My name is Carol and I am a Perthshire based yoga teacher.
Unlike the image above I am not a skinny thing, I certainly won’t wear a leotard (ever!), nor do I regularly tie myself into a half pretzel…
I started attending yoga classes in 1995 after I moved to London for work. Like a lot of people I was looking for help with back pain and relief from a stressful job.
Yoga ‘crept up’ on me and I gradually attended classes more regularly and sometimes even listened to the teacher….
From my first teacher (Amritanda) I received an exceptional grounding in the basics, and eventually the encouragement to move on from her beginners drop-in class when she felt the time was right. I will be forever grateful for her lack of ego.
So I went on to attend intermediate classes at the Satyananda Yoga Centre, Clapham, London, where I learned more about the ‘other bits’ of yoga – the non-posture components which can be difficult to integrate into a general class. It was there that the words ‘teacher training’ were dropped into my subconscious…
A couple of years later my partner and I decided to relocate back to Scotland. The Satyananda tradition is not so well known here but I found a two great teachers in Angie and Irene who taught from different traditions.
Once we had settled, I began to seriously think about becoming a teacher.
After a bit of research I plumped for the Yoga Scotland teacher training, a very comprehensive 3 year course. It was tough at times and involved many late nights studying or writing essays, but I had some wonderful mentors (Jackie, Kath and Marjory), I made some fab friends and am very glad I made that choice…..
Since qualifying in May 2012 I’ve continued to teach the lovely class I took over as a student and have established a small yoga group in the village where I live.
After a short break I started studying again as I’d become increasingly interested in bringing yoga to people who need more specialised classes – so not just teaching able-bodied people who ‘want a good stretch’ or stressed folks who want a little relaxation, but bringing yoga to adults perhaps living with disabilities or long term health conditions. I am also really keen to bring chair-yoga to our older generation.
So as well as continuing with ‘general’ classes I am establishing a programme of classes for these groups. To help develop my knowledge, I’ve attended seminars on yoga for MS, yoga for ME/CFS, and yoga for people living with cancer.
I currently offer classes to people in Perthshire where the focus is not on achieving ‘perfect’ postures or keeping up with an aerobic style workout. Instead I will try to help you safely experience the ‘essence’ of poses, practice yoga breathing techniques and perhaps a little meditation, thus gaining at least some of the benefits of yoga that you’ll find me waxing lyrical about.
Yoga is not a miracle cure nor a replacement for conventional medicine, but it can offer a complimentary toolkit to help us cope with what life throws at us. Attending my classes will never get your foot behind your head or help you look like the people in the yoga books or magazines. But then neither will I…
Nearly 20 years down the line from my first yoga experience I still occasionally suffer from back pain. At times I get stressed and once in a while I have migraines or IBS episodes. But yoga has given me a gentler outlook on life and some wonderful tools to combat my health conditions. I can only imagine how much worse I would be if I didn’t practice yoga.
I hope that my classes can help you in the same way…..