he dragged me along to a yoga class. For me, it was love at first sight and from the first day I knew that yoga would be a big part of my life.

I travel to visit some of the most inspiring yoga centers in different locations and practice different styles so it enriches my own teaching practice. I currently teach Yin Yoga, Yin & Yang Yoga, Freedom Yoga and Yoga Therapy classes in Istanbul.

How do you define yoga or what does yoga mean to you?

Your question reminded me of the quote from Pablo Picasso; "The meaning of life is to find your gift, the purpose of life is to give it away." So, yoga is the process of self-discovery which is finding your gift and also it provides you a path for giving your gift away. In other words, it is the search of finding your true self and helping others to do so.

Before I tasted yoga, I always had a feeling like there was something missing in my life. Yoga was like finding the missing piece which I had known but forgotten a long time ago. Honestly, at the beginning yoga turned my life upside down. The beginning is always the hardest. As Joseph Campbell said "We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us." Of course it is not an easy task to leave your comfort zone but once you start stepping out of your comfort zone, it gets easier over time. So, at some point something inside me shifted and I began to feel like myself again.

Yoga gives you the tools to help you control your mind and emotions. I go to my mat whenever my life speeds up, my stress level increases and I feel depressed, or else when things are fine, I feel extremely happy and enthusiastic. In other words, I experience feelings on the edge, I get on the mat is to take care of myself. With the help of yoga, I learn how to control my emotions, to be an observer in life, and to find my centre and power over and over. Yoga is an unending process of self-discovery and self-transformation and the most beautiful part of it is that when you are transforming yourself, you are also helping the others to discover themselves.

Is there a something like a sort of philosophy in yoga beyond physical practices?

Definitely. The asana which is a physical practice is just a limb of yoga. In the process of self-discovery, the important part is to experience the link between body, soul and mind. But today, people often go to yoga classes to enhance their physical fitness which is also important but not the main goal of yoga. When you are not giving the attention to cultivate this inner connection between body, mind, and soul, you miss the whole point actually. The body is a window to our soul. It means that you are starting from physical (the body) but reaching the non-physical (spirit).

I admire flexibility that yoga practices provide for individuals. Flexibility, not strength of apparent muscles, is a real ability of survival, I believe. I will dare to say that yoga seems to lead a kind of an intentional evolution, creating a sort of super human, mostly physically but having nothing to do with intellectual strength, leaving it as unfilled space of the puzzle. What do you think?

The super power of yoga is not coming from the flexibility of the body but comes from the mind. Yoga helps you to teach mastering your mind and emotions. With the meditation and yoga, you can develop neural pathways that lead you to compassion, gratitude, and joy instead of anxiety, fear, and anger. When compassion, gratitude and joy are there, you can grow in any aspect in your life easily. We are all super human but it seems that we have lost our connection with ourselves. We all have the great potential to grow, knowledge of life and all internal resources in our cells, we just need to remember and learn how to use it again. Therefore yoga is a great tool for reaching our higher potential.

Our future is closely linked to the health of our body. However, in our world, we spend most of our time in workplaces where the life is so consuming, stressful, and in many cases, detrimental to human health. What do you think; for companies and organizations, may yoga be the answer as a way of creating a healthier and more fun workplace while cultivating creativity and effectiveness?

The answer is yes. Many people report positive impacts of practicing yoga and meditation on their health from their own experience. Some companies are aware of it and I think that it is a brilliant idea to offer yoga classes in workplace. Yoga helps a lot with the pain which develops in the body especially at the back, neck, shoulders, elbows and knees over long periods of sitting in one position. In addition, employees become more mindful with yoga practice that affect their performance in professional life as well. So, the whole company benefits. Happier, less stressful employees lead to a rise in productivity and creative and innovative ideas.

Thanks for sharing your opinions with us.



Deniz Tosun

Deniz has been practicing yoga for over 6 years and teaching yoga for the last 3 years. She completed her RYT 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training Program with Zeynep Aksoy in 2016. During training, she had a chance to experience David Cornwell's meditation, mindfulness and some part of Somatic Body Awareness practices. After RYT 200 Hour Training, she has also entered the 3 year Somatic Experience (Organic Intelligence) Training Programme and she brings practices of Somatic Experiencing into her yoga classes. She has most recently completed Yoga therapy training and has taken workshops for Psoas and Core Awareness, Axis syllabus restorative movement.

She travels to visit some of the most inspiring yoga centers in different locations and practice different styles so it enriches her own teaching practice.

She currently teaches weekly Yin Yoga, Yin & Yang Yoga, Freedom Yoga and Yoga Therapy classes at different yoga studios.

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Comments (2)

  1. Alessandro

Interesting article indeed ! Yoga and Eastern philosophy fascinate me a lot, though I haven't ever tried yoga so far. I suffer from back-ache from time to time and I think yoga could be helpful; even daily stress is likely to be benefitting from...

Interesting article indeed ! Yoga and Eastern philosophy fascinate me a lot, though I haven't ever tried yoga so far. I suffer from back-ache from time to time and I think yoga could be helpful; even daily stress is likely to be benefitting from yoga !

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  1. Sophie

This was such an interesting interview to read. I love yoga!

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