It all started when…
This passage in Andy Kirkpatrick's book, Psycho Vertical, inspired me to not only start my own business but completely change my outlook on life and has influenced many of the major decisions I have made. So I want to thank Andy for his inspiration and share my story in the hope that others will also find inspiration to put aside their fears and follow their dreams, no matter how daunting the task ahead may seem. Don't live with the regret of what could have been.
I read Andy's inspiring story at a cross roads in my life. I was falling in love with my partner and fantasising about what kind of a future we were going to have, but I was unhappy in career that was going nowhere, and suffering terrible back pain from sitting in front of a computer all day. If I was going to have the future I was dreaming of, then I was going to need to make a change.
I had always dreamt of starting my own business, but the fear of the unknown had held me back, until I read this powerful passage from Andy's book, Psycho Vertical. I was immediately inspired to take action and enrolled onto a Yoga Teacher Training program.
It was a few years after giving up my career as a professional dancer due to severe back pain, that I discovered the healing benefits of hot yoga. At the time of my discovery I was working in marketing and sitting at a desk all day long, which was very different to the life I had had previously. I had gone from being someone who was both physically and mentally strong to feeling exhausted, frustrated and overwhelmed by the simplest of daily challenges.
I was only in my early 20’s and chronic back pain was having a huge negative impact on every aspect of my life. I felt limited in my new career, and the constant fatigue left me with no appetite for living the kind of life most young 20 somethings were living.
It was a friend who recommended I try hot yoga. She was also a dancer and had suffered injuries in her own career, so I trusted her recommendation and booked my first class.
I was terrified that I wouldn’t be able to do any of the poses, that I would look silly and that it would make my back pain worse, but I had tried everything else and nothing helped to resolve the problem long term.
After practising for only a short period of time I found that my back pain had all but disappeared. The combination of a heated studio and the logical sequence of poses dramatically improved my flexibility; realigning my body and strengthening my muscles. The classes helped me to maintain a healthy, correctly aligned and pain-free body. I also found that I slept better than I had ever done before, my skin looked healthier and more vibrant and life in general felt less stressful. In many ways I felt empowered, as I was no longer restricted by the pain and exhaustion which had been so prevalent in my life prior to practising yoga.
I finally felt free to start living my life again, and went off travelling the world in search of new experiences, but yoga was always my one constant. No matter where I was,
I have been practising yoga since 2003 and having experienced the life changing benefits that it can bring both mentally and physically, I felt it was time to share this wonderful practice and it’s benefits with others and qualified as an RYT200-hour teacher in early 2013.
It sounds crazy now, but I began by teaching small hot yoga classes in my living room. I sold all of my furniture, clothes and all non-essential items, chopped off a piece of my kitchen to make space, and stuck some patio heaters up on my ceiling, I moved my bed and what few possessions I had left in to the small spare room and turned my bedroom into a reception and bag storage area.
but student numbers and the popularity of the classes quickly began to grow and the search for a proper studio space began almost immediately. There were many starts and stops on the journey to finding a suitable studio space, but I remained committed to finding the right space where I and my small but growing team could bring the benefits of hot yoga to a larger audience. Perseverance paid off and today I have a lovely yoga and wellbeing studio in the heart of Tunbridge Wells. The studio continues to draw new people through the door every week and has retained its loyal following of students from the humble beginnings of my living room.
What are your hopes and predictions for the future of Present Health going forward, as well as hot yoga as a trend?
My husband James, a Tunbridge Wells Health and Fitness Coach, and I have combined forces allowing us to expand greatly on our service offering at the studio. We will soon be offering personal training and health coaching services in addition to nutritional guidance, sports massage and physiotherapy.
We are a small but growing business with a passionate team of people working with us Our knowledge extends into functional movement and injury rehabilitation, really allowing us to help .
and James and I have a deep passion for all aspects of holistic health, well-being and living. We are on a journey to building a holistic health and wellbeing business that will take students beyond the yoga class and personal training studio and help them on their journeys to a fitter, healthier and happier lafe.