I continued to do my own practice whilst travelling around the world using David Swenson’s Practice Manual as a guide, until a workshop with John Scott, early in 2000, made me realise that I needed a teacher of my own.
That same year I moved to London to study with Hamish Hendry at Astanga Yoga London. It was through Hamish that I realised the benefits of a daily morning practice, and there that I eventually began to learn to teach in the traditional Mysore style.
My first trip to Mysore was at the end of 2002 just before the new shala opened – I ended up staying for 4 months. Since then, I have visited as often as family, life and work commitments will allow. I have been lucky enough to have studied with Pattabhi Jois, Saraswati and Sharath and in 2012 received the level 2 authorisation to teach both the primary and intermediate series.
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My love of nature and the outdoors gave me the impetus to leave my ashtanga community in London and move with my family to the north of England to help create an ashtanga community here. This is where I still live with my two children, dog and cat – teaching classes locally as well as workshops and retreats much further afield.
I love the Ashtanga community that I have helped to create locally, guiding my students on this journey and being able to support them along the way I find rewarding. My retreats are an extension of this. I wanted to connect my love of the practice with my love of the outdoors. On these trips away, students have the opportunity to reconnect with nature and challenge themselves in new ways, taking their yoga practice off the mat. Whether it’s climbing mountains in all the elements, facing your fears whilst rock climbing, sliding down natural water chutes and jumping into pools whilst ghyll scrambling or breathing deeply as you swim in icy tarns and lakes. It’s amazing to see the strength of the friendships that develop over time away, however short, and watch as peoples’ confidence, energy and belief in themselves and their potential grow.
I started this practice in my 20s – young and free with tons of energy and few commitments. Since then the practice has been my one constant throughout all of life’s upheavals – marriage, pregnancy, childbirth, parenthood, moving home, divorce and now heading towards menopause. My goal has been to create a safe and supportive space in which I can support others on their own journey, helping them to explore and deepen their practice in a way that is both nurturing and sustainable. I want to enable students to have the confidence and ability to be able to work with this practice in a way that helps support them in all stages of their life and so make this a lifelong practice.