Teachers in any area of your life are so important. The right person can lead you carefully into a subject or activity where your creativity and passion can be woken, and with their careful nurturing and own joy for their subject can bring you to a place of deep and abiding pleasure and fulfilment.
Sadly, for me some of my earliest teachers did not inspire or help me understand. Mathematics remain a complete mystery and all that remains vividly in my memory banks is getting my legs slapped at the age of 5 years for not understanding the difference between 4+4 and 4×4!! I now know that poor teaching was at the root of that scenario but it nevertheless left me fearful of all but the basics in maths. Many years later, I as a primary teacher tried always to make it a joy to learn and not create some fearful monster that was to be battled with.
Happily, I have in later life met some wonderful people. They have taught from a deep place within and I have felt that they truly knew and understood their subject which immediately left a lasting impression on me.
My first yoga teacher, Julie Brown, was such a person and she is now a teacher trainer at the Manchester and District Institute of IyengarYoga. I knew only a little about yoga when I first attended Julie’s classes but from day one I was hooked and then never missed my Wednesday morning session unless I was ill or away on holiday. And so it went for 8 years. During that time I learnt to really listen to all the verbal instructions and cues and looking back I realise there was almost a hunger for all that learning. I loved the feel of the poses as I developed more body and self awareness and found I was becoming stronger physically. As I listened intently my mind would quieten and all the chatter in my brain would disappear.
The lessons were my time for me which was so important as there is so much to attend to when you are a mum, wife, dog owner and part time teacher! Julie was and I am sure still is completely passionate about her practice and for me that was vital. She kept me hooked and each week for all of those years she gave information, knowledge and a huge love for this amazing thing called yoga. At some point in those years I began to train as a massage therapist at The Northern Institute of Massage and realised that my yoga practice helped me to better understand the anatomy and physiology of the body. Today massage and yoga are still working alongside each other in my life, each practice informing the other.
Julie helped me understand the importance of alignment in each posture and as my body integrated what she said and did, I began to slowly unravel some of the knots and long-held tensions that are thrown at us as we travel through life. I recall sleeping a lot at the beginning. Every Wednesday afternoon for the best part of 3 months became a duvet experience. It felt so strange to me that 2 hours of yoga could utterly exhaust me in a way the gym never did. Julie simply said to do as my body asked and sleep! So I did – sometimes for 2 hours…..
My time with Julie did eventually come to an end. My hunger pangs for her style of yoga had been assuaged and now it was time to query what my new twinges were all about….another teacher arrived in my life and that is what life is like for me. When the time is right enter another amazing person who may gift me with some of their treasures. Thank you in huge amounts to Julie Brown who truly gave her all and set me firmly on my path and without that experience I would not be doing all that I do now.