I started practicing yoga in high school and have been teaching yoga now for 10 years. For those of you who follow the different schools of yoga, I was trained in Hatha and Ashtanga yoga.
I love yoga, and I love to share yoga with others. I especially love seeing people discover the joy that I have found in yoga.
I started practicing yoga at a time in my life when I was facing a series of challenges. I was struggling with anxiety and depression and I was uncomfortable with my body. In hindsight, I had no connection to my body, my mind or my emotions. I was eating sugary foods and I had unhealthy habits. As a consequence, I felt yuck, stressed out and disconnected.
I wanted an exercise that I could do at home, so I got some yoga videos and started practicing. After three months I could do almost all of the poses and I started feeling really good. I was looking forward to my morning practice.
Towards the end of that three months I had an incredible experience. I was meditating at the end of a deep practice and I suddenly felt a level of self-awareness that I had never experienced before. I sensed my soul, my spiritual being, and I knew that I was on the right path. The experience was accompanied by a deep sense of peace and love for myself and others.
In 2006 I started attending yoga classes with a teacher at a gym. She was a great teacher and I loved her classes. One day I asked her where she did her teacher training. Before I knew it, I was enrolling in a level 1 Hatha teacher training course with My Health Yoga. I loved receiving the information that explained my experience at home.
My yoga instructor later said she was leaving to go back to Colorado and asked if I would like to take over her yoga business. Feeling nervous, I dove in the deep end. After 5 years of teaching and growing the business it was booming. My classes averaged out at 35 students per class. I loved reaching all those people.
I continued to practice under as many different teachers I could to gather more knowledge. In 2011 I moved to Perth for a year a and took Ashtanga classes at 8limbs yoga studio with Gregor Maehle and Monica Gauci. Ashtanga is a demanding practice. I was up 5am six days a week. I loved it and went on to complete another yoga level 1 teacher training, this time in Ashtanga yoga.
After a year, I moved back to Brisbane and taught yoga. After a year in Brisbane I moved to Hervey Bay and I knew I wanted to teach yoga in Hervey Bay. As it turns out my husband Tom wants to become a yoga instructor in Hervey Bay also and together we planted the seeds that are now Soul Stance.
Soul Stance, while still a small seedling, carries in itself the potential to grow into something beautiful. We at Soul Stance share a deep appreciation for the spiritual reality within each person, the soul of each person. And we share a deep appreciation for the capacity of yoga to give a voice to that soul.
Yoga has connected me to, and taught me how to look after, my mind, body and soul. Yoga created in me, a space in which I am able to live to my full potential. A space in which I can identify and influence my soul stance.
We look forward to joining you on your journey to discover the many shapes of your soul stance.
At University I studied psychology - like many people, trying to understand myself but also idealistic about changing the world. I quickly became frustrated with people and chose a path in law enforcement.
Years later after a divorce and custody battle I found I was so stressed about my future that I was incapable of being present to my family and community. In desperation, I discovered Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and in particular Mindfulness which is central to ACT. Without it, I don't know where I'd be.
Essentially, Mindfulness gave me the capacity to quiet the noise of my thoughts and to act out of my values rather than out of fear.
I quickly learned that the noise in my head was matched only by the noise in my body. In fact, I learned that my thoughts were, like my body, ruled by years and years of habit and deep seated memory that was best thought of as being flesh.
Before I discovered yoga, I discovered posture - prayerful postures, praise or gratitude postures and good old stretching and breathing. But when I found yoga (which was also when I found Romana) I found an expressway to mindfulness that I could only have dreamed of.
Through yoga I have for the first time fully possessed my body. When I walk or run, I can feel what seems like every muscle. My dexterity, my energy, my vitality are all improved.
And by strengthening my mindfulness muscle, I am able to exist as a human "being" rather than a human "doing" or a human "thinking". I get much more out of my interactions with people. I enjoy being in my own skin rather than seeking unhealthy ways to block out the noise - as I have done in the past.
But most importantly for me, when I am truely still and my mind and body are quiet I have a sense of being spirit (created in God's likeness) and on a good day, I commune with creator God. In my experience true prayer begins when we are completely still and have a sense of being one with creation.
I'm not a qualified yoga instructor but I plan to be one in the next 12 months. I am especially excited about yoga for men. So guys, get in and have a go. And ladies, get your man onto a mat, you'll be doing you both a big favour.
I know what it's like to have a crushed and tired soul. I also know what it's like to assume a life-giving soul stance. I'd be honoured to journey with you while you find yours.