For three years, Tara South was our Surf Maroc yoga powerhouse. Managing Villa Mandala, the Yoga Surf Retreats and being the only yoga teacher, she marked her place in the history and heart of Surf Maroc. Now, three years after leaving us for bigger ventures, she returns for the summer as our Head Yoga Teacher.
We’re delighted to be welcoming her back to lead our Yoga Surf Retreats at Villa Mandala for June, July, August and September. Plus our Amouage classes are already filling up with yogis to enjoy powerful flows, releasing Yin and deeply calming restorative.
So we caught up with Tara to tell you more about herself and coming back to Surf Maroc!
When did you start practising yoga, and what brought you to it?
I went to my first yoga class at the age of 15. A friend of mine casually asked me one day if I wanted to try a yoga session with her and so the journey began. At first I thought this yoga stuff is sooooooo boring!!!! But apparently it’s good for me so I’ll keep going once a week. Over time I started to feel different from doing yoga, better, alive, maybe even a little more vulnerable, and next thing I knew I was going 3 days a week, than 5, then every day. And then my entire life changed! As soon as the internal work was happening every day my external living environment shifted too.
Who has inspired/does inspire your practice?
I have been inspired by many teachers & books over the last 20 years, but during the last 10 years my students have and continue to be my real inspiration, they are my teachers and mirror’s on and off the mat! Yoga is my lifestyle, it’s not what I am or what I do, but rather it’s now become a way of living for me. I am reminded of the teachings that Yoga is based on everyday and this is what I try to share with my students, the yoga sutra’s, the Indian scriptures about the authenticity of Yoga and where it actually came from and the purpose of Yoga.
When and why did you become a yoga teacher?
Hahahahaha well this is where I say “be careful what you say out loud!”. About 10 years ago a Yoga Teacher I had for many years once said to me after a morning yoga class “Tara, you don’t seem very happy in your life! What would you really like to do?” and I responded, “Well I would love to do what you do, teach yoga and walk around with bare feet”! 3 months later through a series of events in my corporate life, I found myself packing up my little red car and driving 9 hours north to an Ashram outside of Byron Bay, Australia where I completed my first 200hr Yoga Teacher Training.
I live my life by the “flow effect” when things are moving go with it! When they stop turn around and find your flow again! Since completing my first YTT the rest fell and continues to fall as it should! I dabbled in teaching casually for some studio’s in my local area and then I “accidentally” opened up my own little shala in Newcastle, Australia, as the flow effect continued to expand I also moved into corporate yoga, SUP yoga, outdoor yoga, international yoga, yoga retreats, yoga teacher trainings, trauma-sensitive yoga and the journey continues still.
What can people expect from your classes?
Ummmm to sweat! Hahaha no really I believe Yoga is a journey just as the Bhagavad Gita states “Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self”, and this is what I believe every session is. During flow sessions, I teach a lot of options allowing each practitioner to choose what they feel like practicing on that day, so people can be as passive or dynamic through their flow as they wish! Whilst during Yin & restorative sessions we venture down a slower mediative route, working through the more subtle parts of the self, and perhaps visiting the mental body or shifting thoughts.
What’s your favourite pose(s)?
I love anything that flows, movement to breathe, and fun flowing transitions, but my fav 2 yoga poses at the moment are Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon) and different variations of Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (One-Legged King Pigeon Pose).
How does it feel being back at Surf Maroc?
Awesome! It feels fresh and even though the local area has had many changes and Surf Maroc as a business has grown dramatically in the last 3 years, it feels like home again! Almost like I never left 😉
How is it teaching in the new Amouage shala?
Fun! It’s got a really cool industrial vibe whilst sitting high on the ocean. We have lovely big windows that surround the shala allowing not only the cool breeze through but the sound of the ocean below is melodic to teach and practice with. It’s a very cool space!
What’s your favourite thing about Villa Mandala?
Well Mandala was my home for a few years so I definitely have an unconditional love for the space, I love that it’s nestled away on the edge of the village next to the ocean, the roof top shala is beautifully quirky, each room is unique, the gardens that surround the villa are delicious and really I just love Retreats! So for me it’s always about the chilled retreat vibes it’s got going on 🙂
What advice would you give to people coming on a YSR?
I would start doing some exercise 6 weeks leading up to your holiday. Whatever fitness you’re comfortable with. Perhaps walking/running, maybe try a few yoga classes if you’re not already practicing, perhaps 2 – 3 sessions a week, and it’s always a great idea to start doing some upper body work so that you have a little conditioning before you hit the surf and your yoga mat with us!