My passion for yoga developed during a time when my life was a blur of crazy-hecticness. My marketing career plus intensive marathon and Ironman® training programmes equalled stress and complete exhaustion. My body and my soul ached. And, without even knowing it, I longed for change.
I’d always been intrigued by yoga and one day I randomly decided to go on a yoga retreat. I didn’t know it at the time, but that weekend would change my life. I discovered what it felt like to let go, to relax, to actually take time to listen to my body and I came away feeling supple, relaxed and restored. Following that weekend I found a yoga studio local to me and I would go to class pretty much every day.
Yoga became my release. As it became more and more part of my world, I began to realise that life didn’t need to be about pushing myself to the extreme. I found a softer, more balanced me. Yet I still felt challenged; I was learning that yoga is a continuous practice where you are always ‘work in progress’, both in the body and mind. That never stops. No matter who you are, or how long you’ve been practicing.
After several years of practice, I went on to qualify as a Yoga Alliance 200 hour qualified teacher. During the training big things shifted and upon its completion I quit my advertising job, said goodbye to suits and high heels and bought myself an 85 litre backpack. My next 6 months were spent canoeing down the Yukon River, hiking in the Rockies, climbing mountains in Bhutan and Nepal and perfecting my headstand whilst chanting Sanskrit at 5am in an Ashram in India. I returned to the UK full of energy, focus and determination and that’s when everything fell into place. Quitting my corporate career in order to do what I really love was the best decision I’ve ever made.
Read on, if you’d like to find out more, or move on to explore my yoga page.
A: Believe you can. Forget about the what-ifs and what-has-beens and just take a leap. Be present, and ask yourself ‘If not now, then when?’ Take control and go for it. That applies to launching into your first handstand, quitting your job to go travelling or simply giving up eating sugar for a week. Believe you can, and you will find yourself creating the life that you want to live.
A: I absolutely love food, eating out and cooking and view every meal as an opportunity to nourish my body. I’m not vegetarian or vegan; I just focus on having a balanced diet that is low in refined sugar, gluten and dairy. People tend to think it’s really hard to be healthy; there’s the perception that healthy food is boring, takes too long to prepare, costs too much, or leaves you feeling deprived. But when you look inside, and really start to care about your body, something shifts. You get curious. You reach for your juicer, your spiralizer and your food processor and start to make it all from scratch. And then you start to notice the difference in how you feel in your body and mind, and get excited about all the colourful tasty recipes that you’re going to make.
A: The sunshine, my yoga mat, avocados (I pretty much eat one nearly every day), surfing, my passport, family and friends.
A: I feel free to be the person I want to be. It has given me the space to be free. I practice every day; it feels wrong if I don’t spend time on my mat. My body feels clunky and tight, I feel irritable and I can’t think clearly. I find challenge, comfort, inspiration, energy, resolve, fulfilment, peace, creativity, self-expression and so much more just from spending time on my mat. And it changes all the time; the observations change all the time. You never stop learning: about your body, your mind and everything in between.
A: My yoga practice and teaching is deeply rooted in Hatha Yoga with a focus on building strength and stability in the body. I think because of my interest in sport and fitness, I’ve always approached my practice with a strong awareness of alignment and precision. That’s evident in my teaching. I focus on giving clear alignment queues and keep my eagle eyes on everyone to make sure they are in the correct position and using their muscles effectively. The pace of my classes is steady and I encourage mindful movement; for me it’s more important to give people time to find the right position and feel what is happening in their bodies, rather than moving super-fast and losing the connection and alignment. A steady practice is still challenging though; holding postures requires muscle endurance and strength! I’m highly aware of each individual’s physical and mental needs and remain attentive to this throughout the class. Everyone has a story and something they are working with; injury, pain, illness or stress. It’s about creating a safe and supported environment where people can explore what’s happening in their bodies and minds so they can find self-acceptance and evolve.
A: It’s wonderful to watch people’s bodies changing week by week: shoulders releasing, range of movement increasing and strength improving. When people start to notice the changes in their bodies it empowers them; they start to feel good, they let go of self-judgement, learn self-acceptance, their confidence grows and this all leads to a greater sense of overall wellbeing. It’s also wonderful to see the mental release that yoga brings. It offers an opening so that people can let go of everything and just be. I love the fact that I can give people that opportunity for space. I also love the sense of community that yoga creates. It brings like-minded people together, no matter what stage of life they’re at. There’s a wonderful bond between everyone that comes to my classes; it has been lovely to watch that grow and evolve. I’d like to think we’ve created a trusting, nurturing environment that everyone can feel safe and supported in, and also inspired and motivated by.
A: Right from when I first discovered yoga, I was lucky to meet the beautifully wise and experienced Laura Gilmore who later inspired me to become a teacher; I went on all her retreats and workshops (some may call it stalking!) and then later did my 200 hour qualification with her. I’m a self-development addict and so I’m always attending workshops with brilliant teachers. I’m privileged to have had the opportunity to have learnt from and been inspired by some of the world’s best teachers such as Jason Crandell, Seane Corn, Bridget Woods-Kramer, Meghan Currie, Summer Huntington, Jeff Phenix and Anna Ashby. My experience of their teachings all comes together to make me the teacher that I am.