I owe the Power Yoga Company in Fulham (PYC) so much gratitude. The beautiful studio at the end of my street helped me through some difficult periods in my life. It started when the wonderful studio owner Marie-Laure Désiré gave me my first glimpse into the healing power of yoga after my surgery in 2009. She patiently helped me through a period where much of the medical system let me down.
Then in January 2016, after another period of surgeries, the first class I took was a Flow & Restore class led by Vicky Fox. It was so wonderful to feel my beaten-up body hesitantly opening up, stretching and breathing again. I vividly remember Passchimotanasana (seated forward fold) bringing me to tears of release and joy, and the realisation that this was something very special; had the first set of surgeries taken me well over a year to recover from, this time within 6 weeks of my last surgery I was back on the mat, feeling the strength returning to my body. I desperately wanted to deepen my knowledge of everything yoga.
I asked Marie-Laure whether I could enrol the 200hr teacher-training at the PYC which would start in April. She tested me to see if I was strong enough for such an intense training, and she said yes... I was over the moon, but also a little anxious so I was looking for some private classes to get up to speed. As luck would have it (those stars again) my favourite teacher Mona Godfrey unexpectedly had time to teach me.
At the end of May that year I qualified as a yoga teacher. I started teaching yoga at my work at the end of July 2016, and I still teach now, which is a wonderful experience. I've been further developing and learning new skills (Yin, Thai yoga massage) and it all feels like I'm on the right path.
In October 2017, by pure chance, I went to the 9:15 Flow & Restore class - the one which had me in tears of joy some 22 months earlier. Normally I wouldn't have gone as I practice my Thai yoga massage and I see Mona, but this day she couldn't make it. So I went to a lovely class led by Vicky, who at the end of the practice said she wouldn't be teaching this particular class anymore and wasn't sure who would be covering it yet. That was sad to hear.. though on my way home it had me thinking; was this meant for me? Why did she explicitly say she didn't know the cover yet, otherwise it wouldn't even have occurred to me... So I asked Marie-Laure and did a trial which led me to becoming the permanent cover.
It all feels very much like I'm getting closer to my Dharma; my true purpose. All the things I am learning and doing are always a little scary but also fill me with great joy and purpose. My dream of one day leaving the city, living healthier and teaching yoga fulltime is etching closer. But I still have to work to make it come true; I have to take those (scary) steps and follow my heart.
To read more about Dharma, there is a great book, written by the amazing Stephen Cope (who I hope to one day visit in Kripalu) called The Great Work of Your Life: A Guide for the Journey to Your True Calling. Absolutely inspiring!
I am ever so grateful for being able to teach at the wonderful Power Yoga Company, a place which has given me so much. I am very much enjoying every moment... and I keep watching those stars!