I never thought I would become a yoga teacher.
Yoga was just something I did that was just for me. Until, slowly, yoga became something more.
Here's my yoga story.
My first ever yoga lesson was when I was pregnant with my first child. At the time I was working in an office and I felt stressed and unprepared for childbirth. Set in the womb-like crypt of a church, the antenatal yoga class provided space and time where I could connect to my own body and the body growing within it. The sense of calm and connection to the breath (as well as the gas and air) helped me through a complication-free delivery.
Four years later, my son was at school and my daughter had just started nursery, and I was drawn back to yoga - this time to attend to my own neglected body. I found a local class, which happened to be an Iyengar yoga class, and from the first lesson it felt right. The teacher was calm and precise and the yoga soothed my mind and toned my body. I was always stiff the next day in the early days.
Yoga Teacher Training
Four years slipped by and, almost without me noticing, yoga had moved from the periphery of my life to the centre. I was going to two classes a week and began a sporadic home practice. I could do a headstand and other poses that I never thought I'd be capable of. At this point my teacher asked me if I'd thought about training to be a yoga teacher. I hadn't! But the idea took root, and in May 2015 I started my yoga teacher training in Brixton.
The Iyengar yoga teacher training course was extremely rigorous, both physically and mentally. From the very beginning I was thrown in at the deep end, teaching poses from my first training session - and feeling like a rabbit in the headlights. At times I felt I wasn't good enough. But the comprehensive training and hard work paid off and I qualified in June 2017. To read the full, blow-by-blow account of my assessment, click here.
My Yoga Teaching
The first instruction in the Iyengar Yoga Teacher's Handbook is 'Teach from the heart, not from the brain alone.' This is easier said than done, as the brain is also a key element! But I like to think that the heart has a big part in my yoga teaching.
I teach in a detailed way, aiming to help all students improve their poses. But I also want my students to grow to love yoga as much as I do! Yoga is not a competition or a race, and everyone has different advantages and limitations. Through yoga you get to know your body and what it is capable of - which is more than you think! I aim for students to leave the class feeling stronger and straighter.
Finally, yoga has the capacity to quieten the mind. In our busy lives, we forget to give ourselves silence. The savasana (corpse pose) at the end of every class is a blissfull taster of the infinite benefits of stillness and silence.