At Home is a portrait series by photographer Chloe Paul, documenting BodyMindLife’s teachers in the spaces they have created to play and practice. We take a glimpse into their lives, explore their relationship with the practice, and investigate how they hold space for the community both virtually and within the physical structure of the studios.

Join us as we tune in with our Head of Yoga Noelle Connolly.

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Who are you/What do you teach?

My name is Noelle Connolly and I teach Yoga.

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Why were you originally drawn to Yoga?

I was originally drawn to the physical and mental aspects of the practice as well as the intense discipline that it requires.

How has your relationship to the practice changed since you began?

When I first started I thought more meant more. My practice now is all about refinement and economy of effort. I am always searching for how I can minimise my effort to get the greatest result. My mantra now is less is always more.

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You are lead facilitator of BodyMindLife’s Yoga program and Yoga Teacher Training. Can you tell us about that?

I feel extremely honoured to have both roles. Running the Yoga program at BML has gifted me the greatest friendships and relationships that I have ever had. The teachers and staff that make up the community are the best humans in the world. The teacher training program at BodyMindLife is without a doubt the best in Australia. The teachers are the most experienced and live and breathe the practice of yoga everyday. They share their knowledge so authentically. It is a true honour to be a part of such a talented team.

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What do you love about what you do?

I love the people. The students, teachers and staff that make up the dynamic community of BodyMindLife are my favourite part of the job.

What transformation do you see from the first time people walk into class/training to a few months down the track?

The biggest transformation I see is watching students move from unconscious movement and action to becoming extremely mindful and aware of every action that they take. It is beautiful to witness.

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What does your home practice mean to you?

It is my anchor. It keeps me grounded and present so that I can show up fully in every moment. I am a better human being because of my practice.

Has your perception of home changed in the last year?

For me home has never been about a physical space but rather about the people and places that I love. I have missed my family and my teachers terribly this year. I cannot wait to be able to travel again. I feel most at home when wandering around this beautiful world.

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Have you had any insights about yourself during this time?

I realised how important connection and community are for so many. Even though the online world has opened up opportunities, I will always be a champion for the in-person experience of teaching and sharing the practice of yoga.

You are introducing an Advanced Yoga Energetics training to the BodyMindLife community this April 2021. Can you tell us about that?

It is a training that I have wanted to do for a very long time and I think the community is ready for. I want to help teachers take their students deeper. To utilise the asana practice as a tool to dig under the surface. I have brought in 3 amazing guest teachers to help me explore all aspects of teaching through an energetic lens. It is going to be an amazing experience.

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Places in your Super Sequencing trainings book out as soon as the listings go live. Why do you think this particular training is so powerful?

Sequencing is not often taught in trainings. It is an area that most teachers struggle with if they do not have an understanding of the how and why. That is the main focus of the course…to understand why we select asana and how to intelligently put them together in a sequence using the principles of vinyasa krama. It is a huge subject and I have had students take the course several times because there is so much to explore.

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How do you feel when you’re in your flow?

I feel present and alive. Things seem effortless.

What are you watching/reading/listening to?

I am actually obsessed with playing Chess at the moment. My grandfather originally taught me the game and then I have had friends throughout the years help me understand the game better. I have recently taken it up again and literally have fallen in love. When I don’t have an actual human to play against I have been playing against the computer. It gives me the same feeling as my yoga practice. Complete absorption in the moment.

Practice with Noelle live and online, and connect with her on instagram.

About Chloe Paul

Chloe Paul is a portrait and social photographer from Sydney, Australia. Over the last decade, she has created imagery for Prada, Dior, Moet&Chandon, Burberry and Christian Louboutin. Her work has featured in Harpers Bazaar, Vogue, Elle and Instyle. When not working with influential publications and high profile personalities, she can be found capturing the world on her Hassleblad.

Noelle Connolly Head of Yoga

Noelle has a boundless curiosity for the practice, and is constantly driven to explore. She has a deep passion for inversions, harnessing the subtleties of the energetic body to defy gravity and move fluidly through space. Noelle’s classes are strong, creative and intelligently sequenced. Created to engage, refine and inspire, they are set to a background of meticulously curated music. She likes her students to leave class feeling informed, empowered and rejuvenated.

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