26 May Yoga teachers in focus: Duncan Peak
Welcome to our new series Yoga teachers in focus, giving you front row seats while we pick your Power Living yoga teacher’s minds on all things yoga. You have let them into your home yoga studios over the past weeks with open hearts and now it’s our turn to share their yoga journey with you. Giving you insight into why they are leaders in the field of yoga and how yoga supports them during challenging times. We will kick off the series with the Founder, Master Facilitator and CEO of Power Living, and the original pioneer of contemporary yoga in Australia: Duncan Peak. So grab yourself a cuppa and let’s get better acquainted.
Q&A with Duncan Peak
With 19 years’ of teaching experience behind him, he continues to share his modern-day yoga philosophy with the community. He’s not only smashing the traditional yoga stereotypes – it’s his creative vision and courageous spirit that has shaped what Power Living is today.
Duncan’s epic yoga classes will take you on a powerful and transformational journey. He is not only known as a Founder of Modern Yoga in Australia and as a powerful, effective and strong, yet caring yoga teacher. If you have been on one of the Power Living yoga retreats, you’ll have experienced first-hand how his teachings can transform and change your life.
1. How and when did you first get into yoga?
I got into meditation initially to deal with grief as a young teenager and then physically at 24 yrs old. I started Astanga styles of yoga to rehab my body after an injury that caused me to be medically discharged from the Army, and I also was seeking more mental health.
2. Who most influences your yoga teaching style, and why?
There are too many to list! I have trained in most significant styles and under many well-known and not so well-known teachers. But Astanga, Baptiste, Iyengar, Anusara & Shivananda are the main styles I have trained in and Georg Ferdenstein for traditional yoga studies.
3. Who’ve you studied under?
Pattabhi Jois, Paramaguru Sharath Jois, Iyengar of Mysore, Puyja Swami Saraswathi of Paramarth Niketan, Annie Carpenter, Baron Baptiste, Lance Schuler and the list goes on and on. But, being a founder of Modern Yoga in Australia, I have had to self study a lot, and not really had an Australian teacher of sorts. Most of my training was done with older traditional teachers before the yoga explosion in Australia. I have also completed an Advanced Diploma in NeuralSpinology, which has helped my anatomical understanding immeasurably.
4, What was one of the most influential moments under one of these teachers?
Baron Baptiste made me connect to a real mental and spiritual style of teaching and practicing yoga that transforms your character. It was revolutionary in Australia 16 years ago, and it now has influenced the whole industry. Yoga is so much more than just the physical practice, although that is its most prominent doorway in.
5, Can you describe your yoga teaching style in 3 words?
Transformational, experienced and caring.
6, What aspect of yoga are you most inspired by?
Character transformation and connecting with something bigger than our little selves.
7. What is the latest challenge your personal practice is bringing you, and how are you meeting that challenge?
After 20 years, It’s all about longevity physically and being more graceful under pressure as part of my character. I meet the challenge by honouring what my body needs at 45 yrs of age and not pushing into poses it naturally doesn’t need or want to. I meet the harder challenges by being ruthlessly honest with myself, seeking feedback, and accepting what it is. And I meditate a lot to ensure I am grounded for the obstacles ahead.
8. What is your practice offering you right now that you couldn’t live without?
Wow, hmmm really in these times, I suppose a connection to our community and a way to support my staff’s livelihood. It’s the teaching I am getting so much out of …
9. Why do you love teaching yoga?
I enjoy seeing people transform their own character with our’s and yoga’s offering. I love creating class philosophies that challenge the state of consciousness people are working on and inspiring them to evolve!
10. If you wouldn’t teach yoga, what would you do instead?
Builder, surfer or maybe an actor.
11. What’s your personal self-care ritual?
Eating clean and loving my family.
12. Favourite pose, and why you can’t live without it?
Down Dog. Whole backline release … I have tight calves and feet, and it helps align my entire body.
And lastly, what advice do you live by?
If you want to test a person’s character, don’t give them adversity, give them power. It’s very personal to me and very true, I have been tested, my character has lacked but in seeing that it has grown.
Thank you very much, Duncan.
Online Yoga Teacher Training lead by Duncan
Keen to dive deeper into your yoga practice? As a Power Living first, you can now embark on your online 200 hr Yoga Teacher Training journey. The course starts on June 8 and spots are already filling. This is your once in a lifetime opportunity to participate in one of Australia’s most powerful Teacher Training, wherever you are in the world.
Whether you want to be an inspiring teacher, refresh your skills as a teacher or to simply deepen your knowledge, our online courses and teacher training will give you exactly what you need. If you are still undecided, get in touch with the team and get all your burning questions answered.
But not only that, you can practice with Duncan live streaming directly into your home now as well. Check the timetable and join him for one of his epic vinyasa classes. His studio classes are always packed to the brim, but these days you even score front-row seat or mat!
See you on the mat, yogis!
Written by Power Living Team