My first taste of yoga happened in 1996 and I have been practicing ever since. In 2005 I came across Gaby Maass, a Senior Yoga Teacher here in the Lake District, and began attending her classes and it was here that my passion for yoga began to develop rapidly. Under her expert guidance I began to fall in love with this thing called yoga and became hungry to delve deeper into its spiritual side. Unable to keep my enthusiasm at bay, I began to bore anyone who would listen, about the joys and benefits of yoga. I think I was a passionate ambassador for yoga long before I even thought of becoming a teacher, but, I guess, looking back, that was always my destiny. I began attending as many of Gaby’s classes and workshops as I could. My strength and flexibility began to develop. Very, very slowly I began to enjoy the seated meditation practice and savasana, as I began to see their magic flowing out into my life. Around this time, I also had my first taste of Ashtanga yoga, a strong, dynamic system of breath-led postures, which further built my strength and body-awareness. I was most definitely hooked.
In 2011 I undertook training to become a qualified children’s yoga teacher and began my journey into teaching. Then, in 2016, I finally plucked up the courage to enrol in a British Wheel of Yoga, Level 4, teacher training course in Manchester. The training was intense, challenging and pushed me way out of my comfort zone. However, my overwhelming desire to share yoga with others, to deepen my knowledge of anatomy, theory and the history and ancient texts of the yoga lineage, made doing the course one of the most exciting and rewarding things I have ever done. My tutors filled me with the confidence to share my love of yoga and enable people of all physical capabilities to develop a sustainable, safe and enjoyable practice.
I think it is safe to say that yoga has become my life. I have an established, daily home practice, study continually, keep abreast of current research in the fields of functional anatomy and approaches to postural work and champion the benefits of meditation wherever I can! My years of studying yoga have transformed my approach to living in countless positive ways, changing my lifestyle, diet and attitudes along the way. I wholeheartedly approach yoga, and life, holistically now.
Most recently, being floored (literally) by a herniated disc in my back and being unable to teach or practice for a few months has been an enormous opportunity for learning and gratitude. Maintaining a healthy back and strengthening muscles to keep the spine protected will inform my teaching even more going forward.
I don’t think it would be overstating things to say that yoga has taught me everything! About myself and life in general. But, most importantly, yoga has taught me that not everything in life is a quick-fix. Some things benefit from a slow, integrated approach. Yoga is a practice for life. I will always be a student, always learning but always sharing.