After deciding to leave my husband and an outwardly very happy life, I started to question what happiness is and why I wasn’t happy. I concluded that a big part of what I was missing was a feeling of fulfilment, that I was leaving a legacy to the world.
While I went through the (admittedly self inflicted) pain of the separation, my yoga mat became my sanctuary. I threw myself into volunteering which did fill a hole but was not perhaps suited to my skills. I completed my yoga teacher training, unsure as to whether I wanted to teach or just study for my own benefit.
Studying yoga has increased my sense of connectedness between all beings. The knowledge that everything I do can and does have an impact on other people, even small things. I still have that desire to change the world but I am more and more aware that the world can change from the small actions of many people, rather than big actions by a few.
As I deepened my yoga practice of 20 years and finally completed my comprehensive yoga teacher training, the pieces started to fall into place. A workshop with yoga teacher and osteopath Peter Blackaby was a lightbulb moment, when he spoke about neuroplasticity in both our bodies and our brains. I realised just how much the science of yoga correlated to the science of happiness and wellbeing.
Yoga also teaches me that the end result isn’t the most important thing, it’s the path we take to get there. I also studied the science of happiness and wellbeing and this was a very strong theme in this area too. So much of modern society is focused on achieving an end goal by any means necessary and this has lead to a lot of unhappiness and discontentment. Yoga brings attention to the experience of the present moment as a place of quiet contentment and scientific studies also show a direct correlation between our sense of wellbeing and whether we are paying attention to the things we are doing right now.
Yoga helps me find a balance between taking responsibility for my own actions and impact and being accepting that the world has many moving parts and that I cannot bend them all to my will. Like the ‘Serenity Prayer’, we have to change the things we can change, accept the things we can’t change and have the wisdom to know the difference. This includes self acceptance. But we can’t change anything until we accept the reality of a situation.
I approach yoga and holistics from a scientific point of view. I’m not very “woo-woo” but I believe that a lot of techniques and therapies that are perceived as woo-woo should have a place in modern society to help people with their mental and physical health, direction and life satisfaction.
I bring together neuroscience, psychology and philosophy and incorporate them into my yoga teaching. I like to take these complicated concepts and simplify them for people to understand them more easily. I love to introduce people deeper concepts of yoga and show how relevant they are to the modern world.
In studying both yoga and the science of wellbeing I have found many links and a lot of wisdom in the ancient teachings that can be applied to modern life. These principles of yoga have changed my life and I want to share that with others, encouraging them to find joy in their present moment while also making the changes necessary for us to lead a happier, more contented and fulfilled life.
Interested in starting your own yoga journey? I offer 1-2-1 classes, online and in person at my yoga studio in Chorley.