“I was born with displaced hips, and I spent my first eleven months in a full body plaster cast and had quite a lot of pain for most of my childhood. I tried physio, osteopaths, chiropractors; all of which offered short-term relief from the painful contraction I carried in my body.
I knew deep inside that I would have to learn to work through the pain, if that was even possible. When I was 17 I went to a yoga class with my friend, and I remember waking up the next day feeling pain-free and being open and light. It was a revelation really. Over the next few months, I learnt how to move my body, connect to my breath and release the holding that caused the pain I felt. I’m not saying I’m completely pain-free, but I realised that any pain we experience, any trauma or suffering, manifests in the body as tightness, and if it’s left for long enough eventually it becomes an illness. This is our bodies’ very simple way of reacting to what we find difficult or painful. We block, tighten, and resist. Yoga is about acknowledging these patterns and working with them to promote opening, balance, health and freedom. It’s like lifting off a heavy suit of armour and feeling how light and fluid the experience of being alive can be.
When I go to work everybody comes to that place because they want to experience something deeper in themselves; where everyone and everything is open and relaxed. I feel that’s a real privilege. I have the best job I could ever wish for, but I also know that I had to experience all that pain and suffering to get here.”