July 18, 2018
We’re big fans of various breathing and stretching techniques here at TSN, with the former good for destressing and maintaining focus and direction, while the latter brings the flexibility that, along with regular strength and cardio training, is one of the pillars of both a vigorous youth and successful aging.
We were thus thrilled when Nuša Pevc got in touch with us to talk about her business, World of Nush, for the reasons outlined below…
You have quite an interesting background – what is it, and why did you make the move to yoga?
All my life I have been looking for a job that would allow me to express my creativity and to help others at the same time. That’s also the reason why I decided to become a journalist. But after a few years, I realized journalism wasn’t what I had expected. I wanted more from life than a 9-to-5 job, I just wasn’t sure how to find my real purpose.
I knew I wanted to travel, so I quit my job, moved out of Slovenia and started working as a flight attendant. Yoga was always there in the background, waiting for the right moment. When my wish of going to India to study yoga grew strong enough, I made the decision and spent three very inspiring months in this wonderful country. I did that mainly for myself, I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to teach yoga – until I taught my first class.
A student came to that class, who had problems with alcohol, drugs, insomnia, you name it. At the end of the class he told me that for the first time in years he was able to relax without the use of any substances. And in that moment, I realized, without doubt, this was what I wanted to do in life – helping people with yoga.
Can you tell us something about your business?
I travelled a lot, and I also lived abroad for a few years (Australia, Dubai, India, Canada), and I think this helped me develop a unique way of running my classes and my yoga school. I found inspiration in many places I’ve visited, in all the people I met around the world, and in all the different jobs I tried, which taught me a lot and helped me develop my own style. I am always looking for new ideas, for small details that make my yoga classes different from other people’s, while still preserving the traditional teachings of real yoga from India (so no goat or beer yoga or any other nonsense). Also, yoga in Slovenia is not as popular yet as it is in other Western countries, but I feel like it’s my mission to change that.
This summer, I tried to work with some hotels in the most touristic destinations, but unfortunately most of them don’t see the great potential of yoga – not yet. They also don’t see the potential of our beautiful coastline!
This didn’t stop me and I started on my own: I offer drop-in classes all over the Slovene coast, right by the sea, and visitors love it. There’s no better feeling than doing yoga at the beach in the quiet morning, listening to the sounds of the waves. To make the morning experience even more special, I joined forces with my sister who makes healthy, vegan, homemade granola, and now we offer yoga and breakfast at the beach. I really can’t imagine a better start of the day.
How did you get the idea to combine yoga and breakfast?
One of my friends gave me the idea. I was just helping my sister with her business and he said he would love to come to my yoga class in the morning and have my sister’s granola for breakfast after the class. I thought it was a great idea, and the week after we were already at the beach eating granola after yoga class. When I look for ideas I put myself in the shoes of potential students, and ask myself what would make the experience special for me.
So who are your customers, and do you teach in English or Slovene?
The people who come to my morning classes are mostly tourists from all over the world (although a lot of them from Germany) which is great, because I love to meet new people from other countries. So far, I’ve had students from the US, UK, Serbia, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Australia, France and Russia. And of course, a few from Slovenia.
As I said, we still need to work on the promotion of yoga in Slovenia, especially at the coast. I teach in Slovene and English, depending on the group. But most Slovenians speak English, so it’s never a problem. I prefer teaching in English, because my teacher training courses and most of the yoga classes I attended were in English, so it’s very natural for me. I also offer weekly yoga classes in English for expats living in Ljubljana (from September to June) and Lucija (all year long).
What kind of yoga do you teach?
I combine different types of yoga, but mostly Hatha and Vinyasa. I like the connection of movement and breath, and I like the class to have a flow. But I think holding poses for longer periods of time is even more important, because that is when we learn the most about ourselves. Yoga for me is mainly self-exploration and the training of awareness, which makes our lives easier and better.
Every week we work on a certain theme, because in my classes we are not only exercising our bodies, but also our minds. The problem with yoga as often practiced in the West is that it focuses mainly on the physical aspects, but the psychological and mental benefits are even more important, especially with today’s lifestyles. In my classes, I try to balance between the physical and spiritual aspects of yoga, between the traditional and modern approaches.
Where can people join a class?
In summer I have classes almost every day at different locations around the Slovenian coast (Piran, Izola, Koper, Portorož, Bernardin, Belveder…). The most up-to-date schedule can be found on my website (here).
During the training season (September to June) I teach several classes at the Slovene coast and in Ljubljana, in Slovene and in English. In summer I concentrate mostly on the yoga at the beach, because it’s nicer to practice outside. I still have one class in Ljubljana on Mondays, and a few indoor classes in Piran and Lucija.
Do people need to sign up for a course, or can tourists just “drop-in” for a session or two while in Slovenia?
All summer classes are drop-in, so registration isn’yt necessary, but I always like to have an idea of how many people are coming, so I know how many breakfasts and yoga mats to bring. WhatsApp works great, and most people usually let me know they are coming to the class. (The phone number is +386 3155 1804.)
Do people need some experience?
My classes are suitable for everyone: complete beginners and more experienced yogis. Sometimes I have a person who has never done yoga before and a yoga teacher, both attending the same class. Once I had a student who came to my class with crutches, he wasn’t able to walk or stand on his own, but he was practicing side by side with advanced students. I offer different variations for all levels of experience, so everyone feels at ease.
On your website you offer retreats – where do these take place, and how long do they last?
Yoga retreats are my big passion, and in the future, I’m planning to organize retreats in different places around the world. For now, I am focusing on locations around Slovenia and short three-day retreats. My main goal is to give people a great experience while keeping the price as low as possible. I would like my retreats to be accessible to everyone, because everyone deserves three days of complete relaxation.
My next yoga retreat will be from the 20th to the 23rd of September (2018), and it’s going to be very special. I got the idea for it in Bali where I attended a silent retreat. We are going to spend three days in silence, in a house in Bohinj, very close to the lake, surrounded by beautiful nature. Most people think that silence means not speaking, but it’s much more: it’s also not engaging in meaningless conversations or thought patterns, not distracting ourselves by watching TV, listening to the radio or using the phone. It can sound scary, because people don’t know how to live without these anymore. But taking a break from them it’s exactly what we all need.
Of course, there will be yoga, meditation, books and other activities to make it easier. And the food will be amazing, prepared by a great cook and nutritionist. This one will be an international retreat, so all the yoga, meditation classes and other activities will be in English.
What are some of the benefits that yoga has given you?
Yoga gave me a deeper understanding of myself. Now I know how to listen to my body better, recognize emotions, calm my mind. I live life with greater awareness of my inner world and the world that surrounds me. I feel more awake, I see things more clearly. With yoga I'm also training my nervous system, which helps me manage stressful situations better. Yoga helps me bring my awareness into the present moment, where there is no space for stress, fears or worries. The strength and flexibility of my body are just nice side effects.
Anything else you’d like to say?
I would like to invite everyone to give yoga a try. At most yoga studios the first visit is free, and if you don’t like that one, try another one. I truly believe yoga has the answer for most of our problems, because yoga teaches us to look for those answers inside of us.