I encountered yoga many times in my life before it started to take root in me about 30 years ago. At this time, I embarked on a haphazard self- practice using books and videos. My curiosity about the discipline developed around 25 years ago when I started attending classes at my local leisure center in Ivybridge. At this time I dreamed about teaching yoga, in spite of a debilitating lack of self-confidence or self-awareness. This seemingly far fetched idea prompted me to attend a British wheel of Yoga foundation course with Sonja Armstrong and a Devon School of Yoga foundation course with Duncan Hulin. I loved both courses, although they were very different in their approaches.
At the time, I had no idea of the changes and transformations that yoga could promote in my life. I was working as a psychiatric nurse and felt exceptionally ill at ease in the constrained role of an ECT nurse. My job did not sit easily with me, but family circumstances meant I had to keep turning up to work for 10 hours a week. The regular and short hours were convenient- I had very poor physical health and three small children to bring up. My husband (also a nurse) was working irregular shifts. I felt distressed by my lack of agency due to the work place and my mental health suffered, leaving me with no confidence and zero self-esteem. I am grateful that yoga gently and gradually healed me over a long period of time, and thankful to the yoga teachers who revealed practices that supported me through the toughest period of my life.
My Uncle, Angus Findlater sadly died and left me enough money to leave the job that was gnawing away at my psyche. I retrained as a yoga teacher and I will always be grateful to my lovely Uncle for enabling this. I qualified in March 2010 and since then I have been lucky enough to teach yoga as a career. I continue to enthusiastically study and explore all aspects of yoga with a wide variety of well respected teachers. I trained with Angela Ashwin, whom I was privileged to have qualified with. Angela's approach to yoga is thorough and disciplined and she is steeped in some important fundamentals of hatha yoga.
I am now expanding my understanding of authentic, time-honoured Indian yoga practices and how they relate to modern western yoga by undertaking various courses including The Sounds of Sanskrit and Yoga Philosophy programme with Lucy Crisfield and The Arts of Yoga Practice and Textual Study programme with Paul Harvey as well studying The Bhagavad Gita and Upanshads with The Vedanta Institute London.
When learned teachers of viniyoga or vinyasa krama yoga come to the South West I make it my aim to study with them where possible. The teachers I am drawn to and have received valuable yoga lessons from include, Ramaswami Srivasa, A. G. Mohan, Steve Brandon, David Wilkinson, Ranju Roy, Norah Nelson, and Liz Turner. These teachers share the fact that they are inspired by TKV Desikachar and his father Sri Krishnamacharya's teachings; these are the teachings that I, in turn, find the most meaningful and I am very grateful to be in receipt of.
I have found that a healing process takes place within me both physically and mentally because of the holistic philosophies of the Indian spiritual practice of Yoga. This process is on-going and sometimes challenging but always interesting and worth while.
I teach Yoga Asana (postures) with a strong link to the rhythm of the breath in classes. I feel, as a yoga teacher, it is important to learn and absorb as much authentic yoga teachings as I can, and then, in turn, enable people through the appropriate use of yoga practices to become comfortable and steady, both physically and emotionally during classes and eventually beyond that too. Students are advised to develop their own independent practice, therefore I encourage the use of simple yoga methods at home among my students . I teach privately, in further education colleges, at local leisure centers, rehabilitation facilities and on retreats.