Yoga ‘on and off’ the mat

For me, Yoga and sustainability are intrinsically intertwined. Yoga is an ancient art, yet its focus on the natural elements that surround us are just as current today as they were 3,000 years ago. If yoga was created to allow people to feel at one with the world in which they lived, isn’t its practice even more vital today in a society where urbanisation, consumer culture and jam-packed schedules have alienated people from the natural energy that should be guiding each of our breaths?

I use yoga ‘on the mat’ as a reflective practice to support my work ‘off the mat’ in sustainability, and as a mother.

One of the most powerful practices for me has been spending time getting clear about my intentions through reflecting on questions such as, “Who do I want to be in the world? What can I contribute? What legacy do I want to leave?” Having clarity on these questions is not easy for me, but it has become my guide to action.

Self-awareness and presence are key. Am I taking the right action at this time based on who I want to be? My practice is about developing that kind of consciousness and finding ways to keep me connected to my intentions.

In Sanskrit, “yoga” means “union,” and the practices are aimed at creating a union with the divine as defined by each individual. This could be a spiritual deity or simply one’s higher self. For me, yoga is much more than the latest physical fitness craze. Yoga is a multi-faceted practice that helps us know ourselves and see the potential in ourselves and others.

My training

I trained as a yoga teacher at Triyoga in London and I completed my British Wheel of Yoga accredited training in December 2011.  In between having 2 children, I have taught classes in Stroud, where I live.

During my training, I felt the need for a flowing practice and was drawn to Vinyasa yoga. In Vinyasa yoga, we move the body in synchronisation with the breath, which generates subtle, internal heat.

Iyengar yoga taught me the fundamentals: alignments, precision, rigor and safety. Vinyasa yoga brought new dimensions to my practice: flow, real connection between movement and breath, creativity and fun!

During my second pregnancy, I was really touched by the power of Kundalini yoga and my intention is to train in this style of yoga in the coming years.