I’ve been asked this a couple of times, and I’ve always responded with ‘Lots of reasons!’, but mainly:
- I enjoy helping people to feel better.
- I love movement.
- I feel passionate about maintaining fitness, particularly as we get older.
I’ve felt the benefits of exercise physically as well as mentally whilst experiencing a tough bereavement. Prior to the bereavement I enjoyed high energy classes, but this was a kind of grief I had never experienced, and it seemed to occur during a period where a few people around us died. I still wanted to move but felt far too drained for a Spin class or Body Jam, so I tried yoga instead. I felt wonderful afterwards and was amazed at how even slow movements could bring about a sense of calm and increased energy. This is where my love of yoga and Pilates began.
How I moved into teaching
My previous job was in software test management, and I was put ‘at risk’ of redundancy due to an office move. I was at risk for 9 months, which gave me time to contemplate staying in a similar role or making a change. Let’s face it, even if we enjoy our job, we all day dream about other lifestyles!
I started to explore the idea of teaching yoga, plus I had never taken a sabbatical or gap year and thought somehow, I could weave the two together. Whilst I was ‘At Risk’ I booked onto a yoga foundation course to test the waters. I absolutely loved it and decided I wanted to sign up to the 200-hour course. I admit that I probably wasn’t ready for the course, but I had convinced myself that this was the right time to make the leap. Daily self-practice began in earnest before the start of the course. My decision just felt right, and I went with my gut feeling. Sometimes I can approach things in a bit of a gung-ho fashion, but I believe sometimes for me that it just the best way. Throughout the course I continued to be in awe of how movement could provide such a sense of peace and calm within, and I wanted to be able to share this experience and help others.
What inspires and motivates me?
I’m inspired and motivated by people on a daily basis. Everyone has a story and I hear snippets of stories here and there. I love how people adapt and move on physically and emotionally. This isn’t always the case, but we all have that capability to adapt, and its understanding how we can tune into our adaptability.
Padam Padam – Step by Step
It’s true that any exercise can help you move and adapt, and Yoga and Pilates may help people to transition through whatever life is throwing at you. Sometimes it might be the movement, or the breath, or sometimes it might be the social aspect of turning up to a class each week and seeing the same friendly faces.
Be kind to your body
As mentioned above I love high energy classes, but sadly my joints don’t. I want to move in a way that feels better for my joints and means they are maintained rather than worn down. Do what you can to make your joints last for as long as possible. Many people will need to adapt their exercise as they get older and sometimes you will need to add specific exercises to compliment your favourite activity, class or lifestyle. Yoga and Pilates are perfect for this.