I attended my first yoga class in 2007. I almost ran out of the class before it had even started. The other three ladies that had turned up had their own yoga mats. These ladies were clearly pros. They had the kit. They looked the part. They looked bendy. They belonged. What the hell did I think I was doing there? I didn’t belong there.
Steve jobs said you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. That things happen for us not to us. I’d been in the above situation before. It was a familiar mental drama.
When I was younger I wanted to take up ice skating so I’d gone down to the local ice rink to sign up for some lessons. There happened to be a rather aggressive-looking game of ice hockey going on at the time. I literally ran away. Scared. I didn’t belong there. But I kicked myself for it. I wanted to skate. Who was this mean voice telling me otherwise?
Skip forwards five years and I’m in my first yoga class. I wasn’t going to miss out and be beaten by this odd mental drama again. I’d learnt a valuable lesson. I stayed. I’d read a quote that said you should try a new thing at least three times. Once, to get over the fear of doing it. Twice, to learn how to do it. And a third time to figure out whether you like it or not. I committed to staying for the class and promised myself I would come back at least twice more before making a decision as to whether I would continue with it or not.
And so began the journey of stepping beyond my stories, leaning into my fears and discovering the infinite freedom that lies just beyond my own ego.
Since that first victory my passion for yoga has snowballed. I’ve soaked up everything that this vast discipline has to offer. I’ve explored different styles and traditions from ashtanga and vinyasa through to hatha, kundalini, yin and restorative.
I took a 10 day Vipassana course (insight meditation, mental boot-camp, super practical, no-woo, Buddhist technique) in 2011 which I’ve incorporated into my daily practice and into my teaching.
In 2012 I completed my 200 hour teaching qualification with YogaCampus and The Life Centre in London.
In 2013 I went on the adventure of a lifetime to the capital of Yoga, Rishikesh, India. I completed my 500 hour teaching training in Akhanda Yoga, a holistic approach to Yoga that encompasses all of the traditional facets of Yoga: asana. pranayama, mantra, meditation, kriyas (cleansing techniques) and the wider lifestyle that supports these.
I compliment my Yoga practice and teaching with my interest in Ayurveda, Yoga’s sister science. Ayurveda means ‘knowledge of life’. It’s not a body of knowledge you can find in a library however, like life it’s a reality to be experienced. Ayurveda is the art of paying attention to your experiences, interpreting them and responding appropriately.
Ayurveda and Yoga are like the two wings of a bird. If you’re practising Yoga without Ayurveda you’re really limiting how high you can fly.
I completed an Ayurvedic Healing course with the American Institute of Vedic Studies in 2015 and I’m an Ayurvedic lifestyle consultant.
I’m currently completing my Yoga Health Coaching certification. This gives me the tools to help health-seekers experience the benefits of Yoga off the mat by combining it with the wisdom of Ayurveda and integrating both into their daily lives. If you’re interested in evolving your health check out my 10-Week-Vibrant Living Course.
Last but not least, I run a yoga-and-all-things-good meetup group, if you’re in the Reading area join the group and come and hang out, I’d love to meet you!
I take a non-dogmatic, tantric approach to yoga and life. Embrace it all. If it’s unpleasant there’s probably a great lesson in there.
Oh and I didn’t miss my chance to skate again either!