I interviewed Tamal Dodge, owner and founder of YogaCo in Santa Monica, CA. I received my 200 hour Yoga Alliance teacher training from Tamal. He is teaching this weekend at the Tadasana Festival... definitely be sure to check out one of his classes! Inspirational, loving and fulfilling.
Where are you from? The north shore of Oahu.
When did you start practicing yoga? I started from birth as my family raised us in a donation based yoga ashram.
What did you want to “be” when you grew up? I wanted to be a rock star and I pursued it for a while in my high school years. I was signed to MM Records and toured the country. It was an interesting time.
What is your overall intention when you walk into a yoga room to teach? I want to teach the best class possible. If I feel it was an okay class I feel I some how didnt deliver to the students. That I didn't give them 100%. I want to give them something special every time.
What keeps you balanced? Mediating every day and spare moment.
What throws you off center? Well everyone gets those curve balls in life. The unexpected. But when I find myself in those situations I have to meditate and reset my intention for life. Because usually when you are in distress it's because you wanted something to go your way and it doesn't. So you have to be able to eat humble pie and move on.
Who inspires you? This may sound cliche but its the way I truly feel...
I am inspired by Buddha, Jesus, Alaha, Arjuna, Ghandi (left)... as they made significant change and didn't care what other people thought. they just wanted to speak "Truth." Not to mention they lived and breathed what they taught. It's inspiring.
What advice do you have for a beginner yoga student? like anything in life the first time you do it your not gonna get it perfect. I encourage students to go slow and do what they can and try to make it fun vs something your trying to get something out of.
What advice do you have for someone who’s practiced for years? The word Yoga means to Yoke or unite with God. So for someone who is practicing the asana for some time would be to take there practice to the next level of yoga. To mediate and start on the process of yoking with the higher being.
what is your favorite yoga pose or series and why? I love A and B series in sun salutes. It's so balanced. If you can only do A and B series in a day that's all you really need!
Do you eat raw food? Yes, I love raw food. I was a raw foodist for 1 year in high school. Now I just eat the yoga diet (i.e. no meat, fish or eggs) lots of greens and and whole grains. Water is my beverage of choice.
What’s your favorite food? (doesn’t have to be healthy!!!!) I love veggie burgers, sweet heart fries and an agave root beer.
Do you have a favorite quote? "You must be the change you wish to see in the world" ~Ghandi These are words to live by.