Dasha Romanova is a wellness coach and yoga instructor. She grew up in Siberia, studied in London and now teaches in Paris.
After a serious hamstring injury that lasted for 2 years, Dasha takes the utmost care to ensure that her students practice with precision and take care of their bodies. Don’t let her angelic airs fool you, this badass gal has the mind of a ninja mind…and a secret love for Gorky Park.
Inside/Out: Introduce yourself.
Dasha Romanova: I’m Dasha. I was born and raised in the Siberian part of Russia (maybe you heard about Lake Baikal?). I ended up in London for university, where I studied law. I currently live in Paris and I do not practice law anymore, instead I practice and teach yoga. I have a huge passion for what I do - working with people and seeing positive changes in their way to see and ‘breath’ this world - that what feeds my passion. I have few ideas and projects lined up (both personal and professional) and if the ‘universe’ is kind to me and I am kind back, all of them will evolve over the course of the next couple of years.
I/O: Where did you learn yoga?
DR: I did not learn yoga. It’s more like yoga started learning me. My mom was my guide into the world of naked feet. Eventually I did a few teacher trainings and took a fair amount workshops, it is a constant learning curve like everything in life, I suppose.
I/O: Why did you decide to become a teacher?
DR: I never said to myself “I want to be a teacher”. I feel it has been more of a slow, organic evolution for me.
I/O: How is it to teach yoga in Paris, especially compared to other places where you have lived and taught?
DR: For personal reasons, I have not taught at so many places around the world. Nevertheless, what I can say is that people are people, no matter where you are. I have encountered some fantastic human beings on the yoga mat in Paris, and some quite “interesting” personalities as well. :) And in the end I learned from each and every one of them.
I/O: What is the secret to being a good teacher?
DR: The fact that you are asking me this question means that you applying that I am a good teacher? Are you not? I strongly believe a good teacher is not the one who can put both legs behind the head as in Dwi Pada Sirsasana (two legs behind the head pose) but a good teacher is the one who knows how to listen. If you then add a pinch of empathy to that ability and mix it properly, you can bake some very tasty cookies.
I/O: You used to be a dancer, do you think grace is an important ingredient in yoga and why?
DR: A dancer? Ah oui, ballroom dancing. I am sure grace is an important ingredient in life in general because grace comes when you understand what you are doing, how you are doing it and hopefully why.
I/O: Three words to describe your teaching style.
DR: Heart Core Mind
I/O: Three words to describe yourself.
DR: Only three? You can not be serious.
I/O: Explain Heart Core Mind?
DR: I believe to live and “breathe” this life we need to have an open, loving HEART, a strong grounded CORE (spirit) and always keep the pliable MIND of a beginner.
I/O: The yoga that you practice and teach is very much focused on respecting one’s physical limitations. Have you been injured and have you seen a lot of injury in other athletic types?
DR: Yes, one of my first experiences in asana practice as a student brought me the “gift” of a hamstring tear, which took me over 2 years to fully recover. This taught me a great deal about myself. Yes, I have seen a lot of sports people with injuries and let’s face it, a risk of injury always exists with any type of physical activity (just the degree varies). I can talk for a long time about injuries... Let me just say that one should not “leave an injury to heal” but rather “work with the injury”.
I/O: Your rituals before and after your practice?
DR: I need to start each day with a glass of warm water or with a spoon of lavender honey, or both.
I/O: A secret recipe?
DR: It’s not a secret but my recipe for every day is unrefined coconut oil for everything: hair, face, body and for cooking pancakes too!!!
I/O: A power song?
DR: Moscow Calling de Gorky Park !
I/O: Any advice to beginners? And to advanced yoga students?
DR: Just a suggestion maybe. Take your time to build a solid foundation for your practice and know the difference between your needs and your wants.
I/O: An inspiration?
DR: Yes, my husband (and I hope it stays this way!).
I/O: A desire?
DR: No desires, but few intentions yes.