This is a story about me and yoga and food…
I’ve loved food and cooking since my first job in a small French restaurant at age 17.
At 19 I took my first yoga class and was hooked.
I’ve spent the last 30+ years continuing to enjoy yoga and food, and I’m still as passionate as ever.
At the age of 37, I had an epiphany. I gave up my job as a freelance editor and, while home-schooling my two daughters, went back to school again to study a 3-year Yoga Teaching Diploma, plus Chemistry and Biology A-levels with the aim of becoming a nutritionist and a yoga teacher. I didn’t know how I was going to combine these two seemingly disparate fields, but I just knew I had to.
I spent the next 14 years teaching yoga, emigrating to Australia, raising my children, buying (and selling) a cafe, separating from my husband, starting a business teaching about vegan food and launching a frozen vegan dessert. Becoming a qualified nutritionist went out the window.
Until 2016. I finally took the plunge, went back to school again, and started a course studying for an Advanced Diploma of Nutritional Medicine. I also sold my house, packed all my stuff into storage, put a couple of suitcases in the back of my car and drove East. There followed 3 years of study, travel, romance, heartbreak, adventure and a lot of deep learning. I began studying Yoga Therapy along with the Nutrition (why is one thing at a time never enough for me…?) and finally, in late 2018, graduated as a nutritionist and yoga therapist. All with a view to healing…
My passion for yoga and food has always been about healing. Healing myself. Healing my family. And anyone else who brings me a problem – well, they’ve always known I’m going to say my piece about how food and/or yoga could help them. I can’t help it.
It seems I’ve definitely landed in the right place. As a ‘woo-woo’ yogi who also has a curious, analytical mind, I’ve always had one foot in the scientific camp and one in the realm of energy. I’ve learned over the years that there is a miraculous relationship – part scientific, part magical – between what we eat, how we move and what we mostly think about – and now it is all being revealed in myriad ways. I have studied the most exciting things: how vitamin supplements can help you listen to your partner more attentively, remember birthdays and resist the temptation to indulge in late-night online shopping; how massage can add kilos to a premature baby, what happens in the brain when we meditate and why it can relieve chronic pain that drugs can’t touch; why chocolate and sauerkraut should be in the prescription for chronic fatigue and so much more. I have been delving into issues that have affected me, my family and friends my whole life, and I finally feel like there are some answers.
In some ways, I feel as if I have also graduated as a Wise Woman Elder, a woman who has lived, had experiences, suffered pain and loss, acquired scar tissue, and learned how to let go, love, forgive and heal. My purpose now is to use the learning, skills and experience I have to help others. We all have untold potential but are sometimes held back from fulfilling everything we are capable of and dream of, by obstacles such as physical injuries, body pain, chronic illness, mental/emotional blocks, or stagnant energy.
Way back when, I sensed there was something special about food and yoga, and, for me, these have been the tools that have helped me to find and dissolve these obstacles, allowing me to become more resilient, energetic, calm, balanced, peaceful and in tune with my inner nature.
Food is yummy and fun and a great way of sharing love and community with other people, and it can also be a powerful healing mechanism. I don’t blame you if you are confused by all the nutritional information out there, and it’s no surprise that many people just bury their head in the sand and stick to the habits they know, even if they are not doing them any favours. However, by really tuning in to what your body needs and providing it with the right kind of foods, becoming aware of your state of mind when you are preparing and eating food, and educating yourself about ingredients, nutrients and recipes, it is possible to find your way through the minefield of nutritional knowledge to the right path for the unique individual that is you.
Yoga has always been my go-to method of calming and balancing my mind and body. Over 30 years of practice, I’ve come to realise that yoga is far more than just a great stretch, it is an advanced philosophy and science of mental, physical and spiritual health, and a perfect salve for our busy lives. In yoga therapy, we use all the tools of yoga including asana (postures), pranayama (breathing), mindfulness and other energetic practices to create a program tailored to each person, to meet their specific need for healing. This might be as simple as one breathing practice and a daily walk, or it could be a 20-minute daily asana routine, or a gradually-staged meditation practice. There are as many possibilities as there are individuals.
If you are interested in finding out more about how nutrition and yoga therapy could benefit you, please get in touch. I would love to hear from you.