Where do I begin? Let's go back to the beginning for a second. I was born in South Africa but ended up growing up in 7 different countries. Moving around from place to place because of my dad's job my sister and I got to see a lot of the world from a very young age. I can't quite remember the order of the countries we lived in but there was South Africa, Hungary, Turkey, the UK, Dubai, Denmark and Greece. Now we live back in Dubai and that's where I feel most at home.
Throughout my childhood and teenage years I was always incredibly active, I was a national level swimmer in the UK and trained 10 times a week. I devoted my life to the sport for around 8 years waking up at 5am before school to train pretty much everyday. Once I retired from competitive swimming after my first year of university I started to develop a passion for healthy living. I had always been active you see but I never really knew that there was more to a healthy lifestyle than just exercising.
During a stressful time in my third year of university I began to workout a lot to take my mind off things, I was homesick and in a terrible frame of mind. I wish I could say that the exercise was enough, but going to a spin class just wasn’t giving me that endorphin rush I was craving. Someone suggested I try yoga and I remember having a little giggle to myself. I don’t want to stretch; I couldn’t even touch my toes. I just wanted to workout, sweat like crazy and lift things. I never actually considered yoga to be a workout until I tried it.
I guess you could say that yoga came into my life at a time when I needed it the most, it gave me something that physically helped me shape my body but at the same time, shape my mind and my attitude. It started off 10 minutes a day or 20 minutes after my workout. For someone who absolutely hated stretching during their athletic career it’s quite ironic how things changed. Some people get addicted to sugar, cigarettes, alcohol, drugs or tattoos... Well I got addicted to yoga and since February 2014 I have been hooked.
So many people asked how I got to where I am today and after becoming a qualified yoga teacher in the Summer 2014 I wanted to help people, give them the confidence and knowledge to be able to facilitate their own yoga journey just like I had done. I began teaching in Dubai which I am still doing today – never did I think that my path would take me here but I am so happy that it did. The feeling of helping people achieve something that they have set themselves or manage something they didn’t think they could do is incredible.
I began to receive a lot of e-mails where people were asking for advice on different poses, asking me how I started my yoga journey and a whole range of other yoga related questions. Of course I would try my best to explain everything and help as much as I could, but there was no way I could help every one as much as I wanted to over e-mail conversations.
Even though I can't be in several different places at once although I wish I could be, with this book I hope that you will be able to learn from me, my experiences and more about what it means to practice yoga safely and effectively. More importantly I want this ebook to give you the tools and knowledge you need to kickstart your yoga journey.
You are never too young, too old, too inflexible… No matter where you are in your journey, no matter what your background is, it is never too late to start yoga and benefit from it. P.S. When I started my yoga journey, I couldn't even touch my toes. If I can do it, there is no reason why you can't!
- J x