How did your career begin?
After school I studied media and communications. I landed a job at a top fashion and photographic agency in Sydney, and launched into a life of setting up photoshoots, managing talent and coordinating a million schedules.
To be honest it was a pretty thankless job most of the time but I did it because I loved it. Until one day I didn’t anymore. I wasn’t sleeping well; my skin wasn’t great and I was living to organise other people’s lives rather than my own.
I used to get so stressed out – like Ari from Entourage but in a less glamorous setting! All my friends and family thought I had the best job in the world. Free clothes, free makeup, I was invited to all best events and parties, and earning good money.
When did you start practising yoga?
My boss organised a weekly yoga session for us. I was maybe 23 at the time and I immediately felt like I’d found something I loved.
I bought a membership at a studio in Paddington and found myself in more and more classes. Yoga became the one hour in my day that I’d feel really happy and at ease – sometimes I’d pretend that I was going to grab lunch at the office and I’d literally run to the studio to get a class in. I loved the feeling when I was practising and I remember thinking “oh, if only I could quit everything and become a yoga teacher.”
When did you decide to take the leap with your Yoga Teacher Training?
Change is really difficult to navigate. It’s hard turning away from something you’ve invested so much time in, and for which you’ve worked really hard.
But I came to a realisation that it was yoga getting me through it all. Once I knew this, I decided to explore teacher training. I was practising at BodyMindLife by then and thought I’d do the course just to pursue something I loved – I had no idea whether I would teach or not.
I was 27 at this time and at a point where I’d daydream about getting fired and then I could sign up for the course! Eventually I understood that I had to make this decision on my own and trust my instincts – even though almost everyone in my life was telling me not to do it.
My boyfriend at the time said something that stuck with me. When I would say ‘it’s just a bad day’, he pointed out that I was having more bad days than good ones. And that I needed to think about what I was really passionate about, and do that. So I did.
Tell us about your yoga teacher training journey?
I explored going overseas for my YTT however leaving work was enough for me then, and I wanted to be able to come back to the comfort of my own bed at the end of the day.
Before I started the course it might have looked like I had ‘everything’. A glamorous job, an amazing house and a relationship with someone I loved, but I knew deep down that I wasn’t truly happy.
They say you have three pillars of stability in life – your home, your job and your relationship. After the training, I ended up changing all three.
Elements of the training were challenging and that period certainly had its up and downs, but I came out the other side feeling more me than ever.
What did you after the teacher training course?
Following the YTT, I just simplified. Anything and everything that I felt wasn’t aligned with my values and how I wanted to live just had to go. Everyone kept telling me to stop making such big, swift changes but I’d seen the light!
I started working casually at Lululemon and I discovered how little I needed to actually be happy. I couldn’t afford all the nice things I was used to but it’s like I learned how to breathe again without all the layers of identity.
When did you begin teaching yoga?
I signed up for the course with no set goals to teach. I just wanted to commit to the 200hrs and do something I really loved, that challenged me and see where that led me.
When the training ended though, I found that I did want to share the practice with others. While working at Lululemon I was able to pick up some of the community classes but to be honest, it was daunting to begin with.
As a brand new teacher, leading 50 to 60 students is pretty scary. I had a lot of self-doubt and I’d be teaching the class thinking “what the hell am I doing.” I’d lose my train of thought, worry I had students doing the same side twice and felt like I was messing up all the time.
Really I just put too much pressure on myself. There was a lot happening in my life and I was adjusting to my three pillars of major change.
So I stepped back. Again I followed my instincts – which in yoga we learn to trust – and as the universe would have it, an opportunity quickly came up to teach at a really small, beautiful studio, which was the perfect way to grow as a teacher and find my voice.
How did you start teaching at BodyMindLife?
Some of our teachers were, and are still, such an inspiration along my yoga journey. After teacher training, I started working at the studios, helping out with sign ins and memberships, and mostly getting to know other members of our beautiful little kula at BodyMindLife.
I wanted to give back and to be involved in every way I could. BodyMindLife has weekly community classes for new teachers to hone their skills and as a graduate I was able to sign up for those. And it’s just evolved from there.
Those inspiring teachers, and students alike, are now friends and family.
What is your lifestyle like now?
The biggest change has been that I’ve learned how to listen to my body and give it what it needs.
I pay more attention to what I eat, I make time to move every morning when I wake up… I try not to be too rigid in my routines, I make the time to tune in and to understand what my body is telling me.
It’s so funny because when I was in the fashion world, I genuinely thought how I was feeling was fine. I accepted that I wasn’t sleeping well, that my skin wasn’t great and I would often skip meals. Now, I prioritise my health above all, and aim for a sense of balance in my lifestyle. With plenty of dark chocolate for good measure.
And finally, what’s next?
There’s so much to learn in yoga – it’s a never-ending journey! The more I discover, the more I understand how much more there is to know. And I love that. I’m signing up for the Embodying Philosophy & Theming course with Rachael Coopes and Aimee Pederson in October.
All I can say is that if you’re even just thinking about doing your YTT, absolutely do it!
It gives you the best tools to get through life – to find yourself and what makes you happy – you don’t have to know where it will lead, just take the step.
Read more about yoga teacher training at BodyMindLife here.