In 1998 I had my first taste of Yoga. I went to a class taught by an 80 year old man called Peter. He was a fit and vibrant man, moving more like a 20 year old! When Peter elegantly moved into the crow pose I was mesmerised. From that moment on I attended Yoga classes and workshops wherever I could.
I travelled India, the home of Yoga, and it was clear to see that Yoga is expressed in many different ways. It was not just the postures that I was inspired by, but the whole yogi way of life. My curiosity led me to spend time learning from Gurus, Swamis and Sadhus. Together we would discuss Yoga philosophy, Meditate, Chant and practice the Asanas.
I went to Dharamsala in the North of India on a quest to meet the Dalai Lama. I succeeded! On my journey I had the privilege to meet some other Buddhist monks who, in exchange for me helping them with English, gifted me with Buddhist teachings. I also met Vijay, my first Ashtanga Yoga teacher, and I practised with Vijay every day for 3 months. He currently runs his own successful Yoga school.
On my return to the UK I continued studying Yoga with the British Wheel of Yoga, followed by the Sivananda Yoga tradition in Putney. In 2001 I went to their Ashram in Kerala, India to do my teacher training in Hatha Yoga. During this time I received a blessing from my teachers and was given the spiritual name of Padma. Padma is the lotus flower that represents the path to enlightenment. I continued to work as a volunteer at the Sivananda Ashram in Madrid and then in Neuville-aux-Bois, France.
My ventures later took me to Cusco and Peru. By a beautiful synchronicity I came across a Hari Krishna community that were running Ashtanga Yoga classes and teacher training. I began taking classes and after two weeks I moved in and began my teacher training. This life changing process took around 6 months. At sunrise we would get up, chant mantras, go through the scriptures of the Bhagavad Gita and then practice Ashtanga Yoga. Most days we practised for up to five hours! I qualified in 2007 and have been practising and teaching Ashtanga Yoga ever since.
My learning is continuous and evolving all of the time. I am open to and respect all Yoga traditions. I still attend Yoga events, workshops and classes where I can, maintaining a continuous study. I have been teaching regular classes of mixed abilities since 2008 and I am still inspired every day.