My Philosophy …
… is about mindful attention to the body through movement and breath.
My philosophy has been honed through my own journey to understand my own body and how it moves through daily life.
I started with yoga while living amongst the beautiful beaches and chilled out people of Bermuda. My first class was an Ashtanga yoga class and I remember thinking “What on earth is that?” A friend was going to support her friend who was teaching the class so I tagged along. I remember enjoying moving but also thinking that there had to be more to yoga than this. At the time I didn’t explore what that “more” could be. I wasn’t hyped about the class and I certainly didn’t know what I was doing – I did a lot of looking around and following what others were doing. I have since learned that this a big no-no as you don’t really know what is going on with other people and their bodies and none of us move in the same way so to try to emulate others just leads to bad habits. But I was proud of myself as I did all the poses and got through the whole class!
My yoga practice got me thinking about movement and I did a lot of reading and tried other modalities such as Feldenkrais, Phoenix Rising, Pilates, Rolfing – all to understand my body and how it moved through my daily life. I experienced hiccups with each of these: I didn’t understand why one day I could move so easily and then other days I couldn’t. I found certain poses in various classes challenging but I couldn’t figure out where blockages – my “sticky spots” as I like to call them – were coming from and why. I was being asked to do poses without really understanding the purpose behind them.
I was getting frustrated and my teachers were as well because I didn’t look like everyone else in the pose or what the pretty picture in a book showed. As a result, I left my yoga practice – only doing some yoga when I felt like it. I took up Salsa dancing, running, Ballroom dancing, rollerblading, swimming, field hockey and golf. Moving harder and faster must be the better way, right? Little did I know.
After a motor scooter accident, a friend suggested that I practice Reiki. In 2007, I started on my path to health and wellness by becoming a Reiki Master and offering my services as a Reiki Practitioner.
Leaving Bermuda behind, I realized that I needed more in my life than making a living as a desk-jockey but walking away from the business world and a profession that I had spent many years in was going to take a huge leap of faith. I took the leap and haven’t looked back!
The next couple of years proved to be an interesting journey. During meditations I kept hearing “Yin Yoga” and this led me to sign up to take my yoga teacher training. I didn’t know much about Yin Yoga, but after a lot of research, speaking to people and listening to/watching videos, I figured out what I wanted to learn and thought that the path to get there would be through the yoga teacher training; I thought it was set in stone – it wasn’t … much to the surprise of my Type-A, super organized, in every box, mind.
When I finished my yoga teacher training I was still not content; something was missing. I decided to pursue other trainings outside the comfort of my city and those I had spent the last year with. What an eye-opener – I found my tribe! People started coming out of the woodwork and my awareness of yoga, my body and how I moved went full speed ahead. I finally started to understand the reason for my hiccups and sticky spots! My head hurt with all the knowledge I was packing into it and the releases I felt were humbling.
For those who come to my classes, my hope is that they become more aware of their bodies and how they move in their daily lives. Through their practice they will improve their overall strength, flexibility, coordination and mindfulness. My aim is for my students to learn to appreciate and accept their bodies, instead of trying to fit into some misconceived notion of what they believe they should look like or be and ultimately to learn to live better and happier in their bodies.
I have had the honour of teaching all kinds of students, sharing my knowledge, being challenged and encouraging all to find the love in their practice and the childlike interest to play with it.
Although I teach, I am still a student. Let’s learn together.
Editor: Shelley Martin
Image by: Andreah Barker