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Interview: Patrick Beach and Carling Harps

by Bonnie Gill

You may have seen them handstand in the mountains of Italy… or maybe poolside in Bali.

Well, the secret is out – in November two of the most talented and inspirational international yogis, Patrick Beach and Carling Harps are stopping by Melbourne again for some teacher training as well as our new studio in Geelong for some workshops and to put it simply, we can’t wait.

The pair have travelled the globe passing on invaluable knowledge of their practice and teaching techniques and opened up their very own studio in LA. We’re so excited to welcome Patrick and Carling and all their wisdom back to the 213 studio!

We’re very happy to have you join us in Melbourne again. You both travel a lot – what are your favourite aspects of travelling? 

I think we both love the randomness of it all, meeting new people, eating different food, and living life in another city for a period of time. We try and immerse ourselves in the local culture because it keeps everything fresh and is a constant reminder of how many different ways there are to live life. It is easy for us to create patterns around the everyday needs of modern life, but changing things up is good. It keeps our minds open to all the possibilities life has to offer.

It must be hard to leave your adorable Italian Greyhound behind on trips, what’s he like? Yokai is a national treasure! He sleeps all day, then runs at Olympic Sprinter speeds, eats like a pup three or four times his size, and wants cuddles all night long. He is a total star and he knows it, going places with him can be a bit of a slow process because people want photos, especially when he wears his outfits, but we are getting used to it.

You’re both based in LA where you also opened a beautiful, sunlit studio last year. Tell us about Commune Yoga! Commune is our little space in East Los Angeles, an ode to the small old school neighborhood yoga studios. It is the official home of our Awakening Yoga Academy and has become a little hub for modern yogis in our neighborhood. It is a gift to be able to see students on a more regular basis then we do traveling and it has really helped us grow as teachers in our appreciation for other people’s time and effort.

It’s pretty chilly here in Melbourne at the moment. LA always seems sunny! What are some of your favourite things to eat/see/do in your hometown? Los Angeles has three amazing things that we are obsessed with – the food, the concerts, and the weather! There is always something to do here and you can enjoy going outside pretty much every day. The city is huge and very diverse there is so much to explore and enjoy but our most regular spot is the vegan soft serve place called Magpies, they have a black sesame flavor that is truly fantastic!

There’s lots of excited yogis ready to join you for the 25-hour Finding Centre Intensive. What do students have to look forward to and how can they prepare? A chance to reconnect to their own practice and teaching. We are going to help each person dive into their own love of yoga to find new ways to bring it to life through their teaching. It is going to be a lot of fun!

Can you tell us a bit more about ‘Awakening Yoga’? Awakening Yoga is our practice style that took over five years to create. It is based on the ritualistic nature of many classic yoga asana practices with an emphasis on modern functional movement and philosophy. Our goal with this practice is to help people become more conscious beings through the opportunity of challenge and the accessibility of effort.

Do you have any advice for newbies to the world of yoga, meditation and mindfulness?
Trust the process. It takes time, some days you will feel the changes and it will be wonderful, others you will be grasping at straws asking why you are doing Warrior 2 again or what the purpose of all these breathing exercises is anyway. Find ways to have fun with it, to learn from all that is happening, and enjoy your own efforts. Yoga and mindfulness practices are one of the few things in the world where there really is no end moment, it is just a journey of unpacking the layers of oneself to find a little peace and wellbeing from within.

The yogis at 213 live ‘To Be Happy’. What are your words to live by?
“stay hungry, stay free, do the best that you can” it is a lyric from an old Gaslight Anthem song that has always resonated with us. Pursue your passions with your best foot forward and be open minded along the way.

For more information on the 25-hour Finding Centre Intensive, follow the linkFor daily inspo, be sure to follow Patrick and Carling’s journeys on Instagram: @patrickbeach @carlingnicole.