My Yoga Journey

My first experience with yoga was back in my teenage years when I borrowed a Yoga VHS (remember those?!) from my Dad. I don't remember a lot about what it contained but I do remember Savasana. As the instructor spoke, I remember feeling my body move deeper and deeper into the ground as a drifted into the state between being awake and sleeping. Fast forward to my early twenties, I'd spent all of Uni using dancing on nights out as my only form of sport. I started a gym and began attending classes and signed up for a half marathon (after much convincing from a friend). I still don't enjoy running but I absolutely loved going to classes and was always looking to try out new things; Body Pump, Spin, Bootcamps, HIIT. I tried them all. They built my confidence in myself and I became much fitter. My only problem was, I got fed up being sore all of the time, I felt as though I kept finding out things that were 'wrong' with my body (I ran on the outsides of my feet, I wanted better abs, better bum, legs weren't strong enough). And worst of all, I started to compare myself to others and was always in competition with myself. I had taken yoga classes at the gym previously but after travelling for a while decided to take it up more regularly. Again, I gained confidence from being able to get into certain postures and being a beginner at something again. I was surprised at what my body could do, how strong I felt but at the same time I started to worry less about what I looked like and didn't get injured. I stopped having to push myself in everything that I did and just accepted how I felt each day on the mat knowing that it was ok that my body allowed things some days, and not on others. Shortly afterwards I signed up to a Teacher Training course with the idea that 'one day' I might be able to teach (most likely when travelling). It gave me a project to work on whilst I lived through the 9-5 of office life. I dedicated my entire year to studying, practicing and learning more about yoga. I loved (and still do) every part of it. Not only the physical practice, but also felt a strong connection to other philosophical side which had already naturally become important in my life. I completed my training in September 2017 with Dhugal Meachem in Yin Yang in Edinburgh. I met some of the most amazing people along the way and was inspired by the eclectic mixture of people in our group and their reasons for being there. My partner and I had already planned our next adventure so we gave up our jobs and headed for India. This was an invaluable trip to find out more about where my beloved Yoga originated from and how it differs to what we call Yoga here in the West. We went on a 10 day yoga retreat in Rishikesh, practicing Hatha and Ashtanga on daily basis as well as Meditation, Yoga Nidra (yogic sleep) and Pranayama (breath work). We returned from India earlier than planned and faced the decision whether to return to our travels or to set up home back in Edinburgh. We decided to stay and it was then I decided to try make this teaching thing work out. I hated my office job, so it seemed to make perfect sense to spend my time doing something I was truly passionate about.

I kept practicing at my beloved Hot Yoga studio, Yoga's Got Hot in Edinburgh and was incredibly lucky to be mentored under the owner Lynne Duncan to help me in my teaching career. I will be forever grateful for the hours she put into me to build my confidence, to share her experience with me and teach me so much more about delivering the practice to others. After much work, I was (and still am) on the timetable teaching regular Power, Classic and Flow classes. At the same time, I started pumy own classes in my hometown and was overwhelmed by the response to those who attended (a lot of those who still do!) Clearly, there was demand for classes in the local area and I soon grew from 1 class a week to 4. It's not always been easy, there's been waves of self-doubt that still come and go to this day but I really love the community in both Edinburgh and Fife. I love seeing someone get further in their own practice. Whether they are able to go deeper into a posture, to give something new a try or to watch them find stillness in Savasana - it makes it all worth it. For me, Yoga is a continuous journey where we are always learning from this practice. Whether that be physically, emotionally or mentally. The techniques used in class can apply to both life on and off of the mat and gives us the tools to help deal with anything life throws at us. We learn to not only respect ourselves but everyone and everything around us. It makes me feel at home in my body, no matter where I am. All I need is to be able to breathe. Thank you so much for reading my journey so far... Feel free to share yours with me below. Why do you practice yoga? What brought you to the mat and why do you keep going back?

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