When I went to my very first yoga class over two decades ago I was a stressed out, 'couldn't sit still' kind of woman. My mind was racing and I was constantly busy doing, doing, doing. I easily became overwhelmed and experienced panic attacks. I made quick decisions that didn't serve me so well and I was completely disconnected to my body.
I remember back then my yoga teacher saying to the class "take a breath and become present in this moment". That invitation was life changing for me.
My practice and curiosity grew and I trained as a yoga teacher myself. Towards the end of my teacher training I did what I now call 'The headstand that changed my life'. I ended up in A&E and was diagnosed with a rare brain condition. I felt like my world had fallen apart. I was physically and floored, my body was in pain and I experienced levels of distressing symptoms and exhaustion like never before. Emotionally I felt broken. Little did I know.....my real journey with yoga had begun....
The life that I had known was over.
I had previously had a way of fixing or navigating around my pain, but nothing worked anymore. Distracting or numbing was a temporary sticking plaster and the physical and emotional pain soon showed up, each time more and more intense. All the old ways no longer worked and were actually keeping me in much deeper suffering. .
One day whilst lying in my bed with yet another bout of exhaustion another little 'light' went off in me. It didn't have to be this way! I had been fighting to keep an old way of life that was no longer in existence or worrying about what the future would look like with a health condition. I realised that I wasn't at all present and was completely missing my life. Could I be with this suffering? Could I meet myself without wishing for anything to be different? Yes! Through deep rest, meditation, journalling, nature and a great support network of friendship I could clearly see a new way.
I became aware that I had been holding a huge amount of trauma in my system for many years. I hadn't been honouring myself or the or the earth I walked on and I often went against my true nature because I was never still enough to hear it. When I surrendered fully to my experience and let go of the need to control, my healing journey truly started to begin. I began to love my body for the first time no matter what physically showed up. I learned to sit comfortably with the discomfort and welcome both tears of joy and grief. I started to connect with Mother Earth in a gentle and loving way. I looked face on at the personal suffering I had experienced as a person of colour (see pages on anti-racism) and healed both the places I had felt oppression and the places I had been oppressed.
I started to align myself with nature. I introduced a plant based diet and worked in alignment with the seasons through deep connection with the earth. I worked with my own inner seasons and rested whenever I needed. Through the practice of Yoga Nidra (yogic sleep), breathwork, restorative yoga and mindfulness I worked with the traumas my body was holding and started to unveil them one by one, each time my body healing a little bit more.
As time went on I realised more and more that everything I needed in life to heal and enjoy life was within me. I had the power to awaken and create change. I spent hours studying ancient wisdom and modern texts, becoming more and more fascinated by the intricate nature of the body, mind and spirit.
My curiosity has led me to a continuous study of mind and body empowerment through yoga, meditation and deeply honouring Mother Earth. I use these learnings to understand how we can find that endless source of happiness. I have been in the darkness so I get it. To rise from this has given me a deep passion to support other on this journey of life to experience it at its greatness. This I share with others.
Firstly, I am not a guru. I personally believe that the guru's that many of us seek live within us. I believe in the power of connection with ourselves, each other (community) and the earth for healing. I hold people individually or in shared spaces (circles) to connect with their inner wisdom.
One by one, breath by breath we can create a new world. It is time for us to get honest with ourselves and shed the old ways for they are no longer serving us as individuals and as a collective. May our hearts meet on this strange and mysterious journey we call.....life!