At the age of sixteen, I walked into my first yoga class. I was searching for a new hobby/movement after finishing ballet where I had been dancing five times a week since the age of three. It was really all I knew so when asked to come into a downward dog, I looked around the class in confusion. Trying to copy the person next to me I quickly realised my ‘downward dog’ looked nothing like hers, my heels seemed miles away from my mat, I couldn’t straighten my legs and my arms were shaking so much I thought I was going to land flat on my face. I spent the next hour trying to keep up with everyone and realized years of ballet had given me strong legs but no upper body strength. Finally, the teacher told us to lie on our backs and take our meditation pose ‘savasana’ I had no idea what savasana was yet alone what language that was in, but when it was time to finish I rolled up my mat and left that class feeling on top of the world. Maybe I couldn’t touch my toes or tried hard not to let out a little giggle when the class chanted ‘ooooom’ but from that moment on I was hooked.
I continued to go to my local yoga studio around three times a week until I started travelling when I turned seventeen for modelling. I lost my personal yoga practice for about six months while living in Asia but found myself diving straight back in when I returned to Auckland. After noticing the total contrast in my physical and mental health when doing yoga vs not, I told myself that I would find somewhere to practice everywhere I lived. I spent two months in Sydney where I tried hot vinyasa for the first time and had many of my mornings free which allowed me to practice daily. Five months in London allowed me to try yin, and there I met some incredible teachers who I looked up to and encouraged me to grow in my physical practice.
Yoga followed me around the world for four years until I found myself back home in Auckland with a few months free. I had been thinking about how passionate I was about this practice and found myself trying to teach my family and a couple of friends to share with them a slice of this heaven. I caught up for a coffee with my good friend who just so happens to be one of my favourite yoga teachers in Auckland and asked her a few questions about doing a yoga teacher training. She was extremely helpful and eventually, I ended up on the Yoga Barn website which is in Ubud, Bali. The universe was in my favour with a 200hr Vinyasa and Yin teacher training with Tymi Howard exactly in my dates.
I spent a couple days thinking about it, and finally decided ‘what have I got to lose’? Tymi was an incredible teacher who has been teaching for over 20 years, has a ballet background, and after watching her classes online I knew I had to meet her. I booked my training, flights and accommodation and began the four-week countdown until my flight departed.
My teacher training went over and above my expectations. There was a small group of nine trainees from all over the world. We practised yoga, meditation and pranayama every morning from 8:30-12:30, ate beautiful fresh food from the yoga barn for lunch and learnt the wonders of all things yoga until it was 18:30 (squeezing in a yin practice if we could). To say the least it was incredible. Four weeks flew by and us trainees and Tymi created a beautiful friendship I will never forget. Not only did my physical practice advance, but my mind also opened in ways I could have never imagined, learning about the rich history of yoga, the yogic lifestyle, diet, pure consciousness, mantras, various meditations and the list goes on… we covered as much as we could and before I knew it I was a qualified yoga teacher!
I now teach multiple classes a week and can’t believe how lucky I am to share this practice with friends, family and the public. Teaching yoga is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done and I can’t wait to go to more training, workshops and reach as many people as I can with the power of yoga.
Lots of love,