I’ve been practising yoga for 25 years, since just after my youngest son was born. It was 1994 when I enrolled onto an evening class at the local Adult Education Centre with a borrowed mat and absolutely no idea what to expect, other than a vague idea it would be some kind of exercise class.
As a busy, exhausted mother of four children under 6, I didn’t much care what it was if it took me out of the house for a couple of hours and gave me some exercise – less hassle than going to the pool for a swim, and a better option than going home with wet hair smelling of chlorine…
The class was a revelation! I loved every moment of it, but what I recall most vividly is how different I felt as I walked home that evening: taller, more balanced, calmer, and yet at the same time full of energy. I had a clear head, sharper focus, and a huge smile on my face.
I’ve never looked back. Yoga supports me both physically and mentally still, and the more I practise and study it, the more I love it.
I’ve attended lots of workshops, courses, and retreats, and have tried various styles and types of yoga over the years, but I still gravitate towards traditional Hatha yoga in my personal practice because it continues to provide all that I need to keep me motivated, while it also keeps me flexible and balanced enough to do other things I enjoy, like hiking, cycling (but not on busy roads!), occasional jogs round the park, and taking long meandering walks – especially though woodland and forests.
Yoga also teaches how to sit comfortably (asana, the Sanskrit word for postures, actually means ‘seat’) so that’s handy for some other things I really enjoy, such as doing cryptic crosswords, painting, and going to the theatre. When sitting, probably my favourite pastimes are reading and listening to music (often at the same time). In my ideal world I would have a few extra hours built in to each day so I could read all of the books I haven’t yet read and listen to all of the music I haven’t yet heard!
I love teaching, and learning too. I’ve heard it said that teaching something is often the best way of learning about it, and that was certainly true for me during the years I spent teaching English Language and Literature in Higher Education – I probably learned more through planning courses, lectures, and seminars than ever I did through taking exams. I now know for sure that when you look at things from the students’ perspective it brings much more awareness to how you view – and understand – the subject you’re teaching.
Over the last five years I’ve returned to being a student again, beginning by taking foundation courses for teaching yoga with The British Wheel of Yoga, and eventually completing my full teaching qualification with FRYOG (Friends of Yoga) after moving to Matlock in 2016. I have also completed further training courses in Applied Anatomy and Physiology of Yoga (with YogaSynergy), and Supporting Pregnant and Postnatal Students (with YogaCampus). I’m still learning!
In a nutshell, yoga has taught me how to stay flexible, strong, balanced, and happy. If you would like to find out what yoga can do for you, come and join me.
I look forward to seeing you on the mat soon.
Yoga is the perfect opportunity to be curious about who you are.
PS – some other things you might like to know about me: