An ancient physical, mental and spiritual practice, yoga has been at the centre of fitness regimes across the world. In today’s society the fitness fandom is taking over across all platforms, this new culture is dedicated to promoting an active healthy lifestyle. This November, Ashford Castle has decided to join in on this trend and host an exclusive Yoga Retreat presented by famed Insens yoga instructor, Ata Baechler.
The focus of the retreat is to offer an escape from the fast paced environment we are all too used to; all the while being pampered and nurtured in the luxury of one of Ireland’s most magnificent castle properties. Ata Baechler has been living the life of a yogi for many years. During a one-on-one interview, Ata Baechler describes his daily routine, his spiritual insights and the influence yoga has on his life.
1. When and how did you first discover yoga? What was it about yoga that appealed to you?
I discovered yoga early on in my childhood through my father who was a yogi, and he introduced me to some of the teachings and reading material. I started practicing early on, experimenting with the techniques I was reading about and starting the journey of the exploration of the self. The first steps along that path were though meditation and finding the inner connection that ultimately leads to the oneness.
2. What is the greatest lesson your master ever taught you?
The greatest lesson I have learned from all the master that have crossed my path is to keep faith and cultivating a constant trust and gratitude towards life.
3. Can you tell by instinct if a person will take to yoga naturally if they've never done it before? Is it possible for anyone to master yoga with practice?
Yoga is a science and a method. Anyone can self-realize it just needs constant practice. People are generally looking for quick recognition and effortless result but constant practice and angry determination are the keys to success. Some people are predisposed to evolve faster on the path and many signs will manifest.
4. What is your morning or daily yoga routine like?
5. Can you describe your average day?
Life is generous enough to never give me an average day but always a day full of the richness of life and experiences. I feel very grateful every day.
6. How important is meditation to you? How often do you practice it?
Meditation is the most important part of the yoga practice. Meditation is a way to check in with your inner barometer and see where you are at. If you don’t do this, it is very hard to know where to start. You need to do routine check-ups to your car to make sure everything is running properly and the same principle applies to your own mental and physical being. Morning meditation is the perfect place to check in.
7. Why should yoga feature in our daily lives, how has it benefited your life?
I believe Yoga should be constantly present in our lives – to me, it’s as important as breathing. I constantly use everything I experience in life to evaluate and practice the yoga and the yogic principles applying the yamas and the nyamas. This is what yoga is all about.
8. What advice do you have for someone who wants to pursue yoga professionally?
Yoga is not a profession but a way of living life.
9. How do you compare your life now with your life before yoga?
Yoga has always been part of my life. I see how the practice has evolved and guided me over the years towards my true nature connecting me to the “self”.