Yoga for every body
Yoga for every body: Andrea Castella Heras, bar owner
Originally from Madrid, Andrea Castella Heras came to Ibiza 11 years ago to help care for her mother while she recuperated from illness. The family never left and Andrea is now a fully fledged Ibicenca. Her background was in interior design but she was always a very physical person, drawn to jobs that included a deep connection with movement. After working for many years with horses she moved into dancing as a way of combining her passion for health with her passion for movement. Dancing gets her through the good times and the bad; her specialty is to unite flamenco with classical and house. Relatively new to yoga, Andrea is finding the connection between body and mind is profoundly affecting her outlook on life.
How did you first get into yoga?
I just started last year, in November. I wanted to find something that would help me balance the physical aspect of my life with the emotional. To concentrate on balance and breathe.
Did you feel an instant connection to the Bikram style?
I got into Bikram because it’s easier for me as a beginner to remember the poses. I find I can concentrate on balance and breath better. Bikram yoga gives me more space to do that. I’ve tried ashtanga and CORE 40 classes and I want to do more. With time I want to try other styles, without heat. I don’t want to be accustomed only to one style.
Has yoga helped you find balance in other parts of your life?
I come from a family of psychoanalysts. So, I had lots of analysis over the years, which helps me a lot on a personal level. When I started with yoga I started to breathe for real. Nothing can move if there is no space for it to go. Things started to move, emotions, it was like a cork was taken out. Things changed, things were clearer. I listened more to my breath and I started to have words for what I really wanted and didn’t want in my life. The important thing in yoga is the idea that we are not alone. It’s not just me, me, me. There is more fluidity.
I imagine a triangle when I breathe, there is a conductor, to absorb our whole environment, the world around us, everything, it’s a way of taking in the wisdom of everything around us, to access a natural knowledge without words, it’s a type of learning. In my practice it’s like a channel going towards this teaching. I also stopped thinking about my self in reference to other people. In analysis it’s all words, in yoga there are no words. I needed that. That’s what I like about it. I can access things deeply without words. Words are useful, but not absolute. Yoga is like carrying certain physical aspects; it helps me represent things in my life without words. I can just be. It helps me be more flexible in my relationships.
How often do you practice?
I like to go everyday… if I was able to go twice I would!
What kind of physical and mental benefits do you see in yourself?
Well, it’s sweaty! You sweat a lot. I try not to give too much attention to the physical benefits, to not give it too much importance, that’s not why I am doing it (for that I run). I was fit already, but of course, you get more defined. I was more interested in the connection of the physical and the mind.
How do you feel if you don’t get to practice?
When I can’t go I feel incomplete because it gives me all the tools I need, the mantra, the heat – nothing else gives me what it does.
Are you still learning things in class?
Each day, without realising, you learn something. Some days I realise that I can get into a pose or not and I learn not to have so much expectation, in the pose or in anything – just being. I visualise a lot too. I visualise like a film and Sebas will say that’s too much! That’s a movie! It’s simple, just be! I’ve learned that everything is in its place, just as it should be – it doesn’t need to be more or less. I have to keep with that, and learn it again and again!
How much do you know about the yogic philosophies?
Not much actually but when I started I took a book that my father had given me a long time ago called The Fakir by Ramiro Calle [a Spanish writer and pioneering yogi]. Even though I had it for years I never picked it up. And I did then and it’s all about yoga and spiritual teaching, but I had never given it any thought before. I am a sceptic; I just want to live it. The truth is I don’t enter into it. I like to experience it by living it.
How would you describe Sebastien’s teaching style?
The difference with Sebas is energetically and emotionally, he is there with you, he makes comments to the class, not just about Bikram, not just instructions but things that help you, things you can take with you, he deposits the seeds that help you later. Bikram is the seed; his voice is the water and the earth. He pulls it all together, emotionally with breath and yoga.
And what is your relationship with him like?
I feel a connection with him yet we don’t need to talk a lot; it’s a heart connection. From the first moment I said this is the guy that I need for the work I want to do on myself. He represented that, and I told him. I am very sincere with him. He is my maestro.
Where do you see your practice going in the future?
I’m not thinking about that. I just want to be here, to get the most out of life.