When did you decide to become a teacher?
The idea formed about 16 years ago when my mentor in yoga suggested I should learn to teach. At the time, I was a fitness instructor, I was studying Martial Arts and Yoga whilst working in a bank in the city to pay my mortgage. I was terribly stressed in the office job. Whilst the money was good, I didn’t get on with the culture and how men treated me. Being a female and not English amplified the sexist behaviour in the men I worked with. It ignited a fire in me, to fight to retain my self-worth in that environment. I always knew I had the ability to teach something both physical and spiritual. My mentor spotted this before I did and told me to use it. She trained me first, then introduced me to her own teacher, who encouraged me to take The Life Centre Teacher Training course in 2004. These two amazing yogis spotted that I could contribute towards the Yoga community, and I’m still doing my best to do that.
What do you think makes a good teacher?
A good teacher is a good communicator who can explain yoga from both the scientific as well as the energetic perspective. I aspire to be this person, someone who can show yoga is not a mystic thing, but very practical, medicinal – something everyone can benefit from. Such a teacher can remove any ambiguities about yoga practice from a students mind, keep them in the process of self discovery and lead them steadily in the right direction of their quest. This is just what my mentor and my teacher have done to help me in my training.
What is the single most valuable teaching yoga has taught you?
To appreciate who I am. Of course it didn’t come over night and from time to time I still struggle with this, but Yoga helps me to feel comfortable in my own skin. It gives me a kind of permission to express myself properly.
How do you keep your students engaged?
When I am a student in a class, I feel most engaged with the teacher if they are accessible, humorous and able to bring themselves down to the students level. Speaking from their heart and experience, showing they are willing to share with you. Teachers should not position themselves as more superior, as students will not be able to access what the teacher has to give. Instead, a teacher should show the students how they can go about finding their inner peace in a practical and friendly way. I try my best to be this person when I am teaching because this is what I like in my teachers.
What was the most memorable class you ever attended?
My first ever Astanga Mysore class in a warehouse in Old Street London. My yoga mentor took me there when she thought I was ready for it. It was an eye opener. It was unglamorous, unpretentious, intense and liberating. It had an underground feel to it at the time. I was doing something that was having a profound effect on me, but barely anyone knew about it. My life changed completely.
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