Graduate to Yoga Teacher - My 10 Year Journey
For the first time in a long time, I feel like I am doing what I was meant to be doing, teaching Yoga and dancing my heart out to the uplifting Zumba tunes, whilst helping others to feel good too!
I graduated just over 10 years ago! I almost did a dance degree but I wasn’t sure where it would lead me, so I opted for a business degree - throughout this time I had decided I probably wanted to be an accountant. During my placement year at the NHS working on a range of projects, I managed to spend a couple of weeks in the finance department and decided it probably wasn’t for me - it didn’t light my fire.
I moved to Derby in 2008 for a job in a world leading company working in Human Resources. However, I found it incredibly difficult at times when I was based at a desk day in day out, when my body and mind were feeling very restless and wanted to move! I was fortunate enough to gain an internal placement and get a taste for training employees, in particular younger people - and their spark and excitement I loved. This lead me to decide to move on and become a secondary school teacher as I hadn’t got a clue what else I might do. Taking some time out to figure it out didn’t feel like an option at the time - simply a self brought about rule. So I managed to secure a PGCE at Manchester Uni in 2010 just two weeks before it was due to start - I found a place to live and moved up there. The world of school teaching was so much bigger than I could have possibly imagined. This was great as it gave me plenty of learning and things to get my teeth stuck into, as well as being very daunting at times. It was about creating positive learning opportunities to try and bring out the best in young people, which was exactly what I wanted - to help others.
I taught at leading schools and colleges, all with their highs and lows. I loved designing creative lessons, connecting with students and seeing those lightbulb moments when something clicks. But my perfectionist attitude at the time meant and a high workload meant I worked crazy hours, this lifestyle just wasn’t sustainable. I soon wanted to leave my first teaching job but due to lack of job opportunities I stayed there a few years. Now seeing this conflict of wanting to leave but being there and committing my life to it was stressful. I didn’t have the time to process my own thoughts and found it extremely difficult to switch off. Coupled with standing in front of large groups of teenagers for multiple hours per day, whilst feeling anxious and low, trying to put a brave face on became exhausting. Looking back I would now definitely offer myself different advice!
In early 2016 I followed my husband with his work opportunity to Japan. It was a fresh start. I knew nothing, I had one afternoon planned and that was it! I had a new life to make for myself, daunting and exciting at the same time! Without really looking, I got offered a job as a school teacher but I decided actually it wasn’t what I wanted to do. I had some opportunities to interact with the locals and offer them English support, along with offering Zumba classes to Japanese and expat friends. It was ideal as the language barrier really didn’t matter because Zumba predominantly uses hand signals and other subtle cues to guide the room! I knew teaching Zumba was still something that I loved - the music, moving my body, focusing on the routines and having fun with wonderful people and seeing the smiles!
Shortly after moving to Japan I found a yoga class in English. When I first started I was mostly focused on how the poses looked and trying to achieve what I thought was the most ‘flexible’ pose, I was mostly concerned with the body. However, as time went on and I started to practice yoga more and more, I realised it was much more than that. For me it was a time to let go of old tensions and emotions and create space for the new. It combatted my aching body that kept me awake at night. It slowed my racing mind down and over time brought out the peacefulness within, something I hadn’t felt for years! It was a way of healing. It was these magical opportunities that I had to bring to others.
In Japan I practiced yoga virtually everyday which helped to prepare me for my 200 hour yoga teacher training course I undertook in India, which along with learning to teach yoga, was a personal transformational journey full of laughter, tears, tiredness, friends, growth and learning. I remember having to sit on the floor for all of our classes, it felt torturous at times! And now one of my favourite places to sit is the floor and feel connected and grounded. The world of yoga is huge - I don’t think even I will get bored with my mind that always wants to move onto the next thing! And as my practice evolves so do I. I began to teach yoga in Japan and I soon realised early on this was definitely what I wanted to do when I returned to the UK! So with my love of Zumba and Yoga, Beautifully Balanced was born, with classes launching a month after I returned from Japan in January 2018.
Now through Beautifully Balanced I currently offer a range of Yoga classes and Zumba classes each week. I am grateful to have wonderful opportunities each week to connect with amazing clients, give them the space and tools for their own experience, to take what they need on that day. Depending if we’ve been sat down, on our feet a lot or going through a stressful time in our life, this manifests differently in the body and mind and therefore what is needed on one day may be different to another. I love to help people and see them progress. I get to watch this blossom in front of me, whether it’s someones confidence grow, they master a dance move, smile, feel energised, feel a little more relaxed or increase their flexibility. It’s always a pleasure to hear how clients are benefiting. I love the energy at the end of class, knowing we have all danced, moved or breathed together in our own individual beautiful ways. I am truly thankful for everyone who shares a class with me. Namaste x