It was during lockdown that I rediscovered my love of Yoga.
Hi!!! my name is Jane.
I have been living in the beautiful town of Penrith Cumbria on the edge of the Lake District and border of Scotland for six years this February and before that London for 17years. I loved it but it was time to be nearer my family.
When I lived in London I used to go to a fabulous American Yoga teacher. Her background was in dance and then she transitioned to Yoga. I never thought that might be me in the future.
Lockdown was scary but it gave me time to think – “what I can I do next?” Not having a car wasn’t an issue when I lived in London but I struggled to find Yoga teachers near me in Penrith or the surrounding area. Being a bit time poor as I was working full time I tried not making excuses so I did occasionally travel on the train to a Yoga Studio in Carlisle which was amazing. I feel you need to learn off others however when I was training it was during lockdown so a lot of my practical was done online. The availability of this is great, but you can’t beat that feeling of a class environment, engagement with the teacher, and the energy from other people in the class.
So, I started looking on YouTube and connected with a YouTuber called Sarah Beth Yoga who just happened to be American and just happened to have the same first name as my American yoga instructor. What a coincidence.
I started practising yoga in my flat at first and from that first day onwards I thought to myself “I really miss this feeling, I need to make this a regular practice.”
Then I had eureka moment. Why don’t I train to be Yoga teacher and give back to others? This could be my “What can I do next?” I thought. As I was going into peri menopause this would be a wonderful benefit to myself and, more importantly, I wanted to give back.
My next step was to enrol onto a BSY (British School of yoga) course based in Devon. I immersed myself into the Hatha Yoga Teacher training course whilst at the same time doing my practical yoga to log my 200 hours of practical hours.
Combining the theory with online Yoga course such as Insight Timer live streams, which has a variation of styles and teachers available.
Finally, I did my final theory paper. The excitement of getting my marks back, I was so proud of myself and very emotional when my tutor rang me from Devon to tell me that I had achieved a distinction and the reason why.
One of questions on my final exam paper was “How to plan a lesson for Middle aged men who do manual work?”
This made me really think as they are not old but not young, they can be fit or unfit, and men can be prone to heart disease at this age but they will also probably be newbies and I need to make them feel comfortable.
The reason I got distinction was because a lot of people don’t think this through. My tutor told me classes must be planned and when it’s a beginners’ class you need to think of who you are planning the class for. You need to create it visually in your mind and think about what they would like from to achieve in the class from the beginning to the end.
I took my time, and I discussed it with my Mum, and this is what helped me plan my class. They need to be able to relax my Mum said. To quote her ‘They are doing downward dogs during the day the last thing they want is more of the same.’
I find as I learn more and reflect back to the beginning of my journey I can see that my left and rights have certainly got better as well as finding my own style.
My clients are of all ages and both sexes, it’s inclusive and there’s no competition to outdo each other. Instead, I encourage them to have a laugh, to feel comfortable and I help build their confidence. When my yoga clients first come for some of them it’s like the film Stepping Out with Eliza Minnelli and Julie Walters. A great film about a group of students who are all over the place and my yoga class is the equivalent in my mind, but they all want to get better and fitter and come along with me on a yoga journey.
My Yoginis or Yogis, as I call them, have become good friends. I am confidante to some of them. This is their time on the mat and it not just about getting fit, it’s about the mind, body, and the soul.
Yoga means union after all, which I feel it certainly is.
Jane’s Bespoke Health and Yoga Studio No32 Devonshire Arcade Penrith Cumbria CA11 7SX
Main photo by Mikhail Nilov