"Who in the world am I? Ah, that's the great puzzle."
A child of the 60's, born and bred in the beautiful Lake District and growing up with a love of nature, the outdoors, art and beans on toast!
My first job was as a dental nurse, but I interrupted this to spend 3 month's in London training to become an aerobic's instructor at the Pineapple Dance Studio (so many leg warmers - viva la 80's!)
Then, in my late teens, all change again and I headed off to California to look after children during a gap 'year' that turned out to be more like a gap 6 years! Ah, life and its plans hey? I worked as a nanny, a horror make-up artist (random, I know) and a self-employed artist during this time.
It seems like a world away now, but I've often described this period as being some of the best and the worst times in my life. I returned home aged 25 years, with my beautiful little boy (he being part of the best times obviously!) It was a long and often rocky road getting back on track, with a lot of loss and heartache along the way.
As I mentioned earlier, I didn't really start practising yoga until my 30's but I thank my lucky stars that it found me, because it really has transformed the way I live my life and helped me to deal with life's obstacles. For many years, I've worked in the voluntary sector, with a desire to help and support others - I worked 3 years for an organisation to support victims of rape and abuse; then another 3 years educating and supporting young people with drug and alcohol issues. Then from 2009 until 2018, I worked at Brathay Trust in the Lake District (one of the venues for the yoga/walking escapes), first as their Senior Youth Worker and later as the Cumbria Projects Manager, where we supported disadvantaged young people to realise their potential and help them become the best they could be.
It was during this time I also realised a dream to travel more. With my son at university, I was seeking adventure and I wanted to go somewhere I felt comfortable travelling to as a single woman: India + yoga = adventure! In 2017 I completed my 200 hour YTT in Ashtanga and Vinyasa flow at Sampoorna Yoga in Goa and life hasn't quite been the same since - in a good way of course. Today, I teach yoga with compassion, sensitivity, curiosity and humour, constantly encouraging self-exploration within the practice, cultivating mindful awareness during flow and within stillness.
Before Covid-19 clipped our wings, the travel bug was still alive and well within me (that virus I liked!) - in 2019, after a redundancy, I took myself off to central America for almost 4 months, with the intention of learning Spanish, having adventures... and most of all, recovering my freedom. It was amazing!
The experiences throughout the past few years have taught me that, by maintaining a regular yoga practice and escaping the world through painting, I have discovered a deeper sense of calm, connection and a much craved feeling of freedom within my being... what a gift!