BETHANY MILLGATE

BIO

Since the tender age of seven I played football at a professional level. Playing for Leeds United Ladies, Blackburn Rovers and Arsenal Ladies. Unfortunately I had a knee injury and I snapped my posterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament, which resulted in my professional football career coming to an end in 2015.

This was a very difficult time for me, coming to terms with the news and trying to transition to a non-football life was a very hard pill for me to swallow. I truly felt like I lost myself and my direction in life Football was my passion and It was a huge part of my life for so many years. I had also been suffering with mental health issues on and off since the age of 16. At 21 I was continuing a long battle with my mental health, and I couldn’t see a way out. It was a very dark period of my life. I was abusing substances to escape, and was spending a lot of time at home. I was isolated, insecure, and without a job or any direction when my brother spoke to me about meditation and mindfulness. He gave me books to read, documentaries to watch, podcasts to listen to and guided me in meditation.

After months of self-education and meditation practice I slowly started to find myself in stillness and breath. I was unraveling the deepest darkest parts of myself.

My practice of the physical asanas started three years ago, in 2016 when my brother encouraged me to put everything I was learning into a physical practice. Bikram Yoga Leeds had just opened, so I went to my first class in January 2016. I still remember to this day my first class, and how it made me feel. How analytic I was being about what I saw in the mirror, the heat, and the overthinking I was doing. I experienced emotion on all ends of the spectrum, it was one hell of a ride!

But I remember walking home with a smile from ear to ear and a warm, content glow surging through my body. I felt like the sunlight. My body and mind were for so long yearning for physical activity, and after the class I felt the same - if not more - excitement and satisfaction than when I played football.

Very slowly, class by class, everything I had been learning became enhanced by my physical practice. To unify body, mind and breath was addictive, I became hooked. During this period of time my perception and inner life also shifted. There was something profound about they way I felt inside, in my psychological experience. I felt re-born. The separation I had felt from myself, from others, and from the world around me changed, and instead I felt profoundly connected to everything. I had high levels of compassion and empathy, I had gratitude for my health and I became more ethically in tune and felt compassion for my environment. I had awakened to the truth and broke free of illusion and conditioning. It was truly mind-blowing and overwhelming, a transformational period of my life, which is still ongoing to this day. These were the first steps of me acknowledging that I wanted to be here, and that I wanted to be the best version of myself. I knew my experience here on earth would never be the same again, and that yoga, meditation and mindfulness saved my life.

My journey continued, and lead me to where I am today, teaching yoga. The reason I went to teacher training is because I know so deeply what this yoga can do, how it is continuing to heal me every day, physically, mentally and spiritually and I know it can heal you. I know deeply that it is my karmic duty to spread the knowledge of yoga.

At my training I deepened my knowledge of the Bikram Yoga series, the anatomy of the human body and correct alignment in postures. I studied the history and philosophy of yoga in great depth. After my training I also had the opportunity to train to teach the Ghosh Lineage Intermediate sequence, which is a gateway to the Bikram Advanced Series. The Intermediate Class is a fantastic opportunity to see what the next step is after the Beginners Class. Expect to feel challenged and very inspired!

We live in a crazy world of suffering, conditioning, judgment, illness, injury, consumerism and self doubt, and to break free of this conditioning we must practice yoga, free our minds and bodies, and embrace the crazy, cosmic, roller-coaster ride of self healing, and self realisation.

A healer doesn't heal you. A healer is someone who holds the space for you while you awaken your inner healer, so that you may heal yourself. See you on the mat!