My yoga journey started a long time ago, back in the early nineties. I was studying for a law degree, and I joined a local hatha yoga class to relieve the tension in my back that would build up after hours spent bent over a book. From then on yoga has always been a part of my life. While pursuing a career as a lawyer with the UN, travelling around the world, I always managed to find a yoga class. While taking time off to be a full time mum, I’d go to mum and baby yoga. When my kids started school I really needed a class I could practice during the day so I could be with my family in the evenings, and that’s when I found Bikram Yoga.
From my very first class I knew this was a practice I could stick with. The heat meant I could stretch more and deeper, even though I’m not naturally flexible. The postures were not insurmountably difficult, but still challenging enough to keep me interested. I started out thinking I would practice two days per week, but this quickly turned into five or six. My Bikram yoga practice made my body feel whole and strong again after two pregnancies, and several years of practicing very little. And it made me mentally strong, so I could face the challenges that were to come over the next few years.
In 2010 I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and had to go through surgery and five months of chemotherapy. I kept practicing almost every day, and the yoga made the nausea and discomfort tolerable, and kept my energy levels up. During this time my son was diagnosed with Autism and Tourette’s syndrome, and I had to fight battle after battle with the authorities to make sure that he got the treatment and special education that he needed. My yoga classes were my sanctuary, and the source of energy that kept me going. In 2012 I attended the Bikram Yoga Teacher training in LA, and in 2013 I moved to the UK, with the intention of opening a Bikram yoga studio in Leeds.
It’s been a long journey, but when I see the joy and wellbeing that this amazing practice brings people, I know that it’s all been worth it!