Meet Yogayda: Healer to the stars + holder of bhuti hearts

Described by Kate Winslet as ‘the teacher who got under her skin’, inspirational international teacher and healer Ayda Koc is returning to bhuti for a whole weekend.

As she says "YOGAYDA is about connection, with yourself, with others and to the heart. It’s about connecting with both your light and darkness. Drawing on my personal experiences with pain and desire to help clients reach their full potential in life, my Yogayda therapy, naturopathic abilities and shamanic healing style is always inspirational and intuitive."

Bringing light, love + laughter to all who meet her, we caught up with Ayda to find out where it all began + what we can expect at each of her workshops...


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bhuti are forever inspired by your energy and aura but for those who haven’t met you yet, who is Ayda?

Born half-Turkish and half Italian, I have a La Dolce-Vita spirit, often loud, emotional but always colourful! I like to create a trustworthy, yet professional space where we can turn detailed sharings and serious subjects into excitement, simple understanding and joy. I like to be cheeky and no matter what celebrity, superstar or VIP I work with, I will always be playful, cheeky and authentic. My favourite slogan is ‘Just do it!’ and ‘Keep it simple.’
 

So tell us, how did your journey begin?

I had a conversation with a doctor after I had gone down to nine-percent body fat, which is quite dangerous for a woman. He was concerned for me – mostly mentally, as I didn’t have anorexia or anything like that, I was just addicted to sports. I think I was compensating for my sadness of not being able to dance ballet anymore. I had started jogging again and my Asthma became worse, I was having dizzy, fainting spells… I realised that I may never be able to do the sport I loved again and so signed up to a professional yoga studio.


And then you started teaching?

I had started practicing yoga daily although my journey into teaching began while I was in India. I didn’t practice yoga but did some charity work in a small village. It was here that a fifth generation Brahmin who owned a Tantric ashram came to me and said “I hear a lot about you and what you are doing for this village. I would like to invite you for dinner in my ashram.”

I felt a bit intimidated and declined the invite. Of course, the Brahmin thought I was quite rude and sent someone over to remind me of his invitation. She very kindly said to me that if someone like him invites you to dinner, you shouldn’t say no. So in the end I went, and he told me straight away that he wanted to train me to be a teacher, and asked if I wanted to ‘save’ people. I burst into tears – I didn’t know what he was seeing in me but it resonated. I was always having people end up on my sofa telling me their life stories or helping people after yoga classes. So it was here, really, that the true connection to yoga, Tantra and me started. I stayed in India to train with him for five years (off and on), and after that I did two more yoga teacher training courses including Anusara yoga.


Inspired by your beautiful story, we can’t wait for for your Yogayda weekend. Can you tell us a little about the Yogayda method?

The Yogayda method is Anusara based. Once you’ve tried this, you are hooked – the alignments and adjustments are so profound and the healing benefits are amazing. I also use my Shamanic drum and other instruments. I use sage and work with the moon constellations, plus I incorporate Tantric flow.


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For those intrigued but are still yet to try, what is tantric dance?

Tantric Dance is about letting go of your mask(s). It helps you to stop feeling pressures or to be the perfect employee, co-worker, wife, husband, parent, daughter or son. It's about letting go, being free and even wild. Nothing should stop you from feeling yourself again! Tantric is there to unlock your fullest potential – be it physically, emotionally, spiritually, professionally.


Why would people benefit from taking part in tantric dance?

The benefits are simple. Unleash rules, burdens, heaviness, sadness, numbness, thoughts, anxiety and stress from your system. You need never to have danced before, no skill or level of dance is required!

 
You've worked with celebrities, business leaders + men + women of all ages. What can people expect from a 121 yoga healing session with you?

I want to help bring people to their fullest potential, with whatever tool I have to use. I am the best '7 in 1 Shampoo you can get' hehe! I am also a Shamanic healer, a trained counsellor, a naturopath, a transformational guide – sometimes yoga is just 20-percent of what I do for people, and I always work from the heart.  


YOGAYDA is about connection, with yourself, with others and to the heart. It’s about connecting with your light and darkness. Drawing on my personal experiences with pain and desire to help clients reach their full potential in life, my Yogayda therapy, naturopathic abilities and shamanic healing style is always inspirational and intuitive.


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Do you have any daily rituals to help you to stay mindful + connected to yourself?

I’ve maintained a personal practice over the years but it’s much more gentle now. I do a lot of Tantric breathing exercises, Kundalini and more yin yoga, which is female energy. I can practice for five minutes, half an hour or sometimes one and a half hours but I have let go of the pressure of putting my practice into my calendar as something I ‘have’ to do in order to be a good teacher. I believe you have to find a practice option you can live with; what your body tells you, not what any teacher tells you. For me, this includes meditating twice a day, setting conscious intentions and practicing awareness exercises and praying. It doesn’t have to be physical.


How can people get in touch with you?

www.yogayda.com or @Yogayda


Bhuti’s have the chance to be guided by Ayda over three workshops from the 29th September - 1st October. Choose one session or all of the below + reserve your space here.

  • Friday 29th 19.00 - 20.30: Tantric Tribal Dance Workshop £35
  • Saturday 30th or Sunday 1st: 1:1 healing and therapy sessions £125 each
  • Sunday 1st October 14.30 - 15.30: Anusara Heart Opening + Healing Yoga Workshop £35

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