Before she became a professional yoga instructor, Odona Farska worked as a flight-attendant. As a result, she is very well-travelled and has spent almost more of her life living overseas than in her home country. Odona has been living in Canberra for over 6 years with her husband, whom she met while backpacking in Malawi. She first visited Australia when she was 21. She stayed near Coogee Beach in Sydney and at the beginning, Australia didn’t make a big impression on her.
Moving to Dubai was an important milestone for Odona. Thanks to prior work experience with Czech Airlines she easily found work there as a flight-attendant for Emirates Airline. Her husband worked as an evnironmental consultant and then as Emirates Airline’s first environmental manager. After 6 years in Dubai, Odona had her first child, which was one of the reasons why she quit her job. She also started to fully devote herself yoga.
Odona underwent a month-long yoga training course in India. During her stay in India she immersed herself completely into the world of yoga. The language that yoga was first described in, Sanskrit, is a fundamental part of yoga and is one of the oldest languages in the world. (The positions have different names in different lanugages. Sanskrit plays a very important part in facilitating mutual undertanding between yogis from all around the world). Odona says that her knowledge of Czech helped with her with pronunciation in Sanskrit.
After returning to Dubai she set up her own yoga studio, which she ran from the garden of her villa. She looks back fondly on this period, where she was surrounded by a diverse mix of people from various backgrounds and of various nationalities. Her yoga studio gradually expanded into her new business, Flow Yoga.
Her husband started to miss his native country, Australia, and the intial enthusiasm of life in the United Arab Emirates gradually faded. Six years ago, after twelve years spent in Dubai, they left and settled in Canberra, Australia, where her husband, an environmental scientist, found work.
At the beginning, the concept of living long-term in Canberra terrified Odona. Australia seemed to be so far away from everything. She flirted with the idea of returning to the Czech Republic, but her family and new opportunites in the world of yoga tempted her to stay in Australia for the time being. Odona likes how open Australians are, both to others and to new ideas. According to her, it is a refreshing contrast to Czech cynicism.
Odona brought her Flow Yoga business with her to Australia. She used to operate her studio in the Nishi Gallery space, where she built a devoted base of yoga enthusiasts. Odona started regularly organising yoga retreats in Bali – a place that is relatively accessible from Australia and offers countless opportutinties for yoga enthusiasts.
She tries to head back to the Czech Republic every year. Unfortunately, this year COVID-19 has put a dampener on those plans. Every cloud has a silver lining, though. Odona is closely follow the construction of her new yoga studio in Canberra. For the time being, Flow Yoga is operating online, live streaming classes and trying to cultivate meaningful relationships between clients in a time where so many began feeling isolated. Nevertheless, Odona is very excited to get back to face to face lessons – this time in a new studio.
Her new studio is planned to open in September this year as part of a multi-purpose creative centre in Fyshwick, that is being developed by a progressive local development company, the Molonglo Group. The new centre will become a haven for open-minded creatives. The companies that will be setting up in the new centre are almost exclusively led by women and will become part of a very thriving complex which is sure to become a central part of cultural life in Canberra.