Many teachers have shaped me
Many teachers have shaped me into the person I am today, however Yoga deserves a special mention. Before we go there, let me give you snippet of my story.
I spent half my life training as a classical ballet dancer. The truth is it’s a tough gig. Hard work, high expectations and pain (both physical and emotional) are just part of the package. So you might ask, ‘why put yourself through that?’ Well, when there’s a passion you can’t live without, you accept the challenges that go hand in hand.
In my years as a dancer the exceedingly high expectations I placed upon myself left me with a rather warped sense of self. The only thing that seemed important to me was the way I looked and the way I danced. Anything beyond that wasn’t important to me at that time. I was very strung out.
In 2001 I was training at a ballet school in Vienna, Austria. I was 17 and living away from home for the first time. Woo hoo! Yes, it was fabulous until I started gaining weight. (Not great for a dancer. I guess I was enjoying a few too many pretzels?) A fellow dance student suggested I try Bikram yoga because: I quote, “It’s super hot and you sweat heaps, and you’re bound to lose a few kilos - I did!” So, curious and excited about shedding the extra weight, off I went. I wore a long sleeved baggy tee shirt and sweat pants to make sure I’d sweat. Anyone who’s been to a Bikram class would certainly say I was crazy! But that was my mentality back then. No pain, No gain!
From my first yoga class I was hooked. For all the wrong reasons of course, but that doesn’t matter. The point is we all start from somewhere, and over time we wake up to the potency and wisdom of the yoga practice. This wisdom doesn’t reveal itself right away. It’s hidden behind the physical postures, waiting to be discovered. The physical practice is merely a gateway to a deeper understanding of Self through the process of self-inquiry. Over time our yoga practice evolves, as do we.
Yoga is a seeker of Truth. It demands that we look inside ourselves to watch and listen to how we interact with our inner and outer world. It’s like watching a movie featuring you as the star. As we observe, we begin to realise previously unrealised truths about who we are. This realisation creates a platform for love, forgiveness, acceptance and growth.
Personally, the practical application of self-observation has made a profound impact on my life. Believe me when I say I’m far from perfect. I still need to work on myself everyday, but I’ve come a long way since that crazy girl in sweat pants.
Through the practice I’ve managed to correct many misperceptions of myself. I’ve become move aware of the way I interact in the world. I’m much happier in my own skin. I’m better at surrendering to the messiness of life – which with two kids under 3 is a necessary feat! I’ve learnt to be kind and forgiving to myself and to others. To be flexible and accommodating when things don’t go to plan. My personal expectations are far more realistic and I’m more frequently able to stop, breathe, and laugh when it all feels too F hard. I’ve learnt seeing the funny side of things is the best medicine when you feel like things can’t get any worse.
So my fellow yogis, my mission is to share this transformative practice with you. I want to guide you, challenge you and stretch you beyond the physical.
I want to help you realise your own full potential.