Originally from Glastonbury I was surrounded by Yoga. Even a friends mother was a Yoga teacher, she would travel around India and the Tibetan Himalayas for mystical trainings. Still this never influenced me to teach, I had never known what I wanted to do. In the past I have enrolled in beauty courses, an art BTech, worked in retail and a glassware store, even at the age of 23 I began to study biology. None of it could keep my attention and I always opted for more sightseeing and adventures while I figured it out.
My earliest encounter with yoga was during my first lone trip to Thailand at the sweet age of 19. The persuasion from backpacker pals and the popularity on the Island of Koh Phangan made it an obligation. Fortunate for me it was beach yoga.. yes it was beautiful, yes it was tranquil, yes it was liberating. However at the sweet age of 19 I was not as spiritually entwined as I am now. I wasn't exactly a healthy role model, my diet consisted of cheap traveller food - Pad Thai, rice, chips, banana bread from the 711 and the occasional green curry if I was eating out with friends. Consumption of rum buckets and Changs were also a regular occurrence..
Anyway as time passed, more countries were visited, more cultures were experienced, more friends were made and more wiser I grew. Travelling taught me to care more about my health physically and mentally, to eat a cleaner diet and to become more aware of my footprint on the world. It has always encouraged me to challenge myself and try something new, may it be a language, recipe, skydive or yoga.
After a trip backpacking through Peru and Bolivia I returned home to start the cycle of saving money to pay for another flight to a tropical paradise. During this summer stop of 9-5 retail and bartending every other weekend, me and my housemate were attending a great Vinyasa Flow class in our local gym. I was in a good place in my life but still in the mentality of what am I eventually going to do. Then in class one evening it dawned upon me.. I am going to become a yoga teacher! Maybe the downward dogs got to my head, maybe the full moon was out, maybe I had enough of passing through with quick flip jobs to fund the next voyage. Whatever it was, it was perfect. I could travel, I love the practice of yoga and it was a path I could progress with. So further travels were immediately suspended and yoga teaching was the next plan of action!
The most convenient part of this story is my friend Emma who had just returned from her yoga teacher training in Bali. I was oblivious of this and found it all too coincidental to my journey when she messaged me recommending the course. Emma knew I practiced yoga and seen I was plodding along in life, but was unaware of my new life decision. I know, strange universe vibes were felt. The Power Of Now Oasis in Sanur, Bali is where we both completed our training. A beautiful bamboo studio facing onto the beach, you can hear the waves as you meditate and there is also an authentic Balinese addition, Angelique, the sacred cow. It has been the most testing and transformational task I have done to date and am so grateful for all I learnt. I'll be writing a piece about my experience on the course so keep an eye out for upcoming blogs.
After my studies I had an opportunity to practice teach at the studio. It was perfect, I felt comfortable there and the hippy clientele who would pass through were never small in numbers and always happy with a free yoga class. However, Bali wasn't forever.. not yet anyway. I made my way back home and the next time I stood on my mat as an instructor was 6 weeks after in Marbella, Spain.
In the beginning teaching outside the safety and non judgmental bamboo pillars of The Power Of Now was nerve wracking, so many thoughts would cross my mind. 'What if people didn't like my class, what if I forgot something, what if someone has an injury and I cant help, what if someone faints, what if I faint!'. I would put pressure on myself to be the perfect teacher, now I know I can only be the best version of myself and just as my parallel parking, bed-making, Spanish and personal practice is not perfect, my teaching is not either - it is just me. When these thoughts try to creep in they are now phased out because my love for teaching overpowers my doubts.
Since then I have taught in England, Portugal, Chile, and Colombia.
There is room for development and I will always be a student as well as an instructor. Although I can not be the perfect teacher I can strive to be and that is something I am really enjoying about all of this, I am always going to improve. Attending other classes, testing out sequences on my friends and researching all types of yoga is necessary to progress with my own practice, seek inspiration and meet other instructors.
To sum this all up, I love what I do now and my journey is still in the beginning chapters. If you too are in limbo about life I believe travelling will help you decide, as well as giving you time it will give you some insight of what you enjoy and allow you to be your absolute self, meet great people and experience beautiful parts of the world.