Spaciousness and the magic of yoga ✨

One of my least favourite feelings is that of constriction. It’s why I don’t wear tight clothes, avoid lifts whenever I can take the stairs, and won’t be taking up caving as a hobby any time soon! In recent years I have used yoga techniques to help me regulate when I do have to use a lift and I don’t experience the debilitating impact of claustrophobia that I did in the past, but on every level (physical, mental, energetic), space feels better than restriction to me.

I love the way that yoga enables us to explore (& create) space in the physical body, the breath, the energy, the mind and the spirit. So often we come to our yoga mats with tight muscles, shallow fast breath, and busy, overcrowded minds. We’re often squeezing in a class between other commitments or a never-ending to-do list. And yet for that hour, yoga allows us to step into a different space. To connect with our bodies and listen to the messages they have for us. To breathe deeply and send a message of safety to our overstimulated nervous systems. And to give the mind a break from its perpetual problem solving.

Since my first yoga class in June 2013, I have been amazed by the difference that one hour of yoga can make to my state. It’s capacity to unwind what has become too tight, to open up what has felt closed and to enable me to see the world through new, clearer, eyes. For a long time, I gave myself this little oasis of calm in the sea of chaos and noise, that was my life. What I found over time was that this hour of calm started to seep into other parts of my life too. An immersive retreat weekend could leave me with a feeling of calm for weeks, sometimes months after it had finished. Gradually I recognised the value of attending more than one weekly class and bringing in home practice and little rituals throughout my day. Somewhere along the line, this calmness went from being a state, to becoming a trait – something more enduring and less transitory. The norm, rather than the exception.

Yoga wasn’t the only thing that led to this change. I made lots of other little micro-changes in my daily habits; in what I read and listened to (& stopped reading and listening to) and how I spent my time. But without doubt, yoga was the foundation upon which all these other things were built. Yoga taught me to be curious, rather than judgemental of my own experience and of others. It taught me to listen to the gentle whispers of my body and mind, rather than push through until my body started to scream for attention. It taught me that I could change the way I was feeling through moving my body and working with my energy, but I could also sometimes just be with how I was feeling, even when it felt hard. Yoga didn’t stop hard things happening in my life. But it did give me a new way of responding when hard things came.

Since becoming a yoga teacher, one of my greatest joys is to share these practices and philosophies and to see the magic of yoga gently transforming so many lives. I love offering weekly classes and feel it is such a privilege to get to be a touch point in people’s week, creating the space for reflection and giving permission to put down the heaviness that we’re carrying. It feels wonderful to offer other ways to go deeper into this work through workshops and retreats and to be able to walk alongside people for a part of their journey. If you are reading this, then our paths have most likely crossed, and I hope you have gained value from my sharing of my journey or from my teachings (or both!). I am so grateful to you for your engagement with my work and looking forward to many more years of exploring, sharing and being curious together!