Yoga has incrementally crept into my life since the age of sixteen. I love Yogic philosophy and find my morals and life values fit snuggly with it.
My journey through the various limbs of yoga have also opened my mind up to the different types of Yoga. Regularly, I fluctuate between Hatha Yoga to Vinyasa to Yin to Qi Gong. I find the mood I’m in and the events in my life influence the choice of practice I make.
As I mentioned, I first started practicing Yoga when I was sixteen years old. I worked in a gym and I saw that Yoga was one of the classes on offer. Everything at the gym was free for me as an employee and so I thought I would give it a go. I continued with it twice a week for a year. I even took my school friends, especially those with a few teenage problems, thinking it would help to calm their minds. However, looking back at that age I don’t feel as though I was completely conscious of the world and thus I felt unaware of and wasn’t totally ready for the centred-ness I was trying to create.
When I was seventeen I went to work in a gym in Cologne, Germany. It was there that I first tried Ashtanga Yoga – or ‘Power Yoga’ as it was billed on the timetable. This was quite a hilarious occurrence; not only were the sanskrit names a little difficult for me at the time, but this combined with the class being taken in German and the speed of the class resulted in a very lost and confused me! The Yoga teacher was excellent though and switched the language of the class to English half way through for me (no one else seemed to mind this!).
I dabbled with Yoga on and off thereafter, trying practices in China as well as various other locations around the world. It wasn’t until my body decided to give up on me from over exertion that I turned to Yoga properly. My back was giving up and a physiotherapist asked me if I practiced Yoga. I told her I had in the past to which she said it would be excellent for my bad back and perhaps recognised that the symptoms in my back also stemmed from mental disquiet.
Since then I have been devoted to Yoga. I have to say that after a few months of practicing my focus whilst doing Yoga distinctly switched; it wasn’t about the physicality anymore but about the quiet cultivated in my mind by working my body in certain ways. I love to switch between Hatha, Ashtanga and Vinyasa Yoga practices, finding I get something different from each. I have lived all over the world and have occasionally found going to a structured class in a studio quite difficult – I have definitely persevered through language barriers…. But it can cause more anxiety than stillness! As a result I am very aware of the barriers to entering into Yoga practice and through my own teaching I try to empower everybody to attain a practice with which they feel comfortable.