Word of Mouth - Diane Dupres

Diane Dupres Yoga Teacher Massage Therapist

What made you decide to train as a Yoga teacher?

Yoga has always been a part of my life. In 2014, I lived in Jakarta and began going to yoga classes regularly and developing a meditation habit. In 2017, I became initiated in Shambhavi Mahamudra Kriya, which I practice daily. I suffered a major health scare in 2019 and was in hospital for two weeks. In the hospital I was still meditating and doing (very limited) yoga, which provided great amusement to the nurses and other patients, but I firmly believe it helped me heal. By the way, why is it that there were three TV rooms on my ward but nowhere to practice any self-care? Just a wee thought!

It was still a lengthy convalescence and I realized during that time that my lifestyle and work were unsustainable if I wanted to be well. Yoga healed me, so why not find a way to do more of it? I also wanted to retrain as a counsellor, but a friend suggested that I might be better training as a trauma-informed yoga teacher. This has been life-changing. To me, it's the ultimate expression of the yogic yama, Ahimsa (non-violence) and it seems the most loving way to share a yoga experience with trauma survivors. As a trauma survivor myself, I wish this treatment had been available to me when I was younger. If you self- identify as having had trauma, then you are always welcome to come to my classes. My practice has evolved to focus on listening and trusting in your own body, and it's about developing interception. I think you have to find the right teacher for you: (contact 0220 376547). I also don't look like a yoga warrior teacher; I don't have a lot of lycra and I have chunky bits!

What are the main ways you create balance in your life?

The state of my health has proven to be the most reliable compass. I like to think of it as keeping an eye on “the triangle of the three angry brothers”: Stress, Overwork and Diet. They each have to be kept in check or they can throw me off balance. They are brothers because they are related to each other, usually when one brother shows up, then the other two are not far behind. They are a terrible family! Fortunately there’s also the “home of the four loving sisters”, which for me are time with family and friends, meditation, connecting with nature and practising yoga, (which some of you may recognise as the model of Te whare tapa wha). As long as those sisters are being taken care of, then the angry brothers don’t bother me as much and I stay well.

How do you manage your health and fitness in a busy life?

Busyness is a modern plague - I try to avoid it!

Where are your favourite places in Otago to unwind?

I live out on the peninsula, so I’m really lucky that my home is my safe space where I can relax. I love to paint and draw looking out at the sea. Being able to walk Allans beach with the dog is a treat. I love it when my family and friends come and share a meal with me. Wherever there is green space, where there are birds, I feel so happy. I love swimming with the Chilli Dippers at Broad Bay and catching up with these amazing women. I'm quite a solitary person and I enjoy that there’s plenty of space to just be left alone on the peninsula. This is my tūrangawaewae.

What is your definition of a flourishing life?

For me there are three things: To engage - I need to connect with other people and engage with the rest of the world. To keep being fascinated by people and their ideas and beliefs. To have a sense of purpose - I need to feel that what I do is important in some way to me and to other people. That I am not wasting my life. This can be my job or my creative projects, as long as it brings meaning to my life, then I feel fulfilled. To matter - finally, the most important. I need to feel that I matter to people. That my wellbeing is important to them, that I am loved. This could be from friends, family or just the dog. You can be married and feel you don’t matter to your partner and you can be in a family and feel you don't matter to them. In the same way, I need to share how much my friends and family matter to me, daily, weekly, always.