I have practiced yoga since 2007 and completed my diploma with the British Wheel of Yoga in 2013. I teach yoga classes and workshops in Ashford, Kent.
Why I teach yoga...
I want to enable my students to keep moving well and to remain fit and healthy as they get older. To encourage people to have fun with yoga, I aim to create a playful space within my classes where my students can feel relaxed and part of an encouraging, positive community.
I also believe in balance and I want to enable those who may be stressed and burnt out to find ways to cultivate calm, to have the tools with which to nurture themselves and to feel better in body and mind.
Finally, I want to help people change their mindset about health and wellness, not to be something they think about when they get ill but to work more preventatively, to make it an important part of their lives and to make it an enjoyable one.
Why it’s important to me
I have been interested in health and wellness for as long as I can remember (my dad said I should have studied medicine but I was rubbish at biology in school and I don’t fancy handling other people's bodily fluids!).
I think that yoga and movement in general however can actually cultivate that desire to improve your health. When we start doing something that makes us feel good we want more of it and that self-care can then start to trickle into other areas of our lives, such as diet, etc.
What I can offer
I believe I can contribute a safe and fun space to be playful with movement and to gently encourage us all to take ownership of our wellbeing. I have a thirst for knowledge, to learn, not just about movement but anything that can make us feel better in ourselves and I like to share this knowledge with others so they can benefit.
This is probably where the crystals come in too. As well as the logical science side of me, I'm very open to alternative therapies. My older brother studied geology so I was fascinated with his crystal and rock cabinet growing up and now I love to make jewellery out of them. Whether they actually have the power to heal I don't know but I think they can work on a subliminal or energetic level and they're worth a try right? Plus they look so pretty!
What gets my goat
There's nothing wrong with serious yoga (and I do take my yoga seriously) but I think there can be a lot of elitism and competition in the yoga world. Social media has so many positive points but it can also convey a negative image, bombarding us with polished pictures of yogis with model like proportions contorting themselves into positions that are just unattainable for many of us.
That's not to say that those crazy Instagram poses aren't achievable without a lot of hard work and dedication (and probably months, if not years of practice) but to the beginner it can be completely off-putting or create this urgency to push into something we're not ready for because we think that if we can't do it then it surely must mean we're not good enough. (note - you ARE good enough, you don't need that crazy pose in your life to feel better!)
In all my years of teaching yoga I have changed so much from, as a nervous beginner, doggedly sticking to poses I was taught and teaching them exactly how I'd been instructed to, to in latter years, questioning poses as to why they are of benefit in the first place and how I might practice them better.
I have looked to others in the movement world and spoken to physiotherapists and other specialists (during discussions about my hypermobility spectrum disorder, but that's a whole other story!) and brought in the things I've learned and adapted the way I do things. I now consider more what the costs and benefits of a pose are so have narrowed down my menu a little and included some movements that aren't yoga based but can enhance our practice.
As such, there are poses I just don't teach in my classes now and I don't feel bad about that. Instead it is far more important to me to feel good in the body I have, to still challenge it but in a way that will make me fit, healthy and strong rather than to push into injury for the sake of an aesthetic or tradition.
If I look at my students, they really do range in ages and abilities but they tend to have the same viewpoint as me in that they just want to feel good and healthy in their bodies and to have fun in class.
So if you want to learn how to do a flying pigeon that effortlessly floats into chaturanga then I'm afraid I'll let you down there (there are other kick-ass teachers out there for that and I can certainly put you in touch). But I can provide you a laugh (usually at my ineptitude to remember whether I was doing the left or right side), a series of movements that'll incorporate a balance of strength and flexibility and a listening ear when you need one.