My yoga journey started in 1976 when I joined a yoga class run by the adult education night classes. I was 17, a few months off my 18th birthday. Since then I have had many yoga teachers, I am deeply grateful to all of them. I am also greatful that black leotards and footless tights are no longer the thing to wear for yoga!

At the same time I started meditating with a Buddhist group. I don’t think I “got” the meditation at this stage, but I “got” the habit of sitting, so my body was used to a seated posture when I did start to meditate “properly”.

I commenced nurse training in 1978 and I noticed how yoga helped me deal with the stressful situations I encountered. I also noticed how stress played a part in most diseases and illnesses. This led me to a life-long interest in stress management and relaxation. We cannot avoid stress but we can find ways to manage it. Knowing more about fight, flight and freeze and how the body responds, allows us to consciously bring the body back to balance. My early 20's was spent mostly back packing around the Greek islands "expanding my horizons" and having fun with my amazing friend Sue.

I got married at 29, moved to Shrewsbury and back to Cardiff 3 years later.

In my 30’s my yoga practice became deeper, regular and more spiritual. I was searching for answers, more knowledge. Delving into retreats, pranayama, chanting, mediation, visualisation. Asking more questions and experiencing more universal connection. I found the value of stillness. I listened to my inner teacher, intuition, and grew. 

 

 I took a healing course with a spiritualist church and learnt all about the chakras, energy, auras etc. I managed a homeless hostel, then a care home. My father, mother, brother and my yoga teacher, Philip Jones all died. I commenced yoga teacher training.

My 30’s was very eventful!

 

I qualified as yoga teacher with the British Wheel of Yoga in 2001. My own practice and teaching has always included body scans, awareness of the breathe, bringing attention into this moment. This is an aspect of yoga / stress management that would now be called mindfulness.

I enjoy teaching yoga. Passing on all that I have learnt.

 

For the last 15 years I have been a coordinator for Educational Programmes for Patients ( EPP)

working for the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board. This involves coordinating the delivery of Self-management programmes for people living with long term health conditions and carers.

 

Now, at the start of my 60’s I am feeling the benefits of having practised yoga for all those years. Putting in the work and acknowledging my need to change, grow and learn. The effort and challanges were all worth it.

  • I feel the physical benefits
  • I feel the mental benefits
  • I feel the emotional benefits
  • I feel the spiritual benefits

I smile when people tell me how “lucky” I am to be so fit, well, happy and leading a joyful life.

As if it all happened by accident!

 

I feel I need to give credit to my greatest life teachers: my mother Maureen McCabe, a wise woman, and my husband Ian Young, a lovely patient man who makes me laugh. Thank you for loving me, valuing me, putting up with me and supporting me -- even at my worst. Thank you.