2004 the beginning of a life long journey. I am now aware that even though I was born into this beautiful world (took me a while to see this) back in 1973 it was many years later that my real purpose was born. April 2004 grief found me and some days it engulfed my entire being. I tried to resist it, I tried to pretend it wasn’t happening, I put my mask on every morning after a sleepness night where I just wanted life to swallow me up and hide me somewhere just for a while or on some days forever. On the worst days I can’t remember breathing and other days it took all my strength to just breathe. Every breath seemed painful and dark and full of a deep sadness.

When the intensity of this passed and let’s face it EVERYTHING does I began my YOGA JOURNEY. I’m not even sure how I reached the decision to try yoga but I’m pretty certain it was to quash my rising anxiety levels. Anyway I rocked up at the Yoga Sanctuary in Southampton one day and a lady called Debbie greeted me with a friendly face and warm smile and immediately I felt a lift of mood. So we sat in a beautiful studio and breathed. Debbie showed me a different kind of breathing. Ujayi breathing sounds like darth vader in your throat. My mother said to me it sounded kinky when I showed her! Ujayi translates as “what clears the throat and masters the chest area” and involves drawing air in through both nostrils with the glottis held partially closed. I felt relaxed and invigorated at the same time. We then stretched (asanas) and I remember my hips feeling very tight (we hold a lot of emotional stuff in our hips) To finish we did some meditation and a different breathing technique where you breathe twice in through the nostrils by making a sound and out of the mouth twice making a ha ha sound. Within minutes I was floating in between consciousness and unconsciousness I was connecting with my soul spirit.

Before I came to the Sanctuary my belief was that yoga was all about putting yourself into funny and interesting shapes but that is NOT the case. Yoga is the stillness after the asanas. The space, union with self. When you start to become more self aware there is an understanding which brings a feeling of liberation. So I left Debbie feeling a bit freaked out with all I had experienced. I felt more balanced than I had in a long while.

That was 10 years ago and since then I have learnt Everything is impermanent Everything is love when we let go of the fear