Life coaching Top Tips
Finding Yoga

This month I’m writing about what brought me to yoga, to follow on from one of Jo’s recent posts. My story is actually a little similar to Jo’s. 


In April 2007, my mother died. She was 68, I was 30. She had undergone treatment 2 years previously for tongue cancer. She became unwell again in early 2007, was admitted to hospital at the end of March and never came home. It all happened so quickly and there wasn’t really time to say goodbye. We were given conflicting information: 3 days before she died, a nurse told us that she was ill but not THAT ill. So, whilst not totally out of the blue, her death still came as a shock. 


The mixture of emotions was intense. Part of me was broken, missing several pieces which would never again be found. Part of me was determined to survive and to compartmentalise. Another part of me felt such rage. One thing which was very clear to me though, was that the time had come to start caring for myself more. I wasn’t familiar with the concept of ‘self care’ then, but I did know a bit about mental health. Through the Employee Assistance Programme at work, I booked 6 sessions of counselling, which I thought would help me to process the emotions. During one of those sessions, I made a promise to myself to start practicing yoga. I had never been into exercise, other than walks in the countryside. Several years previously I‘d played badminton with a friend for a while, but nothing much more than a light-hearted knock-around. I’d been toying with the idea of yoga for some time, but didn’t really know how or where to start, or if I’d be ‘good enough'. A friend’s father was a teacher in Crowthorne, but I didn’t want to have to drive for an hour after work to get there and back. Another friend bought a yoga DVD and we started practicing together at her house. That soon became unviable and the message came through loud and clear: I needed to find a local class with a nice teacher!


It was actually very easy to find one, and it just so happened to be within 15 minutes’ walk of my home. I loved it, but within 2 years of my first class at that location, the teacher left. I found another class which I enjoyed until my knees started suffering. That teacher was unable to give me any guidance on how to adapt the postures to put less pressure on the knees. My knees were more important to me than her class, so I joined a different one instead. It was OK but it took place on a Thursday which wasn’t very convenient for me; there was no drop-in available and no flexibility, which didn’t suit me at that point. Around the same time, the universe delivered Jo to me. She started teaching a class at my place of work. I went along to the first one and was drawn to her immediately. Her warmth, compassion and general loveliness all made sure that I remained her student after I left that organisation. I think we’re about 6 years on now, and she’s become one of my dearest friends. So thank you, Jo, for arriving into my life like that! And thank you, yoga, for the journey.