Fiona Devaney — yogi, designer, entrepreneur

Mind, body, spirit — did one element or another first draw you to yoga? That is, were you seeking to settle your mind? Have greater physical flexibility? Explore your true, spiritual nature?

body — I was a model and after a few hours of wearing heels on a job, my lower back and my feet would ache — my posture would collapse — a client complained to my agency and my booker suggested I do yoga or ballet to strengthen my core and relax my low back — I went with yoga

How about now: does yoga feed your mind or your body or your spirit more, or are those elements more in balance than when you started?

all three are fed by my practice — the balance shifts depending on what’s going on in my life, but body, mind and spirit are so intertwined that they all affect each other

How long have you been practicing yoga?

consistently? for more than 20 years

How frequently do you practice yoga?

at least 5 days a week

What are the benefits of classes at a studio vs practicing yoga at home?

the community at a studio is by far the biggest benefit — energy is everything — synching your movements and breath with a room full of like minded people is very powerful — you support each other

Do you have a preferred yoga style?

no — I love to mix it up

When you were starting out, what came easiest and what was more challenging?

nothing was easy when I started! I’ve always been very strong but very inflexible, which made every pose feel like I was doing it with resistance bands — I was always ‘fighting’ my inflexibility which made everything so much harder

What have been the greatest benefits of yoga for you?

less stress and the ability to observe my thoughts, instead of being unconsciously driven by them

Apart from yoga, do you practice other techniques of mindfulness or meditation?

I practice Transcendental Meditation twice a day — I try to set aside time for a breathwork session at least once a week (wish it was more) and I try to get in a holotropic breathwork session at least once a month — I recently started journaling every day and it really helps to settle my mind

Do you regularly do other forms of exercise?

yes — I do pilates and I run — I also love to surf

Outside of a yoga session, do you ever just strike a pose and stretch? If so, which pose(s) and where?

I try to start each day with a handstand against the wall — I just kick up — it’s a great way to start the day — I feel so accomplished — I really want to develop a strong handstand practice in the middle of the room and consistency is the only way I’ll get there

You have a choice: take part in a yoga class (1) outdoors on a beautiful day, overlooking the ocean, or (2) in a well-designed, very comfortable minimalist indoor space. Which do you pick?

the indoor space! — to me, sweat and sunscreen don’t mix so I’m not a fan of outdoor yoga — a beautiful, quiet indoor space is much more my style

—interview © Marshal Zeringue