My yogic journey began almost twenty years ago with a class in a local community hall. It was a rather dusty room, with an old carpet, tables and chairs stacked precariously around the edges of the room. It was also a bit chilly in the winter, which meant you didn’t want to take your socks off. I can’t remember the teacher’s name now, but I do recall how I was, at nineteen, by far the youngest student there. This was a time before all the chic yoga studios we have today, where people practise in hot rooms wearing cool clothes. Back then, the ladies in my class just wore baggy t-shirts and loose fitting trousers. They didn’t worry about their Ujjayi breath or their Mula Bandha. They just quietly experienced their bodies and minds under our patient teacher’s guidance.
Since that first class I have tried most of the major styles of hatha yoga. I like Iyengar for its attention to detail and use of aids, which enable everyone to access a posture. Sivananda for its gentle, meditative approach and Ashanga for its fluidity and the physical challenge it presents. I have also recently discovered Yin Yoga, which was a revelation as it challenged me to work in an entirely different way to the one that I am used to.
So what made me become a teacher? Well, it’s not anything in particular. Just that as the years went by and I attended classes and read books on yoga as much as I could, I gradually began to feel this was the right path for me. My teens and twenties were beset by frequent bouts of depression and yoga was instrumental in helping me through those times when darkness descended.
I began my yoga teacher training in 2005, with the British Wheel of Yoga. It was a three year diploma course and I was extremely lucky to have a knowledgeable and experienced teacher. Since then I have taught on and off before taking a break in 2011 to concentrate on study and further training as an EFL teacher. My career has now moved on and I doubt I will teach yoga again but it is still a vitally important part of my life and I go to my mat every morning to practise and slowly wake up (I’m not a morning person!)
With this blog, I plan to explore and examine some the current issues surrounding yoga, particularly in the West, and share some general inspirational thoughts about life. There’s so much negativity out there, that I think we need to be reminded that the world can be wonderful place, full of opportunity, love and beauty.
I hope you enjoy reading it.