How long have you been practicing yoga? How did you begin?
My yoga journey began in March 2015. I was 29 and a physical therapist recommended it to me to deal with issues in my body due to my gymnastics background. My background as a gymnast definitely helps with my physical practice, and has helped with my overall strength and flexibility. But through yoga I feel stronger, fitter, and more balanced than I ever did before! Not just physically, but mentally, emotionally, socially, financially, spiritually -- everything-ly!For me, like many people in the West, yoga began as solely a physical practice. But through listening to my body in asana practice, I developed an attention to the feelings in my body in other aspects of life. It was no longer just how I felt in a low lunge or a downward facing dog. I also began listening to how my body felt when I was angry, or stressed, or if I'd overindulged. I noticed for the first time differences in my mood if I'd responded to a traffic jam with frustration, or with a calm breath.
And this is how I learned that yoga is more than just a physical practice. It is a lifestyle. Meditation, breathing, and being the best person you can be to yourself and to others, is yoga.
I hope that in some way or another, every person can find the inner peace I have found through yoga. Not happiness, not constant positivity, because life doesn't exist without sadness or shadow. But there is peace to be found, and I believe yoga is a powerful tool to find that peace.
What kind of yoga do you practice?
My personal practice is greatly inspired by my gymnastics background, so I love adding lots of inversions and arm balances! I mostly do Vinyasa yoga — a type of yoga that flows through sequences of postures and not holding any posture for longer than a few breaths. Vinyasa is a style that allows for practitioners and teachers to be creative, to have fun with their sequences, and flow in a way that best suits the class, the time, the mood. Therefore, this style appeals to me, although I do enjoy other styles as well!
I'm not very advanced. Can I come to your workshops?
Where are you from? Where are you based?
After a nomadic lifestyle for nearly 2 years, I chose to make London my home base.I am a UK citizen, but I grew up in the USA and have family in both countries.
How did you become a travelling yoga teacher? Do you like it? Any advice for someone thinking about living this lifestyle?
This is perhaps the question I get asked most. So I created a video which you can access HERE for anybody interested in doing the same.
My journey as an international travelling yoga teacher began with assisting Dylan Werner in Asia, so I had a great mentor to get me started! I went with him to Nicaragua, and then he left to continue his travels while I stayed for 2 months to teach there. While there I was able to figure out my next steps.
Here’s my advice:
Have a little bit of money in the bank. You don’t need much, but just enough to look after yourself if you have a few weeks of no income while you figure out where you’ll teach.
Then book a flight. Just go! It’s scary, and it can be lonely, and difficult, and not what you expected, but just go where you want to go. Then take yoga classes, meet yogis, talk to studios, connect with people, build relationships. Be open and adventurous!
Or plan ahead. I’m not much of a planner but there are numerous websites that list jobs around the world for yoga studios. Start with that, and while you’re on a 2-month gig in one place, use your free time to set up your next adventure.
How can I start yoga?
Yoga is very much a journey and a whole lifestyle. This means it's going to be totally different for each individual, which is what's so beautiful about the practice!
If you are looking to start a yoga practice, then my suggestion is to begin by trying out lots of different styles, and lots of different teachers. Find what works for you. Find what makes you leave a class feeling GREAT!
And you don't have to go to a group class either. There are dozens of apps and YouTube videos and websites out there that allow you to practice in your own home. This is how I got started!
Whatever you do, just keep at it. Don't judge yourself. Just listen to your body, and be aware of what your mind's reaction is to what your body tells you. Just keep practising, whether it's 10 minutes of closing your eyes and breathing, or 4 hours of sweating through vinyasa. Physically show up to your mat, mentally show up to yourself.
There's no one path, no right or wrong. Trust yourself.
I want to become a yoga teacher. Where should I train?
Like yoga itself, a yoga teacher training is very much an individual journey--different for everyone! What you're looking for in a teacher training might vary greatly from another person.
Perhaps the first place to start is to think about where you'd like to go. A teacher training can be an excellent way to see a new place!
I always suggest to read through the curriculum of a few different trainings and ensure that the school offers what really resonates with you.
I would also suggest making a list of all the reasons why you want to do this training and what you hope to get out of it in the long term. If it's to be a yoga teacher (as opposed to simply deepening your own practice), then include in the list what you want to teach, what you hope to share with others through your teaching. I say this because for every yoga teacher it's a little different. For example some teachers don't focus that much on the physical practice and teach their classes around the chakras and they include chants and mudras and stories around yoga philosophy, but other teachers want to make their students feel amazing in their bodies. So if it's the former, make sure the teachers at the school are experts in chakras, mudras, chants, and philosophy. If it's the latter, make sure the teachers have a good understanding of anatomy.
You're beginning a journey of a lifetime, and it's going to be amazing. Keep your mind open to learning, to being wrong, to being challenged as you go into your teacher training, and you won't regret it. Absorb every minute as best you can, and be grateful for every moment.
I see you offer health coaching. What is that exactly?
Health coaches bridge the gap between healthcare professionals and nutritionists. We recognise that health is holistic, and very individual! What works for someone else may not work for you.
I offer a 3-month programme or one-off sessions to work towards your specific goals, whether they're related to your diet, physical exercise, sleeping, relationships, work-life balance, or even finding a creative outlet!
During our sessions we will determine what goals you want to achieve and formulate attainable action plans. I will support you by providing guidance, encouragement, and holding you accountable to your word.
If this is something you're interested in, contact me today!
What's your diet like?
You can read all about my diet on my blog post.
Click HERE to read it.