"You know when something’s good for you. And when it’s that good, you want to tell everyone about it. I began my first yoga practice on a rooftop at sunrise and sunset in Bangkok. I remember the tremors and the shakes we experience when we first start using our body, moving it mindfully, and the excitement the day my spine released itself into a back bend. It was amazing and gave me a new lease of life. It is said in yoga that you are as young as your spine; that bending backwards helps us to be fearless of the future…so bring it on I say….
Not everyone has a flexible, strong body but in choosing to practice postures in yoga, we can develop a more flexible and stronger one. Ideally, all we want is to live well, to be happy, to feel youthful and full of energy and to cope with whatever life throws at us. This doesn’t mean masking out emotions, but it does mean living in the moment, concerning ourselves with the things that really do matter; the people around us, our dear friends and family and our community and most important of all, ourselves. When we begin to practice yoga we realise this. It allows us to communicate within, to check our emotions and to develop as a human being.
By 1997 I had been practicing yoga for over ten years when my neighbours asked me to teach them. As it was the summer time, we spent a couple of hours each week in my garden and then the winter months sent us indoors. The ceiling in my little cottage was too low for my taller friends to stretch in so I hired the local village hall for our practice. It was then I thought I’d advertise it as a class, and studied and qualified with a Hatha teaching certificate in 2000 and now I teach two hundred people or so throughout the week.
What I love about yoga is its adaptability. Everyone can practice yoga, at any age, in any condition. There are so many postures, breathing exercises and meditation techniques that there really is something for everyone. There is evidence that yoga has been practised for at least 6000 years. Most people have heard about yoga now in the west and there are no end of classes, schools of yoga, workshops, retreats and holidays on offer. Yoga is big. It’s as big as life itself. It has always been there and will always be there. Yoga teaches us the art of being, the art of breathing, the art of living life to our full potential. It is a journey. Some of us make the odd trip whilst others go on a long drive. It’s all good, all worthwhile.
I think of yoga as being Your Own Great Adventure. Over the years it has kept me sane, given me courage and has taught me to be honest and truthful. Yoga has healed me quickly when I’ve been sick, has made me happy and helped me not to freak out and worry about material issues. Yoga has opened my eyes, my heart and my mind…and what’s really exciting is that I know I know nothing but what I do know, is that I will always practise yoga, even always teach yoga.
As a teacher, I am always learning from my yogis and yoginis, and I thank you all.
I thank all the people who have entered into my life, with whom I have shared time and who have inspired me. I thank the many lessons and opportunities that have come my way; the good ones, the bad ones, and I thank Mother Earth for taking care of me. I thank my precious children for choosing me as their mother, and my husband for his letting me be who I am. I thank my mother for bearing me and I thank life itself. It is a true gift, a real blessing, the best present ever…"
Love is the seed…God is the flower… (Anand Modha)