Namaste world! Interview with a fantastic London yoga teacher
Tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into yoga.
I’m a born and raised South London girl, and it took me a long time to find what it was I was meant to do, and to pluck up enough courage to put myself out there to do it.
I think, like so many other people, you start your working life thinking an office 9-5 is the only real career path. I didn’t go to University, and left school a year early to work in events and fashion, industries I loved but not enough to really immerse myself in a career in.
Following this I went into a couple different PA roles and through those, I learnt a lot, and many organisational skills I’m so grateful to have now I run my own business, but again – it wasn’t the career path for me, I never felt fully committed or satisfied, and knew there was something else out there which I was destined to do.
I first started practicing yoga in 2013 when a friend of mine began teaching classes in a nearby pub every Monday evening (she actually then passed this class onto me once I started to teach, so I began my teaching career in the exact spot I started my yoga journey, which was very special to me).
This started off as a once weekly thing, and a nice excuse to see my friend, but it quickly turned into a lot more than just a fun Monday evening activity.
I was working as a PA in a very fast paced environment, and yoga was my escape from work, it calmed me, grounded me and left me feeling strong – both mentally, and physically, and I found the idea of being a yoga teacher very inspiring but never thought I’d have the courage to pursue it. I slowly found myself becoming more and more unhappy in my existing job, and the idea of becoming a yoga teacher quickly became the forefront of my mind. Once I started looking into yoga schools, speaking to my friends and family about it, there was no escaping it and the next thing I knew I’d been accepted into a school in Goa, my flights were booked and I was on my way to India!
What was a typical day like in India when you were training and did your perspective on life change as a result?
The day’s were very long but each day absolutely flew by, and to be honest I wish I could do it all over again, it was the best 4 weeks of my life.
Each day began at 5:30am with 30 minutes of meditation and chanting in the yoga shala, followed by a 2.5 hour yoga asana practice (I trained in multi style, so we did a different style of yoga each week). We would then take a break to have some breakfast and shower, before a full day of classes commenced (anatomy, yoga philosophy, yoga history, alignment & adjustment classes and workshops). Finishing each day with a 1 hour yoga practice, before eating dinner all together and swiftly off to bed!
It was one of the most emotional, incredible, exhausting and exhilarating experiences of my life, nothing can fully prepare you for the full emotional journey you take whilst you’re there. You’re not only learning so much about this beautiful practice (and there is so much to learn), you’re also learning so much about yourself, being challenged and challenging yourself in ways you may not have done before and you are surrounded by people from all over the world and all walks of life, it really is very eye opening and I would definitely say I’ve taken a lot from it to change my life for the better.
What is your weekly diet like and does it help with your yoga practice?
I eat a pretty healthy and balanced diet, and always have done, but of course there are still a few naughty days where I binge on beige food and chocolate. I do definitely find myself being a lot more conscious of what I eat as a result of my yoga practice, and being a lot more mindful.
You learn a lot about Ayurveda and yogic diets whilst training, and it definitely does become a part of your life, and something I find really fascinating. Before becoming a yoga teacher I did a diploma in nutrition, more for myself than anything, so food and diet has always been something I’ve found very interesting and have loved to learn about.
What are your favourite yoga moves and what are their benefits?
My favourite yoga moves and asanas vary, they can change daily, weekly or monthly, depending on how I’m feeling and what my body wants to practice.
I’ve always loved yoga balances, which when you really put your mind to and focus on, there’s not really space for anything else, so I find them incredibly grounding as they really bring you fully into the present moment.
I also love Yin yoga and the deeper, more restorative poses which are practiced in this style. Especially on those days where you’re feeling a little tired and just want a big stretch or release (they not only help release physical sensations, they are also an amazing stress and anxiety release due to their grounding and calming nature).
Do you think if more people took up yoga the world would be a better place?
I love this question, and at the risk of sounding cliche I do honestly think that.
Yoga is a devotional practice, and through a regular practice you really start to learn and embody kindness to yourself and to others.
The physical practice of yoga is only one small part of it, once you learn to take yoga off the mat, that’s when you truly start to benefit from your practice. Picture the incredible feeling you get after an amazing class, and imagine feeling that all day every day, and the rest of the world feeling it too – to me that sounds like a pretty great place.
Check out Indigo’s website & book your amazing yoga session now here: www.indiriverflows.com