When I was growing up I was classed as a ‘giver’. I wanted to always help others. That was my driving force. Simple.
As I grew this manifested into wanting to become a Social Worker but due to external factors, university wasn’t attainable. So I left and entered the ‘financial world of banking’ and continued in this sphere for many years.
After having children, I changed my life to become a Manager in a Children’s Nursery – where I studied childcare and many associated fields (Special Needs, Autism, Teaching English as an Additional Language, Safeguarding, and so on). There I saw with my very own eyes how much ‘special needs’ children flourished in both a Forest School setting and when doing something that allows them to ‘be’ – Yoga and dancing/drama. This very much goes hand in hand with the saying that ‘if a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn’.... (I am digressing a little here of course....). And I also think that the term ‘special needs’ should be moved to a more positive label such as ‘gifted’ .... (again, another digression......)....
With an ambition to move to France from the UK – my mind was made up. I wanted to support and help alleviate the pressures in a foreign country for children with (or without) special needs and their parents (possibly combined with my other qualifications such as Teaching English or whatever).... I started studying Yoga. No easy task when you are overweight, over 40 and have two relatively young children as well as a full time job! So small steps....
Then we (family) moved to France. I became a devout attendee at a local class (with a lovely yoga teacher near Bergerac). I attended sometimes 4 times a week. I was determined and devoted.
I also spoke with Sunshine often and she was a bright light sometimes in my darker hours of bewilderment – I can’t put my foot there, I can’t bend that way, etc. She reassured me every step of the way.
I attended the first yoga teacher training in Coudures November 2016 and WOW – my life has changed for the better since. Not financially, but now I am more ‘awake’ than I have ever been.
I would like to share with you the things I have learned since becoming a yoga teacher:
t’s not all about the moves! How many times do you hear this? It really isn’t. It’s about a personal journey. It’s about self discovery. It’s about a connection. It’s about being present. It’s about ‘being’. It’s about being real – to you.
Keeping the Faith. It doesn’t matter what life throws at you – it is what it’s meant to be. You are where you are supposed to be – always.
Gratitude. Be thankful for the small things in life. They really do matter. The sun shining. The smile on your children’s faces. The laughter you hear. The ability to ‘do and to be’ are better gifts that anybody can ever give.
Be compassionate. We can’t always understand what others have been through but we can always try and help them. Whether it is through Yoga or just by helping somebody across a road. If you can – do. It may change their day and their mindset in a way you couldn’t fathom.
Life is too short for grudges. Trust me, life really is. Hate and anger has its place – always. But don’t dwell on it, and don’t feed it. It creates within us a stagnant, detrimental energy that can affect our meridians/chakras/nadis and can ultimately affect our physical body.
Yoga is not a religion. Whilst I practice as much as possible the principles of Buddhism (and Sunshine lent me a great book called ‘The Art of Happiness’ that I am yet to return in person some time this year I hope). It explains that ‘everything happens for a reason’. We don’t always understand what that reason is. Far from it. But you have to, again, have faith that all will be well. Life is not a test run – you can’t live it being anxious, stressed, worried, and there will always be challenging times. Draw on your resources. Look within and know that the time is always ‘right’. Meditation and mindfulness can be great helpers if somebody feels like this. If you have somebody you know like this – just offer to sit with them.
Be mindful. I am not a vegan. I have been vegan and vegetarian. I don’t like the unnecessary slaughter of animals, and detest suffering of anything (whether human or animal) so where possible I source local meat produce from a supplier that is not the ‘mainstream’. I am mindful and grateful for the ability to purchase this and by becoming a Yoga Teacher it is not about becoming vegan/vegetarian. We are all different. Our bodies need different things. We are all unique. Avoid preservatives, additives, and so on. Eat as pure as possible.
Life is not easy. Life can be challenging for many (or most!). But who said life would be easy? Life will always have its ups and downs and we know that history has a way of repeating itself, or that there are ‘phases’ of life. The yin and yang, the increasing/decreasing spirals – all signs of the Universe to show that there has to be a balance. Good and bad. Work through the bad (and learn the lessons) and rejoice in the good.
Love. Love is always the answer – you know that for sure. Don’t fight fire with fire – shower it with love and send it out. It will always come back to you.
Accept. Accept and love yourself for your own uniqueness. Your individuality. Know that nobody else is quite like you. How you teach. How you think. How you communicate. How you are. How ‘to be’ is your own identity. Nobody can take that away from you.
The Universe/God/Divine/Angels – they are here for you. They really are helping you to try and live your best life.
I have been a Yoga Teacher for over 5 years now. Due to COVID my Yoga business has stopped (as I used public spaces in France, such as Salle des fetes). The majority of my clients had underlying health issues and many are too scared to venture out again. Nobody feels safe to do so. The energy during my classes were missed on Zoom so I have combined my knowledge of Yoga, Reiki, Pranayama, meditation and my ‘intuition’ and now I am studying Emotional Freedom Technique. Again, like Yoga, it is an Energy modality. It is using what ‘we already have’ to make our lives better. Maybe the Yoga, Reiki and all the other things were just a stepping stone to where I am now? Who knows – but let’s take those lessons of life and be grateful and make them what we can.
Sunshine is the best Teacher I found in my search. I didn’t miss one class despite the physical side of the training pushing me to my limit.
Yoga Teacher Training (with Sunshine) has changed my life – for the better.
What I do now as a chosen path fills me with pleasure.
Don’t just look for the ‘moves’; look for the meaning.
We are all one.
Send your love to the Universe and let the light show the way.