Joanna Louise were the names “given” to me for this lifetime and I inherited Lancaster as a surname…lovingly teasing me, I have been nicknamed Ladyjo by friends, who say that though I am a local here in Switzerland, my “Britishness” stands out.
My big love? Cycling through cities, country roads, or riding an old-timer motorbike in Asia, especially before the crack of dawn, when the night has not yet vanished. As the blanket of darkness wraps around all and prior to when lampposts switch off, thus announce a new day.
Spending a lot of time in the kitchen creating dishes, for myself, and my loved ones is an immense joy. Reading cooks books like novels, and being inspired by other magicians of the kitchen as well as all around the world, is where I seek innovation, inspiration for my own food. Cooking is my other passion besides yoga.
At 17, I started hanging out with some Sadhus, on the Ghats of Varanasi, with no idea who those Holy Men were. Time in their presence was just “cool” and uplifting to me. It took another few trips to the Mother and a lot of convincing before I dared lay a foot on a yoga mat……
Alignment-based Iyengar I practiced during my twenties, visiting numerous times Usha Devi in Rishikesh, Ashtanga then stole my heart…. my teachers, Sharath Jois, Sharmila Desai I every year spend some time with to hone the skills that emerge from the practice of Yoga. In the past, I have also taken part in many “intensives” or month-long programs, with Richard Freeman, Prem and Radha, teacher trainings that have been insightful as well as transformative. I dedicate several months each year to growing as a disciple.
I have had no career, nor did I study much, at school that is. Life on the road and in communities have been my way of education, as well as books. I worked many “dirty, however honorable jobs” to slowly climb the ladder, and at the age of 27 was running a well-renowned Archeological Art Gallery. A self-made Lady, self-employed since she was 30.
Though society has given me the label of “Yoga Teacher”, and that is for how I earn a living, I first and foremost consider myself a traveler, a poet, a bookworm, a foodie, a music junkie, a lover of beauty that can be discovered and seen in many places when the mind is in a calmer state. Thus always a discoverer, foolish player, imaginative chef, writer, happy auntie, sister, daughter, loyal friend, seeker, and forever a student of yoga.
Oh and… when it comes to formalities…I have acquired “hundreds” of hours certified “Yoga Alliance”. On the way, sat the 300 Hours Jivamukti Teacher Training out of a passion for Yoga.
However, I had the immense honour of being blessed by the Big Boss “Sharathji JOIS” to teach the second series of Ashtanga Yoga, which is my daily practice:
Forever grateful for all my teachers that have touched and carved my “heart”.