My love for yoga began as a simple curiosity. I had read and heard of the benefits of this ancient practice and associated the word with calmness and meditation. I was interested; but for years my understanding of yoga went no further. I told myself I had no time in my busy undergraduate schedule for the luxury of lying and stretching on a mat, and that was that. But as months turned into years, the idea of yoga didn’t disappear - quite the contrary - it became stronger with time.
It was power yoga that first got me hooked. As a university rower, I was attracted by the physical benefits and strength building associated with this. I wasn’t super flexible, but I was encouraged by the simplicity of the poses and the ease with which they could be adapted and modified to fit all abilities and levels of experience. I quickly discovered that yoga is certainly not all about lying and stretching on a mat. The yoga asanas, or positions, when performed in sequence and flow, activate and utilise every muscle in the body, toning, strengthening and stretching over time. Beyond feeling physically challenged and energised, I also felt a mental tranquillity and ease which other exercise did not create. I wanted more!
During my two years working and training as a secondary school Geography teacher in North Yorkshire, I grasped at the opportunities I had to squeeze in a yoga class when I could. But this was not enough. Struggling to find balance, in 2016 I left teaching and Yorkshire behind to return to my roots in South West London.
My pull towards yoga, now stronger than ever, took me to various different studios, until I landed at The House of Yoga in Putney. A 30-day trial period soon became a monthly membership, and then an annual one. I couldn’t get enough - I loved both the physical and mental benefits which I was experiencing from my practice. And then, in 2019, I took the plunge and signed up for my 200-hour teacher training with The House of Yoga. Little did I know what a life-changing experience that would be.
My intention at the time was not to become a yoga teacher; I was enjoying my job working as a luxury Travel Consultant. I simply wanted to take the opportunity to deepen my understanding of yoga and to strengthen my practice on and off the mat. I certainly never imagined that a year from signing up, I would have left the travel industry behind to start up a business teaching yoga on my own.
But I think that says it all; yoga has taught me that with focus, courage and vision there is no limit to what might be possible. Slowly but surely, we can learn to reach higher, bend deeper, stand stronger. Sometimes we just need a little encouragement to trust ourselves to take a leap of faith, knowing that on the other side of challenge and uncertainty is an exciting world of growth and opportunity just waiting to be explored.
Read more about my path to becoming a Yoga Teacher and how it was shaped by my experience of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 here.