I first came to yoga as a student and then over twenty years ago discovered Iyengar Yoga under the guidance of my first teachers, Ursula Schoonraad, John Shirbon and John Claxton, all who inspired me individually; John Shirbon also became my mentor during my teacher training.
I was working in international policy and struggling to juggle work and travel with my young family; it was yoga which helped keep the balance. I decided to leave my job and began teacher training which in turn deepened my own practice and, once qualified, I began to help others discover themselves through yoga. I am indebted to my teacher trainers, Ursula and Sheila Haswell and have never looked back.
Shortly before qualifying I came across Julie Hodges in Putney and have attended her weekly teachers’ classes ever since. Her deep wisdom, patience and in depth teaching have been all inspiring to me. Both Julie and Sheila, both Senior teachers, have continued to provide invaluable guidance in deepening my own practice and further training in the intermediate junior levels, having now gained levels 1 and 2.
I am fortunate to attend workshops and annual professional development days led by other senior teachers, and workshops and conventions taught by teachers from India: these have included Geeta and Abhijata Iyengar and those who worked closely with BKS Iyengar before his death in 2014, Zubin Zarthoshtimanesh, Raya Uma Dutta and Uday Bhosale. In December 2018 I was very privileged to be taught by both Geeta and Prashant Iyengar in Pune during the Centenary celebrations of their father’s death; and to receive Geeta’s devoted teaching and wisdom a few days before her death.
Teaching is challenging, rewarding and enjoyable, even more so as I continue to learn and develop through my students, both adults and children.
I have also learnt the importance of maintaining a balance between my own practice and teaching as well as between yoga and my own family life: they help and complement the other.
While I practice daily and continue to study the philosophical works of Patanjali and BKS Iyengar, the learning is on going; there is much I have barely touched on and have yet to discover.