My first formal yoga class was in the early 90’s and falls somewhere between the realm of amusement and humiliation. I was about 25 years old, a runner and cyclist and like most people, I initially went to yoga to become more flexible. As an athlete, I was result driven and competitive and as yoga encompasses neither of these traits, I veritably suffered.
Back in those days, Jane Fonda, headbands and neon lycra were compulsory and as a dedicated follower of the fashionista, my leggings clashed with the linen-clad yogi-hippies who remained oblivious to my pain as they quietly breathed and effortlessly stood on their heads. I’m glad I kept on going back because that little deviation from my norm led to a state of self-awareness that has served me well over the years and kept me sane during times when workloads and life pressure became heavy.
I qualified as a Registered Nurse in 1987. A sideways move into Social Work came several years later. My role was broad and busy but predominantly I worked as a Social Work Practice Teacher and Operations Manager. Regular stints on The Emergency Duty Team kept me on my toes. I was also part of a UK Nationwide initiative that tackled the effects of stress and aggression in the workplace.
Although reasonably happy with my lot, I was often out of step with the political bureaucracy. In the summer of 1999, a conversation over a pizza and a beer brought about an incredible life change that wasn’t exactly planned. I quit my job and moved to Amsterdam. Embracing the Dutch spirit of the entrepreneur I started BLP Wellness Consultancy and under it I taught yoga and fitness classes, designed in-house training and education for a chain of gyms and eventually went on to open Amstel Yoga Lounge, a boutique style wellness service offering mindfulness, yoga and food workshops to intimate groups and businesses. In 2012, I moved to Ireland where I retrained as a Neuromuscular Physical Therapist.
I’m a yoga teacher, a writer and Be Activated Practitioner and I am grateful for all of the opportunities they bring.