I came to yoga as an 18-year-old.
I had freshly moved to Sydney from a coastal town, and was looking for something to do during my gap year. I fell into a babysitting job looking after Katie Rose‘s first child, and with that came free classes at Katie’s yoga studio Samadhi.
I fell in love yoga.
Despite having been the least sporty teenager you’ve ever met, there was something about yoga that felt so familiar. The chanting, meditation, Sanskrit… it all felt like something I already knew, but couldn’t put my finger on.
Only 2 months into practicing, I decided to do my teacher training at Samadhi, and ended up cancelling the university place I had deferred.
Yoga became an intrinsic part of my life from such a young age. After I graduated Jivamukti teacher training in New York in 2011, I proceeded to invest all of my spare time, and money, following my teachers around the world for the better part of 10 years.
Of course, there were ups and downs and bumps in the road along the way – such is life – but for the most part, I was so happy, and I’m proud that this is how I spent my 20’s.
But eventually things started shifting – as everything does. There were changes and challenges within Jivamukti both abroad and at home.
In 2021 it was time for me to leave the studio I had been a part of for well over a decade (Samadhi Yoga had become Jivamukti Yoga Sydney, which became Krama Yoga).
It felt like walking away from the longest relationship I’d ever been in.
The decision was complicated, like these things are, and this isn’t the time time for me to spill all the tea… So let’s just say, I knew it was time to go.
I left during the second lockdown in Sydney, when all our classes were online. Though I taught a final class via zoom, I never got to say a proper goodbye to all the students, and never had real closure with the studio space that had been my home for all my adult life.
That was 2 years ago and a lot has happened since.
Sas and I have moved to lutruwita/Tasmania (!)
We’ve become dog parents (!!!!)
And I very nearly quit teaching yoga.
The reason I became a reformer pilates instructor was to increase my skillset in order to give myself a better chance of getting work in lutruwita. Lucky I did, because none of the yoga studios I applied for were interested in me.
Despite 15 years of yoga teaching experience (and less than 2 months of pilates!) I was grateful to get work at a reformer studio in nipaluna/Hobart.
This whole year I’ve been questioning whether to give up yoga completely.
I feel so far removed from the community that I used to be a part of. My practice looks so different. I don’t have any of my teachers nearby.
I started looking at whether to change careers completely.
Physiotherapy? Veternary school?
And then out of the blue, I received a message from my friend Rebeca, who started practicing with me 8 years ago in Sydney, and has gone on to become a Jivamukti teacher extraordinaire – she has recently opened A School of Compassion in Spain. In her message to me she asked me, very simply, why I wasn’t teaching yoga any more.
I sat with the question, and felt all of the uncomfortable truths come up. There is a lot of shame tied up in the rift that I feel towards what yoga meant to me for so many years. It is only now that I can honestly say that I was nursing a broken heart.
Yoga teaches us about the impermanent nature of reality. Everything we experience in life will shift and change, just as we as humans shift and change. The studio I knew is no longer there. The way I travelled to see my teachers is no longer part of my life. I am no longer an active participant in my satsang.
But yoga will always be there. The practice may look different. The location may change. The teachers may be different. But the teachings remain – they have withstood the test of time.
I am slowly, mindfully returning to my practice – dipping my toes back into the waters where I am falling in love again.
And with that – I am going to start teaching a lot more yoga again.
I have handed in my notice to the reformer studio to cut back significantly on pilates and I am taking the leap of faith to fill my days with studying and teaching yoga.
By the end of this month, I will be teaching many more classes at the wonderful Sanara Studio and The Hot Room, who have both welcomed me so kindly into their beautiful spaces. Keep an eye on my In Person Classes to see my new schedule, updating soon.
As always, I intend to take you along (long-distance) if you are not able to practice with me physically in nipaluna.
You can still find me online every Friday at 9.30am AEST via my website, and in hundreds of class replays.
I so look forward to this new chapter of going deeper, becoming an instrument and dedicating myself to my dharma of teaching yoga.
As my teacher Sharon says – with great love, all is possible.
Photo: still from the last Zoom class I taught via Krama Yoga in 2021.