Curious about why I practice and teach yoga? Read on…
My first experience of yoga was at aged 13 in a village community centre in rural Suffolk where I grew up. I was at least 40 years younger than most of the other people in the room.
I didn’t start practicing again until my early 20s when I was at university in Cumbria. At that time I was struggling a lot with mental health issues I’d carried since childhood. There were times I felt the only thing I had to look forward to was the one hour a week yoga class. Something about it made me feel better, even if only for a very short period.
I moved to Edinburgh in 2010
Initially to take a Master’s course at the University of Edinburgh. I haven’t found a good reason to live anywhere else since and I definitely think of it as my home. My early years in Edinburgh were difficult. Anxiety dominated my entire life and nothing felt easy.
I knew I wanted to practice yoga somewhere, but there was so much choice (which is nothing compared to what it’s like now!).
I was intimidated by every studio and every student.
Everywhere I went I felt stiff, ugly and completely out of place. I was never a gymnast or a dancer and I was incredibly insecure. It took a lot for me to keep trying to find a place I felt comfortable, but eventually I found a small class with a lovely teacher.
Very, very slowly I started gaining more confidence and felt I was cautiously becoming more familiar, and intrigued, by the practice.
Why did I feel better emotionally afterwards even if I couldn’t do half the stuff physically?
I felt apologetic for my body’s limitation and would regular refer to parts of my body as ‘rubbish’…or worse!
In 2013 I reached my lowest point. Coming out of that period was incredibly difficult and not without plenty of stumbles along the way. The following year I took the first Eat Breathe Thrive training in London and I finally felt like I had a place.
I’ve been involved with the organisation ever since. A huge part of what keeps me stable today is related to everything I’ve done since attending the training.
I began practicing more regularly as I gradually tackled my limiting beliefs that I was worth less than everyone else in the room.
I met a new teacher (and now dear friend) that encouraged and supported me unconditionally.
When I turned 30 in 2017 I remember the utter nausea and dread I felt as I sent an apologetic message to my teacher asking if she thought I could do a yoga teacher training. I didn’t for a moment believe I could teach, I hastened to add, but I wanted to learn more and this seemed the best way to do it. I wish I’d saved her response.
In September 2017 I completed my first 200 hours training and took a further 100 hours training in Yin and Advanced Anatomy in March 2018. I will be doing plenty more training when time, finances and opportunities align.
Within a week of graduating I started teaching (remember I said I didn’t believe I could teach!?!).
I haven’t looked back and teach for the simple reason that I love it.
If you are interested in learning more about my yoga journey I share stories in my blog. I hope to help demystify what yoga can be on a personal level and show that it really is for everyone. I also recorded a podcast with my teacher, Dhugal Meachem, let me know what you think!