I was born and raised in the UK, but have spent the majority of my adult life working here in Hong Kong. I’ve always stayed active and love to try different activities but yoga has been the one that stuck with me. A word my friends frequently use to describe me as is ‘hippie’. I like to think it’s because I am generally an optimistic and positive individual. In terms of interests I like learning about superfoods and holistic / alternative methods of healing and eating - especially eating.
What is your story with yoga? What led you to become a yoga teacher?
My career has mostly been centred around food and beverage, though it has been a bit of a yoyo. I began in bars and restaurants, which I left to join a yoga and fitness company and helped them start a health food brand. It was during this period that I discovered yoga. Following that I went back into F&B and enjoyed a successful career in wines and spirits. So you could say there were two distinct sides of my career. One quite healthy and activity oriented, and the other very corporate and busy.
Fast forward several years, I was still practicing yoga, began to meditate and I was working toward what I thought was my dream of a long term corporate career. But it was during my teacher training course where many things clicked into place, and ultimately helped me realise what made me truly happy. It helped me realise that it was time for me to go back towards yoga.
What is your favorite yoga pose and why?
Revolved Triangle / Parivrtta Trikonasana.
When I first began practicing this pose it was beyond doubt the one I most loathed. Each time was filled with, for me, an abnormal level of discomfort. It brought up incredibly strong feelings such as irritation and impatience and I thought, it looks so easy, why can’t I do it!
In hindsight I think it actually helped release a lot of physically blocked emotions, particularly around the hips. This pose works greatly around the hip region, provides a strong twist to your abdomen and promotes opening up your heart. I’m sure many other poses assisted along the way, but it was the pain and journey of practicing this one that sticks with me the most. And now that I can practice it was such ease and flow that every time I get to do it, I have a smile and feel content.
What can students expect from your classes?
Meditation is a big part of why I love practicing yoga so much. And one of the reasons why I continued practicing yoga was because it helped me gain control over parts of my mind I didn’t have before. There is a duality between mind and body in practicing yoga and I like to promote both in my classes. Although there are different focuses in class, I do like to ensure there is balance so there will be elements of physical and mental incorporated.
How do you motivate yourself on days when you don't feel like practicing?
I first assess the reason why I don’t want to practice. Sometimes it’s simply your body saying it needs rest, and that is ok. This is part of building self awareness that I believe yoga facilitates. On the days I really don’t feel like practicing asanas, I meditate or do pranayama (breathing) exercises. These are also forms of yoga and vital to strengthening the whole individual. After all, it’s not just the body we need to take care of. We also need to strengthen the mind and spirit.
WHAT SORT OF MUSIC DO YOU LISTEN TO? WHAT 3 SONGS ARE ON REPEAT?
That is such a hard question! I have a ‘Jazz Nostalgia’ playlist filled with jazz from the 50’s to 70’s, with artists like Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole or Frank Sinatra. Other wise I usually have Tep No’s, Toluca Lake on repeat. It’s just got this beautiful melody I can’t get enough of.
Music that’s either reminiscent of the old days or days lounging and dancing by the pool will usually make me happy.
FAVOURITE THING TO DO IN YOUR DOWNTIME?
I like to read and am a fan of puzzles as I find they really soothe the mind. Otherwise, hiking, and running are frequent ways I get out to enjoy the outdoors.
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