In Spring 2012 I decided to lose the 'baby weight' and started running, however through calorie counting and over-training, 18 months later I developed control issues and breathing difficulties. Modern medicine couldn’t find anything wrong with me, so I when to see a nutritionist and explored first the Primal Lifestyle and then the Paleo lifestyle. This led me to an online personal trainer who looked to fuelling and repairing the body.
He recommended that as well as to ‘work out’ the body required to ‘work in’. In addition to weigh lifting, he taught a variety of calming exercises, promoted stress management, adequate sleep, minimal use of electrical appliances at night, stretching and Yoga. I followed a diet of unprocessed natural foods, excluding gluten and minimising dairy. My breathing recovered and I was able to give up using my inhalers. I really enjoyed learning about nutrition, diet and exercise and was fascinated by the effect of stress and modern day lifestyles on the body.
Yoga was recommended on the plan for stretching out muscles to balance the weight lifting. My first experience of Yoga was in a tiny room adjacent to a garden centre. I was told to bring a blanket and some water. There was calming music playing, incense burning and about 8 yogis/yoginis. Payment was made in an honest box for £7. I had expected the Yoga session to be a bit like a fitness class and was amazed to find this calm atmosphere. The breathing, chanting, asana practice and finally savasana took me on a journey of complete and utter calmness.
I went 3 or 4 times, but when my husband started full time education and it clashed with childcare I didn't peruse it. Back then I didn't realise I had a choice, and I could have found an alternative if I had wanted. I was very much the victim and martyr. Nevertheless, I took my new found appreciation of Yoga with me and I never forgot the feeling it gave me. I lived the PT/paleo way for 2 years until bad habits started to creep in. Life got in the way of living!
In 2013, my father was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease, thus had to retire. This led to a huge shift in the family business with not only dad being absent, but also mum being away for extended periods of time. I tried to pick up the slack and carry most of mum's workload, working stupid hours, not exercising, not walking, not spending quality time with my children and generally leading a miserable life.
Fast forward to July 2015 and I burnt out due to over working and I decided I needed to change career in order to change my lifestyle. Those first glimpses of Yoga had stayed with me, and I knew I needed Yoga to balance me and drag me out of the dark depression I was in. Most of the classes in my area are during the day, so I reduced my hours, so I could start practicing again.
It was within the first few classes that I was inspired to teach. I believe there are a lot of people only half living, living crazy stressful lives and I fear it’s only going to get worse. I want to be able to relax and inspire people, I want to give people the tools to be healthy both mentally and physically. I don’t want to just work for money anymore.
I used the 200hr Teacher Training course not just as a change in career, but as part of my healing journey to discover who I am and what I want out of life. I am no longer happy to be a slave to a job and I have discovered I get so much joy from being creative, something that my current job, doesn't require much of the time.
If I’m honest it has taken me a while to bounce back from where I was in July 2015, but I have gained tools and insights into ways of living and I'm currently taking a deep and fearless moral inventory of myself. When i can make peace with who I am, then I can move forward. I’m no longer using Yoga just as a tool to stretch out my muscles, but I’m using it to completely balance me physically and mentally. Today I don't feel I need to lift weights or aspire to look a certain way. Health of Mind, Body & Spirit is what I am seeking and that is exactly what Yoga delivers.
I trust I am exactly where I am meant to be right now and I strive forward with a new positive outlook both mentally and physically. I no longer feel I need to master everything this year alone and Yoga taught me I don't have to follow the rules! I believe my Higher Power will take me to where I belong, I don’t need to force my life or yoga in any particular direction.