I began my Yoga journey over 10 years ago.
I have been lucky enough to teach in India, New Zealand, Thailand, Bali, on the Inca Trail in Peru, in France, Barcelona, Ibiza, and Barbados. I have also been fortunate enough to study with Liz Lark, Judith Hanson Lasater, Uma Dinsmore Tuli, Shiva Rae, Claire Missingham and Sianna Sherman. Right now, I am blessed to be continuing my studies with Suzanne Faith Slocum Gori.
While travelling is my absolute joy, I know that my dharma (my sacred purpose) has always been about empowering others, and about bringing people together through teaching yoga – wherever I happen to be in the world.
Many of my students have come to me having experienced some form of trauma, or from a place of discontent. I feel that it is my dharma to point my students in the direction of the things that make them come alive.
I started Our Yoga Tribe to empower new teachers who can in turn empower new students. I have had around 20 of my yoga students go on to be yoga teachers and have many more with the same intention. Our Yoga Tribe enables me to bring together a vibrant team of Yoga and Pilates teachers to build a community (Tribe) right here in Colchester, which is focused around healthy wellbeing and mindfulness.
“Yoga enables me to see the divinity within all other beings, and sweetly detach from the things in life that are no longer serving in happy & healthy ways. All we should ever expect of ourselves is to make sure that we are always moving towards our truth. Truth will carry you through the toughest of times & life will always fall into place if it is with the pursuit of truth in mind.”
Laura graduated from University in 2014. She has always had an interest for health and fitness enjoying going to the gym, long distance running and as a student, was member of the cheerleading team.
Pilates became part of her life after a serious accident in 2015 where she suffered significant spinal injuries. In order to regain strength and mobility, she was advised to begin Pilates and Yoga. Her journey of recovery has taught her a lot about the body and she became interested in wanting to learn more about Pilates and the benefits it has.
The trauma that her body sustained has given her some perspective and left her re-evaluating what she wanted to do as a career. She knew that she wanted to go into a career that was going to help people. She decided to turn her interest in health into her career and teaching Pilates was the perfect role.
“Pilates has had such a significant affect on my personal recovery, allowing me to regain functional strength. Pilates has become my passion, and I am sure that it will help you meet your goals, whatever your needs are.”
When Joe started his yoga journey he was an experienced personal trainer and strength and conditioning coach. His greater understanding of alignment from disciplines such as calisthenics and weightlifting combined with a deep understanding that being conscious in asanas provides a greater knowledge of neuromuscular activity – ‘mind muscle connection’ revealing that “It really does all go hand in hand”… new found active ranges of motion bring with it the necessity of strength training.
“I feel like there is a figurative grey area between mobility training and strength training that is rarely crossed from either party – I want to represent the bridge between the two. Yoga has provided me with a plethora of information that continues to guide me towards this goal. Alongside the physical benefits, yoga had encouraged me to practice mindfulness, which has genuinely improved the quality of my life. I have stopped looking externally for momentary fixes of happiness and started looking inward. This has led to a rejuvenation of my creative nature, which I consider to be my greatest calling. I plan to show my appreciation for all that yoga has provided me with by deepening my understanding and sharing that positive influence with others.”
Some of Our Yoga Tribe are on journeys far and wide – here’s who you might see throughout the year.
As is the case with many people who find themselves on the path of yoga, it was a gradual change of direction for Sam. With a background in personal training and a much of her time spent at the gym or running, yoga really began as a way to ‘de-load’ from the week, stretch out the hamstrings, and ‘re-set’ the body ready for the next exercise session.
It wasn’t long however before the practice of yoga began to deliver more than the physical. Sam already had an holistic approach to personal training for her clients, but the exploration of yoga added a dimension to that training that felt much more relevant and important. While there wasn’t an exact moment of realisation, a leaning towards the spiritual and emotional became evident, a transformation that a regular yoga practice can bring.
After guidance from Faye, Sam explored the idea of Yoga Teacher Training, and
in March 2015, began her 200-hour YTT with Claire Missingham. Dynamic yoga, connecting movement, and music was the calling. All the pieces began to fall into place and she knew that this was the path for her. Since then Sam has completed her 300-hour YTT in India.
“Yoga for me is a gift that I have been fortunate enough to find, and now feel compelled to share. It is sanctuary for when times are challenging, and a space to express gratitude and love when times are good. I love the sweet release of a dynamic sweaty practice, the natural high that occurs when you lift into a beautiful asana and the exhilaration felt when the rhythm of the breath is the biggest sound in the room. There is nothing like that feeling of coming together through a strong practice, grounding your feet into the earth, lifting your arms to the sky and opening your heart as the music takes you somewhere truly magical.
Yoga is magic as far as I am concerned and we all need a bit of sparkle in our lives! It is there within all of us – and stepping onto a yoga mat is a great pathway to discovering that. Yoga is about acceptance and connection, real connection with your true self, and authentic soul-connections with others. Acceptance of who you are, and where you are right now – and that we are all a work in progress!”
Some people are naturally drawn to yoga and seek out its practise to bring balance and harmony to their lives. For others it’s simply a form of exercise that grants strength, grounding and stamina to their body. Lauren was definitely one of the latter. As a complete gym bunny her exercise routine focused entirely on a weight-training programme, working out six days a week with little time for anything else.
But all that changed when in 2014 she suffered a spinal break from a gnarly snowboarding accident. After being told that dead-lifting her body weight was a serious no-no, her physiotherapist recommended yoga to increase her core and back strength.
Disheartened by this setback, but determined to get back to what she loved, Lauren threw herself into yoga.
Fast-forward a year, through countless ‘Oms’, there has been an amazing difference to her body and mind; Lauren is a born-again yogi. Completely inspired by the changes to her back and mental clarity, the obvious next step for her was to go international and complete a 200-hour teacher-training course in sunny LA (in case you hadn’t guessed, Lauren doesn’t do things by halves!).
Learning everything about anatomy, pre-natal, and vinyasa yoga, Lauren returned to the UK determined to use her qualification actively. Although initially nervous about leading a class, Lauren has gradually built up her confidence by teaching family and friends.
Since January 2017, Lauren has been teaching our sold-out ‘Men’s Only Yoga’ class as part of Our Yoga Tribe (already extremely popular… there is a waiting list!). Lauren is excited about furthering her knowledge and adding other classes, like pre-natal yoga, to the schedule.
“For me yoga is a journey, a relationship, and something I have to commit to, nurture, be faithful to, and trust. With each new pose my body reaches I feel proud of how far I’ve come since my injury. It’s such a satisfying sense of achievement. I’m still learning, as is everyone, and to be able to teach yoga is exhilarating. I still have this urge to really try and take my time to allow progression within my own practice, which is what I love to see when teaching. I hope to see you at one of my classes very soon.”