Why I chose yoga
You have, or are thinking about taking the first step to either start or continue, your inward journey for practical yoga skills. Alignment, body awareness and injury avoidance are just a few benefits of yoga. But what yoga offers goes so far beyond the physical.
I believe that yoga is a gift. A gift that was given to us by the ancient yogis to help us find our truest selves. To help us slow down and connect with the energy that created this world; the energy that is us.
I truly believe that yoga is a practice that meets you where you are and takes you where you want to go. The reality of yoga, the reason we practice it and or are drawn to it, is because of the personal development, freedom, and space it offers us. Space to just be, to let go, breathe, and find your true self. Your body and how it works is unique. Learn to better understand what your body can do, what adjustments to make in practice. Small movements that will serve your body whilst protecting the joints. Body awareness will help you move through life better and walk more mindfully.
How you think and feel is unique. Through yoga practice, you will evolve a deeper sense of who you are as a unique individual. This, in turn, will help your confidence in everyday life and you learn to be more comfortable in your own skin.
Through yoga practice, you will evolve a deeper sense of who you are as a unique individual. This, in turn, will help your confidence in everyday life and you learn to be more comfortable in your own skin.
My journey with yoga
Yoga is a journey and it definitely has been for me.
Previous to the yoga adventure that brings me to your screen today, my life was very different. I worked in the gas industry for a central data service provider for Britain’s gas market. I’m not sure exactly when it began, but I started to ponder on my future in the organisation, something that had kept me occupied and obsessed for nearly 40 years.
Pondering the dilemma of staying safe within a familiar, successful environment until retirement, or choosing something else. It was clear that I had wanted more for a while and I needed something different. I agonised over the choice: to stay safe and financial secure in my successful business career, or the alternative that was not for the faint-hearted. Who quits a successful career without having another one lined up?
But I needed to have confidence and to believe in myself before taking the massive step that would allow me to create the environment to reinvent myself. Then the company revealed what I thought was an attractive alternative to another job. They offered a Voluntary Paid Leaver Scheme. Yoga had been a part of my life for the last 20 years and whilst I felt that going on the 200-hour teacher training course in Bali was self-indulgent, it gave me the confidence to take control and build the foundation behind my change in career.
I truly believe that yoga is a practice that meets you where you are and takes you where you want to go.
During my 200-hour yoga teacher training course, I mingled, listened, learned and practiced.
It was physically, emotionally, and socially challenging but so rewarding. I met other people with similar ethics and ambition. It was this learning and rubbing shoulders with inspiring individuals that helped me make my decision. Yoga was clearly the community that I wanted to be a part of.
The training was with Swaha Yoga Centre & The Shri Gaia Institute. It offered me an additional 200 hours teacher-training certificate that was accredited with the Yoga Alliance – a highly reputable organisation. This additional training was a wonderful top-up to my BWYQ Level 4 Diploma in Teaching Yoga, attained years ago. My yoga teacher training qualifications are both recognised throughout the UK education system, by schools, colleges, universities and employers, and internationally.
I was teaching yoga as a hobby but needed something else. During my training there was always that self-reflection age-old question ‘Are you happy?’ When I thought about it honestly… work had lost its sparkle. I was still totally committed and diligent but I felt constantly tired.
The answer to my question is what prompted me to leave my job, close the door and open the next chapter to explore the world as a full-time as a yoga teacher. So the next chapter began here…
SHODEN: Usui Reiki
Level 3 certificate for ambulance service first responders
200hr yoga teacher training – Swaha Yoga Centre, Yoga Alliance
Yoga Nidra : The application for people with life-changing illness’ – Satyananda Yoga Centre
Birth and Postnatal Doula – Nurturing Birth
Yoga Therapy Foundation – Yoga Biomedical Trust
Yoga Nidra – Bihar school of yoga & Satyananda Yoga Centre
Yoga for Pregnancy – The British wheel of yoga
500 hours Teaching Diploma – The British Wheel of yoga
After years of being unhappy, overweight, and generally struggling with life and fitting in. I found yoga. Through yoga I have been able to become free from those self-limiting beliefs.
What happened next?
People become yogis for the physical practice (admittedly that is what drew me into the practice). But most people continue their yoga practice for the natural self-progression. The following is what I have learned along my journey thus far. I got to know myself. The definition of Yoga is “to yoke“. To create a union between body, mind, and soul. The more I practiced, the more in tune with myself I became.
After years of being unhappy, overweight, and generally struggling with life and fitting in. I found yoga. Through yoga I have been able to become free from those self-limiting beliefs. As time has gone on, yoga has become so much more to me than just flexibility or a good workout. I am a perfectionist and I have struggled with anxiety in the past. I loved the way yoga made me feel. It seemed all-encompassing as a workout. Every part of my body felt good. I was refreshed. I felt successful, which was rare for me. I began to feel the emotions that I held onto in my body. Feelings that I had stuffed down for years, and years. Ideas that I wasn’t good enough, that I should punish my body for the way it looked, that I somehow didn’t deserve to feel free and happy in my own skin.
The fear that I came up against on the mat, my own insecurities, were things I battled with every day. Where I would usually ignore those feelings, there was suddenly no place to turn, no one to point fingers at, just me on my mat, left to take full responsibility for everything that I am, and that I become.
I began to accept myself. I’m not sure at what point it happened for me, but somewhere within the postures, the meditations, the books, I began to truly grasp at the concept of real acceptance. I began to transform into a woman I could be proud of.
Yoga has taught me to live in the moment, not worry about the past or future, and to leave behind things that no longer serve me.
As I came across more information, more poses, more good reads, I found myself changing completely- turning into a woman I recognized better than anything I had ever known before.
I was happy about my expanding knowledge, and how the new knowledge was affecting the way I viewed life. I was proud of myself for being consistent and diligent. I began to view the world as a more beautiful place. In a world that exudes hate, I found my very own lifeline into love, and because of that, everything appeared brighter.
Love covers a multitude, even in an imperfect and hurtful world. I began to understand that there would be tragedies, cruelties, unhappiness, but there would also always be an opportunity to make things better, if you simply treat the world and those in the world with kindness.
Although it is not for everyone, yoga has made a huge impact on my life. Yoga has taught me to live in the moment, not worry about the past or future, and to leave behind things that no longer serve me. I am my own worst critic. Yoga has taught me to be kind to myself and love myself despite my imperfections.
It is important to remember that yoga is a lifelong journey, but it will not fail to produce fruit if you let it grow. In short, I hope you might give it a try. Whether you use it as a tool to heal sore muscles, become more flexible, or completely change your life– I guarantee you will find nothing but good.