Following the recent completion of a Yoga teacher training course it seems like the moment to share a little more about how this came to be. Here is a picture of the lovely classmates from the course...
The discovery of Yoga arrived for me during late teens when I attended a few classes with a friend. We found ourselves at the back of the room laughing as we wobbled around trying to stand on one leg. Little did I know that this shaky beginning would lead me to a path of feeling entirely more balanced!
Some years later I began attending regular classes which were inclusive in a gym membership. It was interesting to learn about Yoga alongside martial arts which I had been studying for a few years; I enjoyed their similarities, both coming from a rich philosophical background and combining movement with awareness. This was during a particularly challenging time in life, whilst living, studying, and working in London, and I really began to notice the profound benefits Yoga had on my sleep, mood, ability to manage stress, and overall physical and emotional wellbeing. It seemed to ground me, bringing me back to my centre (over and over again!), helping to keep focussed and feeling less disrupted by external factors. Observing these benefits I have since maintained a regular practice of Yoga, and during this time been fortunate enough to attend many classes, workshops, and courses with an array of fantastic teachers - giving heartfelt thanks to them all!
The University course I was studying included a business module, which contained an assignment to write a business plan for the development of our proposed complementary therapy practice over the coming five years. I remember writing, rather naively, ‘Train as a Yoga Teacher’, even though at that time it was difficult to envision I would ever have the courage to teach a class, but it just seemed like a good idea since I knew how beneficial Yoga had been so far! It turns out that a lot of that business plan was somewhat ambitious, ideas changing, and much of it running far behind schedule (Yoga training included!).
Since then, the relationship with Yoga has become more personal. Throughout this journey (learning some difficult yet valuable lessons), I have realised how important it is to look after one's own health and wellbeing - physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Especially so as a practitioner, and this is an art which is forever evolving, according to continually changing needs!
Far more than five years on from university, the main reason I undertook a Yoga teacher training turned out to be for this personal development; in order to enhance the skill of coming from a place of clarity and balance in offering the best for those I work with. With an awareness of how enriching Yoga is for my own health and wellbeing I was certain that deepening the experience of this would reflect well on what I offer as a therapist. It also seemed the in-depth knowledge such a course offers would provide additional tools which complement the practice of Thai Yoga massage, and can be woven into various workshops and retreats.
Having researched many courses (over many years!) I eventually decided to start by attending Yoga Vidya Gurukul, an Ashram near Nashik, in India. The 250-hour teacher training offered here was an intensive one month course - an idea which I used to shy away from, feeling I needed the longevity of a one or two-year modular teacher training. However, an immersive experience for now felt like the right option, offering a traditional approach to training, in a traditional ashram environment, both aspects which had become important to me, alongside enabling an in-depth experience of a Yogic lifestyle. All of this came true; the course was excellent with lectures far exceeding the depth of content I had envisioned, and the ashram living provided a true sense of community, a wholly beautiful and enriching experience.
The real surprise of the course came during the teaching exams, when we conducted one-hour classes in small groups, and I realised that I really enjoyed teaching! This was accompanied by a strong realisation of how important it is to share Yoga. A feeling arose that these momentary glimpses of inner peace offered by Yoga, are so very important, for our health as individuals, for our relationships as members of communities, and for our lives in a global community as a whole. And it is from here that the pull comes to share the tiny fraction of this I have learnt so far, and to continue sharing as this experience grows.
Thank you for reading!
Further details about Yoga sharing can be found on the website under Yoga, and Workshops. Regular updates about pop-up Yoga sessions are also posted on the facebook page hbhealthy - click here to visit.
For details of teachers I have found inspiring and influential please see links.