I guess my yoga journey began in the Canadian ski resort town of Whistler in 2009, not long after I had left home to travel and work abroad. I found myself intrigued by what a ‘Hatha Level 2′ class might entail. My ego told me I would be fine to jump straight into any level class so next thing I knew, I was holding a headstand for eight minutes – my poor head! After a fair amount of snowboarding, without any stretching or other exercise, my body was screaming out for balance and the class was a good start! I had been in full time dance training for several years back in London, so I wanted something that would make me feel the way that dance had….challenged but free, healthy, energised and supple! My body was used to being worked hard and I wanted to be strong and flexible again.
I continued to go to classes sporadically until I moved to Queenstown in New Zealand, where I found a lovely teacher at a local gym who taught a gentle Sivananda style. I followed her regularly and as she started to show me how to do more of the postures I was inspired to practise more. When she left for maternity leave, I went in search for other yoga styles, and that’s when Bikram fell into play. I no longer practise Bikram however, I am eternally grateful for discovering it, as it was the stepping stone into my teaching training! It felt like being back in a ballet class – sweat, hard work, regimental, focused and physically demanding. I continued for about a year consistently, until I made the decision to leave New Zealand in search of teacher training in Sydney, Australia…
As if on cue – Power Living Yoga came into my life, or rather, Duncan Peak did! My first class with him was enough for me to know that I wanted to train with him, in his studio. Every teacher there at Power Living was incredible and Duncan had a way about him that made me feel as though I would become a good teacher under his guidance. So I did my ‘200-hour training in Power Vinyasa’ and I absolutely loved every second of it! I was lucky enough to work at his studio whilst training, so I practised daily and lived and breathed yoga. After completing my training, I was extremely excited to teach and I returned to New Zealand to be with my partner. At the time, Queenstown had no vinyasa/power yoga on offer, so it wasn’t long before my classes filled up and I realised I was at the beginning of an incredible teaching journey! My students were fantastic and it was amazing for me to watch so many of them change and develop in front of my eyes; I couldn’t believe how rewarding it was. I started to teach all over Queenstown and I also took on private clients and various events and workshops. I became ambassador for ‘lululemon athletica’ when they launched their brand and website in New Zealand. I featured on their website, taught classes in the store and to the CEO of the company, but the highlight for me has to be teaching 170 participants from the community for the launch day. I also had fantastic opportunities such as teaching the Canadian Olympic Ski team, one of the wonders of living in a ski town!
I continued my professional development, attending workshops and further training with Duncan Peak and Tiffany Cruikshank, but after six years away from home, I decided to return to London. I was searching for something new and inspiring….
Only a few short months after being back, and in search of a teacher to inspire me, I met Stewart Gilchrist. Once again, the right person had entered my life just when I needed them most! I will be forever thankful for finding him as he has changed the way I practise, teach and learn and essentially put me back on track. Most importantly, he has shown me what it is to be a truly authentic teacher and the essence of what yoga really is! Being in London gives me the opportunity to attend wonderful classes with teachers like Stewart and Mark Kan, as well as further training with The Yoga People.
And so here I am in London, and I feel honoured to call myself a ‘yoga teacher’, when in fact, I’m just a student searching my own depths and wanting to share my experiences with others. I’m not interested in teaching a class that doesn’t inspire and ignite some level of change and development in a person, whether that is in their asana (physical practice) or within their soul and being. I want to help people in reaching their full potential, and part of that will be challenging them!
What I do know is that I feel most present and at ease when I am teaching, and I hope that I can help people in the way that my teachers have helped me….