After having practised yoga for many years, I qualified with the British Wheel of Yoga in 2009 and gained further training in yoga therapy with Yogacampus in 2011. This was my first encounter with mindfulness as a management tool for pain, grief and trauma. I am currently completing CMI Mindfulness Level 1 training.
I teach hatha yoga group classes as well as private sessions, mostly in Epsom in Surrey, for people of all ages, backgrounds and levels, taking care of meeting my students where they are. I also run a yoga therapy practice for individuals wishing to address specific health issues, and specialise in yoga for back care (I teach a 12-week course on ‘Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs’ and continue to study with Alison Trewhela).
While exploring other yoga styles, I have developed a keen interest in mindfulness. For example training with Judith Hanson Lasater in restorative yoga has helped me to understand the importance of slowing down which allows for a deeper experience of the poses and the breath as well as an expanded awareness of the whole being. Studying Scaravelli-inspired yoga with Catherine Annis and Gary Carter has also encouraged me to work mindfully with the body, breath and mind.
It is recognised that yoga increases awareness but when practised mindfully it becomes a powerful tool to uncover who we are as human beings with thoughts, feelings, emotions and habitual patterns. Mindfulness is more than just ‘doing’ our yoga practice, it is ‘being in’ our yoga practice and taking it into our everyday lives. It helps us to switch off from auto-pilot mode and lead a more meaningful life where we are able to make more conscious choices. Above all, mindfulness promotes the quality of compassion by encouraging us to become kinder to ourselves and others. Mindfulness is truly a transformational journey worth exploring.
In the course of my yoga career I have always made sure that I gain a qualification which is nationally recognised. My yoga teaching diploma is with the BWY, the largest yoga membership in the UK. My yoga therapy diploma and ‘Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs’ qualification are recognised by the British Council of Yoga Therapy and I am registered with the Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council. So, for me, it is important that my mindfulness training is gained through an organisation such as CMI that adheres to the UK network’s Good Practice Guidelines.