Quick and candid conversation with Amsterdam/Bali-Based Naturopath Dr. Andrea Paige about Tamil martial arts, her crush on Jason Silva and whether or not she plans on teaching in Antarctica.
By John Holcomb
Who is this international woman of mystery?
Andréa Paige (ND, MSc, E-RYT 500) is an Amsterdam/Bali-Based Naturopath, empowering people to take their health back into their own hands. Raising the bar on health, Andréa teaches in a fun-loving, accessible manner. Her robust educational foundation provides Andréa with a unique perspective in the healing world. Advanced studies in: Nutrition, Evolutionary Anthropology, Ethnobotany, Iridology, Colon Hydrotherapy and Yoga Therapy have culminated in a Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine.
For the past nearly 4 years, Andréa served as the Director of Detox Programs at the renowned Yoga Barn in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia, and now leads retreats independently worldwide. Her work focuses around equipping high achieving young professionals with instruments for inner exploration: explorations in "inner tuition" and ringing them back to a deep sense purpose and a vital connection to their aliveness. Oh, and she asked if you would stop by for tea @ liveforvitality.com!
5(ish) Questions for Dr. Andréa Paige
JOHN: Do you prefer I call you Dr. Paige or Andréa?
DR. PAIGE: Call me “Andi”, please John! I'm trying to get rid of that professional ego. I've been called Andi since the day I was born. :)
JOHN: OK then — What sets your soul on fire Andi?
ANDI: Haha! John… did you get that from my e-mail tagline…?! Hmmm… I AM fire, so it doesn't take much to alight my soul! Alas, I suppose what excites me is seeing people fully immersed in their dharma, their path, their life project and their passion! When you're connected into the flow and doing the work you were put here on earth to do, you radiate. When I am in this place, or I see you there, my soul is set ablaze!
JOHN: To put it mildly — you're pretty 'international' Andi. Is there anywhere you HAVEN’T taught or studied yoga yet? Antarctica perhaps????
ANDI: Hahaha… that's correct. Antarctica is indeed the only continent to which I've yet to travel. I've been blessed to voyage through more than 50 countries over the past 3 decades. I'm stoked to add Sri Lanka to the list this April, as Larry and I convene for the launch of our much-anticipated 300 hour Yoga Teacher Training! April's Self Module will land on the banks of the Indian Ocean. The most powerful part of this training is that it is a training in self… development, discovery and mastery. And thus, it can come alive as a stand-alone retreat for someone not even looking to pursue a 300hr teacher's training! This course will be the highlight of the deep, intimate, all-in transformational space that I thrive in guiding. Are you joining us, John?!
JOHN: If I can frolic with elephants and surf half the time... Next Question — If I can be so bold, where did you and Yoga first 'bump' into each other?
ANDI: (In a flawless Irish accent) 'Twas high school gym class... John. Believe it or not! God bless the good ‘ole US of A and the physical education curriculum! Or, perhaps, bless my out-of-the-box-thinking butch gym teacher. Either way, it was right there - in child’s pose - that I consciously felt for the first time, my nervous system switch from sympathetic to parasympathetic. That priceless, seductive relaxation response… and the rest is history, really.
You know, John, it's said - that if you're a yogi in this lifetime, you've been a yogi in lifetimes past. So, it only took 14 ripe years (and a few expensive dance classes) to re-discover my path! Coming into the Yoga Asana world from a childhood studio dancing career, I had to find the sthira to my sukha. I was already flexible; it was my strength that needed to be uncovered. It's been a rewarding path, filled with humbling moments. I know I'm blessed to have the opportunity to be where I am in my dharma and in my karma. I try to make shit happen as passively as possible (she candidly winks...).
JOHN: Can you tell us about a particular “a-ha” yoga moment that led to a major breakthrough in your practice?
ANDI: Ha! Yea - I stepped foot in India. My first teacher that trip was a Kalari (Tamil martial arts) teacher, and I had so much judgement about "this isn't yoga!" Those several months were the foundational rebirth of my spiritual existence in this lifetime. It wasn't until I sunk my toes into the red earth of Indian soil that I even began to realize, oh... yoga is LIFE. There is no ‘on mat’ / ‘off mat’. And these asana are not yoga. Yoga is so much more.
