1- In less than a minute, tell us who you are and why we keep hearing good things about you.
My name is Paula Mitten. I am a dedicated yoga teacher and teacher trainer. I teach passionate yoga students to become highly trained, exceptional teachers who dream about making a difference in the lives of others. I continue to work with those teachers who are ready to build, grow, and scale their teaching practice and want to accelerate the process.
2- What were the pivotal roadblocks and challenges you encountered along the way that helped you define your path?
I originally trained in costume design and went to work in the TV and film industry. It was an exceptionally challenging journey that led me to seek out yoga methods to reduce stress and stay grounded. I was living an extremely stressful lifestyle, working long hours and not taking care of my body. It was because of this that I got my first introduction to breathing, relaxation, and eventually asana. I loved what yoga was giving me. I left the film industry and within a short time I decided to train as a yoga teacher. When I was training to become a yoga teacher, another yoga teacher remarked that I would never make a career out of teaching yoga and that I should forget about it! In that moment I made a conscious decision to prove him wrong. I knew the amazing benefits that I had received from the practice, I knew that I wanted to bring yoga to as many people as possible so that they, too, could receive the benefits, and I immediately decided that I would teach yoga full-time. When my son was only one, I applied for the role of anatomy teacher on my yoga teacher’s European YTTs. I had no idea if it was even possible, I hadn't spoken to my husband about it, I didn’t have a plan for childcare, and, if I’m honest, I didn’t think I would even hear anything back let alone get the job. Well, I did get the job, we figured a way to make it work, and that was my first step into training yoga teachers.
3- Why did you choose this field? Who were your role models? And what pushed you to learn and become who you are?
I fell in love with yoga, I was obsessed with it, I went to classes and had a home practice, and it made sense to go on to teach yoga. In fact, someone said to me, "Why don't you teach yoga? You never stop talking about it," so that's what I did. I've had many strong influences in my life. Sue Fraser, Nikki Cousins, and Greg Walsh had the greatest influence in my earlier yoga days. If it weren't for them, I wouldn't be teaching today. Vidya Heisel of Frog Lotus Yoga trained me to teach and trained me to work with teachers. She has had a huge influence on the way that I live, the food that I eat, and the career that I now have.
4- What is your legacy? Do you care about leaving a legacy?
I would love to leave a legacy; it is something that I get to work on every day. I would love to think that I can have an impact on the way that yoga teachers support one another, that we build each other up and always come from a place of generosity and love—rather than from a mindset of “my yoga is better than your yoga” and seeing other teachers as the enemy.
5- What can we all do right now to make this world a better place?
We can all show more love, kindness, and compassion; let go of judgment; and let others know that we are always here for them. We can also all stay at home right now until the world heals from this virus.
6- In less than a minute, without sounding like a used car salesperson, tell us where to find you and what is the next big thing that everyone should be anticipating from you?
You can find me on Facebook, Instagram and on my website with most of my offerings and blogs, and I am currently working on Durga Yoga Online, a new yoga platform where you can get unlimited monthly access to my classes anytime. It's something that I've been thinking about for a long time, and I'm very excited to be finally bringing to life.
Warrior Flow Insiders is a series highlighting leaders and change agents in yoga, movement, mindfulness, mental health, social justice, and community outreach. Subscribe to our newsletter to receive future Insider profiles and other news from Warrior Flow. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Warrior Flow offers dozens of weekly online, donation-based classes in support of The Warrior Flow Foundation, including Vinyasa yoga, meditation, HIIT, Pilates, Barre, full-body workouts, Yin yoga, Restorative yoga, and much more.