I had been travelling round the world backpacking and living Australia when I stumbled across yoga. The year was 1998 and I was living in Coogee,Sydney at the time. I'm still not sure what prompted me to go, but I guess curiosity was a huge part. I was a little nervous as to what to expect, as my flexibility was certainly not one of my strengths, couldn't even touch my toes!! ... Anyhow, I took the plunge and went into the class.
As arrived the smell of incense greeted me alongside a large statue of Ganesha (Elephant God). I had spent 3 months travelling round in India before and had seen many of these statues throughout India so already something felt familiar.
The class was amazing and it was so different from anything physical I had done in the past. There was so much instruction about how to breath and how to get into the poses however like any beginner I did what I could do (which didn't seem a lot at the time)!
I walked out of the room feeling taller, relaxed and very happy with myself and said that I would definitely start a regular practice every week. Eventually when I returned back to the UK I did start up regular classes. Back then there wasn't all the different styles that there are now especially where I was living in Watford.
I did just that and practiced Hatha yoga on and off for many years. Then one day a cover teacher came and taught us at the gym. She started talking about Ujja breath and engaging your Bandha's!!...I had no idea what she was talking about. The class was much faster and more challenging than I was used to and for the first time I was really sweating, this was yoga on another level!! ... Afterwards I went up to the teacher and was keen to know the style of yoga we had practiced and said how much I enjoyed the class and she said it was Ashtanga yoga. To be honest this still didn't mean anything to me at the time, but at least I knew the name and could search for Ashtanga classes.
So, on and off for years I practiced and it would be years again later that I would embark on my yoga training path to become a teacher. In 2012, I took myself back off to India and studied with Lalit Kumar at the Himalayan Yoga Valley in Goa. I completed my 200 hour teacher training in Ashtanga. Again, in 2013 I went back to Goa and studied a further 300 hours advanced training in Vinyasa yoga with Sampoorna also in Goa.
I was 18 years old and working in an office whilst training to become a manicurist/pedicurist which would take me 3 months to qualify. What I loved most of the training was the massage. I went to Israel for a few months and worked on a Kibbutz. Upon my return I signed up for massage training at the local college near me in Watford. The course was amazing. I loved the theory and the practical training was hard to stay awake for as we practiced our massage techniques on each other ... it was sheer bliss and I was in massage heaven :-) As well as always wanting to travel I also really wanted to work on cruise ships, so before I had even qualified as a Massage Therapist I applied to Steiner of London. To my surprise I was accepted!!!! I was terrified and excited at the same time. I began training with Steiner for 6 weeks before being flown out to Miami. For 8 months I worked my way round the Caribbean on huge luxury cruise liners. I even worked every Monday morning on a private Island called Half Moon Bay in Antigua. Working on the ships was the best ever experience I could have gained as our passengers were 90% american and they all have 'massarge" out there on a regular basis. They were my best teachers.
I went on to travel the world with the money that I had earnt and it was when I got to Australia, this time at a place called Bundaberg that I discovered Reiki that I decided to do my my Reiki level 1 training.
Since then. I came back to work on dry land at a salon in St Albans, Hertfordshire for 5 years before becoming a mobile massage therapist. Within those 5 years I continued to study further obtaining a Reiki Level 3 and qualifying with more beauty treatments. I still massage my regular clients in-between teaching yoga.
I continue to study yoga and have since qualified in 2016, in Restorative Yoga with Anna Ashby at Triyoga, London. I attend regular workshops especially anatomy ones and have trained with Dr McGonigle (Dr Yogi), to further my anatomy knowledge. I have recently completed a foundation course for Yoga Nidra with Yoga Campus and going back for further training at the end of the year to study for my Yoga Nidra certificate.
I teach in and around around London and Hertfordshire in gyms, halls, offices, homes and even live online classes. I have taught at retreats, wellness days, festivals and at the Om Yoga Show in Alexandra Palace, London.
I am teaching my first retreat in Andalucia, Spain in 2018. I will complete my Yoga Nidra training at the end of 2017 and I will be planning more retreats abroad as well as ongoing training for my personal development.