October 1, 2019

TRAVEL CHANGEMAKERS: Sian Pascale, Founder The Light Collective Yoga

Words by Travel to change the world
Travel Changemakers

Sian Pascale is the founder of The Light Collective (TLC), a yoga and meditation school based in Melbourne, but one that travels the world.

Sian’s intention behind TLC was to demonstrate how yoga can transform, heal and empower people through an understanding of the body’s energy.

Sian created The Light Collective with a vision to teach the workshops and practices that have changed her life.

What was it that inspired you to become a yoga teacher?

I have always been a natural teacher, I recently remembered teaching my first meditation class when I was 10. I had no idea what meditation was but somehow led a group of kids at school through a visualisation.

I had been wanting to become a yoga teacher for many years before I finally did my training. The power of the practice had transformed my life as an architect and changed my physiology so much that it felt like a natural step.

I waited 12 years before doing the teacher training and once I did it there was no going back. The Universe spoke very clearly to me and I was on the path as a teacher straight away.

What concerns you about the long term impact of travel on people and the planet?

Every time I return back to a city and see negative development, a rise in pollution and more plastic rubbish- it breaks my heart. I have spent my life travelling and have been brought up to be a fierce environmentalist.

It’s so hard because as a visitor you are part of the problem and in developing countries, people are desperately trying to survive that the environmental impact of what they are doing doesn’t come into the equation.

It’s easy to judge as an outsider. But as yogis, we are always treading the line of being peaceful activists. Using our knowledge to be a radical change-maker, but also understanding the cyclical nature of existence, the role karma plays in people’s actions and your ability to only change one person- yourself.

Do you think travel can change the world?

I think travel has always opened people up to new experiences and ways of living. It helps people break free from the conditioning of the society and family they grew up in, to be able to make personal changes in their lives and live from a personally authentic value system.

However, as humans, we can collect travel experiences in the same way that we collect material objects and things, becoming addicted to the next holiday, the next new city, adding travel destinations to our belts like trophies.

I know that I have personally found it really difficult to stay in one city for very long, but I know that boredom is a reflection of my own mind’s inability to stop. To find beauty in any place. To be ok in stillness.

This is important, a sense of presence, appreciation, and contentment with the place we are in and ourselves. I think if we all felt this the world would definitely change for the better.

Are you seeing positive change happening in responsible and sustainable travel?

I started travelling when I was 10 and have seen so many incredible changes in the way people are being educated on travelling consciously.

There are so many wonderful organisations and activists who are spreading the word on how to be sustainable travellers. I think when governments get involved then the real changes are made.

Was there a particular moment or milestone in your life, that changed your outlook on things and inspired you to want to make change?

I think that when I finished my first Yoga Teacher Training I had a profound epiphany.

I had been doing so much high vibrational work- yoga, chanting, meditation, eating vegan, being surrounded by conscious people, and all in India, that I came out of the experience a completely different person.

I had to discover who this new person was, and in that process, I changed my life, left my work as an architect and began to spread what I had discovered to as many people as possible!

What advice would you give to people wanting to travel more responsibly?

I think the greatest change can happen through kindness. The way we treat the people we meet, how we interact and engage with all of existence.

When it’s done with an outlook of love and compassion it has the power to change your outlook and decision-making processes so that you naturally become a more responsible and conscious traveller.

Find out more:

How can you travel to change the world?

Congratulations! By reading this post and taking some of these insights on board, you’ve already made a difference.

Now you can easily create your own impact by sharing your new-found knowledge. Share this link to a friend who you think would be interested or post it on your own social media.

Ultimately, it all comes down to staying curious, keeping yourself up-to-date and making yourself accountable for your actions on your travels.