JOHN: Indeed. though, in our humanity... perhaps you can share with readers a guilty pleasure of yours - to prove that Yogis are people too?
ANDI: Jaw dropped to a 'ha!', she raises her eyebrows and eyes go wide in sheer surprise... Me?! Anyone who knows me knows I'm arguably one of the physically cleanest (and this most sensitive) "modern" humans on this planet. I've dedicated this lifetime to the practice of fasting and cellular cleansing - so no John, no diet/drink related vices here. Mmmm...I suppose my massive obsession with rare, tropical fruits?! Eek! But you're looking for a "guilty pleasure".... hmmmm. Endless hours doing NOTHING but surfing around the Internet, procrastinating, learning, allowing no-mind time?! Ok - chick flicks?? Okay, pass.
JOHN: Massive obsessions with tropical fruits...?
ANDI: Well, in line with our evolutionary past, ripe, juicy fruits are the fastest-digesting and most easily-absorbed and energy-efficient food! So, they fill out most of my dietary intake. Thus, to seek and find varieties beyond the supermarket commercial clutches is alluring… rare varieties and unknown species of incredibly sweet deliciousness!
JOHN: What’s a misconception non-yoga practitioners have about yoga that kinda bugs or entertains you?
ANDI: Hey, any misconception is only an invitation for connection. Thus, I'd rather not judge what someone else thinks or perceives, as I'm not in their head! One thing that could be communicated better? Yoga is not just asana. But you could change the question a bit, John! Maybe ask: "What do you wish the world perceived more clearly about Yoga?" She laughs at her own gumption... And my answer would be: Yoga is an antidote to the depression (disconnection) in the modern world. All aspects of Yoga will benefit everyone who opens to the practice of depth in their life!
JOHN: Love it. States of depth. As a guide to get there, is there a movie, book or song that has stuck with you recently that you’d like to recommend?
ANDI: Wow! All the time. So many. I allow them to come and go and flow with non-attachment. So I often don't remember! I deeply enjoy films that capture the human spirit and bring buckets of tears streaming from these human eyes... I normally watch films on flights, one after another, so the names escape me. For all-time books, especially in the Yogic sphere: Be Here Now by Ram Dass and his commentary book on the Bhagavad Gita - Paths to God.
And music? Mmmm, what a joy! These days I am still soaking up my oldies but goodies like Missy Higgins (AUS) or Elijah Aaron (USA) and anything from Motown (...ooh yeaaa) to embracing new, passionate souls like Trevor Hall and The Cinematic Orchestra. I'm moved by honest, passionate catharsis!
Oh wait! and my last recommendation.. somehow I'm behind the clocks on this one, but I've just discovered Jason Silva! Online video producer/star - and I can't get enough. I haven't intellectually crushed this hard since my professor back in undergrad! And yes, he's all Yoga... whether he knows it or not!
JOHN: You mean this guy???
ANDI: (blushing) Yep, that's him! (girlish, yet somehow Yogic, giggles)
JOHN: Ok, last question (I promise) — what dynamite question should I jump start my next yogi interview with?
ANDI: Oooolala - I suppose, "What is your dharma, your mission in this lifetime?"
JOHN: And if I made you answer....?
ANDI: Easy! I'm here to empower people to experience a new sense of aliveness in their humanity. My unique perspective in this lifetime allows for a refreshing yet radical new way to look at life! Engaging with complexity and simplifying it for application. Doses of wisdom on how to live WELL in an increasingly challenging world. Lifestyle medicine.
JOHN: I bow to you, Andi
ANDI: Better you bow to the Guru within, John! :D
JOHN: God you're good! See you in Sri Lanka, Andi.
ANDI: Alright... I'll race you to the elephants!
Andréa Paige (ND, MSc, E-RYT 500) is an Amsterdam/Bali-Based Naturopath, empowering people to take their health back into their own hands. You can learn more about Andi and her upcoming events on her website.
John Holcomb is an occasional writer, digital marketing consultant and 70's game show enthusiast. His company (Outrigger3) is based in Madison, WI where he lives with his two boys, Teddy and Milo. John hopes to be joining Andrea, Larry and the elephants in Sri Lanka April 1 - April 10. www.outrigger3.com