The year was 1995. I was 17 – on the cusp of adulthood. And a school friend and I decided that it would be fun to sign up for a yoga course, held in our local church hall in Harrow (a suburb of London). This was long before yoga was trendy.
We were the only teenagers in a sea of middle-aged women who’d been prescribed it by forward thinking doctors, healers and relatives. As a sprinter and fan of explosive exercise, it frustrated me. The still, slow pace grated on me. The endless relaxation seemed pointless and by the time we finished the course I was grateful to leave that musky hall and never return.
But then life picked up the pace, and post-university I found myself craving the stillness I had once so callously dismissed. I remember telling a friend I was thinking of going to meditation classes at my local gym, and she kept asking, “why?” I didn’t have the words to explain what I was craving, and why, and even when I enrolled in kundalini yoga classes at Pineapple Dance Studios, I still didn’t have the words. I do now, and see that when you don’t have words, you can have movement and breath and that can take you where you need to go.
Yoga has been with me ever since then. Not on the regular, but as a backdrop to my life. It’s a safe space I can go when I need rest and recuperation, but also want a physical challenge. I’ve tried them all – hatha, Bikram, ashtanga and I always, always love the Savasana.
Now, as a writing coach and the author of Heart, Sass & Soul: Journal Your Way to Inspiration and Happiness, I’m a loud proud voice for introspection, for silence, and for the power of self-knowledge. I encourage my clients to get out of their heads and into their bodies, as a way to free up creative blocks. I encourage them to speak their truth, live their purpose and feel free in their hearts and minds. I am a yoga girl and proud to be one.