1. HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN TEACHING YOGA FOR?
Just approaching my 8 year anniversary – feel free to send me flowers!
2. WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME A YOGA TEACHER?
I honestly never had any grand plan to become a teacher as I’m a relatively shy person at heart. I had been practising yoga in all its different forms and developing as a student for a long time (15+ years) before I even contemplated whether a training was for me. I originally went to training to develop and expand my own practice really, and it was after this that I was asked to take a couple of small classes which developed my confidence, served as a really good apprenticeship and ignited the teachers flame in me I guess. As is often the way in life, one thing led to another and I now teach regularly at YYS alongside a couple of my own classes – and I’m so happy and grateful that I was given the opportunity to share the beautiful practice of yoga with as many people as possible.
3. WHERE DID YOU COMPLETE YOUR TRAINING?
My first 200hrs TT was in the UK and was based in Zen Buddhism and meditation with a strong emphasis on body energetics – a fantastic experience and totally not what I was expecting. My continuing advanced training (Embodied Flow) incorporates both Hatha Flow and Yin Yoga and has been in Portugal, and I will complete my 500hrs training in Stockholm in August this year.
4. WHAT QUALIFICATIONS HAVE YOU RECEIVED FROM YOUR TRAINING?
5. WHAT IS IT YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT TEACHING YOGA?
Hmmm…if we can separate the 2 elements of the styles I teach – I love a flow class when the energy in the room really connects and I get to observe people moving and breathing together – it really is poetry in motion and quite beautiful to witness. On the flip side, I love teaching Yin where I can observe people dropping into stillness and I particularly love it when the penny drops and students begin to get that this is most definitely not a “chill”! I’m always hesitant to use the word advanced, but Yin yoga, to me, is the real ‘advanced’ practice – it can be really difficult to sit with yourself in stillness.
I love teaching and I’m passionate about sharing yoga with you – all of it – we breathe, we stretch, we grow and we flow and as a result we become more flexible in body and mind, stronger, calm and grounded.
I still find it very humbling to be honest how people entrust their welfare to you – I don’t take this lightly, it’s a real privilege – so please know this if you attend my classes, that it is you who help to make the experience what it is, and I thank you.
6. WHAT IS YOUR TOP TIP FOR PEOPLE THINKING ABOUT STARTING TO PRACTISE YOGA?
I know so many people from my own family and friends who say “I’d love to do yoga, but I don’t have the time” and I spend a lot of time explaining that we all get the same 24 hours in a day and it’s what you choose to do with it that counts.
Although I teach yoga, I also have a demanding ‘real’ job too and so I understand the pressures of work and demands on our time outside of the yoga world. It can be difficult to think about a yoga class after a full day at work when you are simply tired, or have stuff / people to attend to at home – but I advise people in this situation to carve this time into your day as the benefits are so huge to our own wellbeing that this then gets passed on to the other people in our lives. Think about extending your work day and practise either before or after seems to be pretty sage advice most of the time.
Ultimately, the only way is to start – start with where you are; start with what you’ve got; start with all your doubts, but start! Try lots of classes, lots of teachers and have an open heart and an open mind. There is a ‘chemistry’ I guess between yoga student and teacher and the more widely we seek this the more likely we are to find the class / teacher that is right for us.
7. DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE POSTURE?
I definitely have a least favourite posture! My practice depends on how I am feeling on any given day. Sometimes I enjoy the long holds of Yin and the sensation I get as I feel them make space in my body. I do enjoy backbends though for the sense of freedom they offer and the stillness and presence of a headstand.
8. WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR OTHER INTERESTS OUTSIDE OF YOGA?
I’m a girl of extremes! I love being outside and the fact that we have seasons (although that is becoming more and more debatable in the UK admittedly!). I love being in the circle of my family and friends and enjoy good company and a good laugh.
I am also a real home-bird and I am never happier than when I’m pottering about at home where I love to experiment and cook tasty veggie food. I particularly love a lazy Sunday cooking a big old roast (I can even make a mean veggie version of this too!) and letting the day unfold with a glass of wine (sometimes I go mad and have two….!)
I’m a total and complete music fanatic and never a day goes by without listening to music. I’m also a book buff (oh the joy and smell of a new book, no Kindle allowed!); movie buff; and I also love art and architecture.
9. WHAT WOULD YOU SAY THE BIGGEST BENEFIT OF PRACTISING YOGA IS?
The benefits of yoga are immeasurable – both on and off the mat.
The physical benefits speak for themselves, but also the peace of mind you can gain; along with the cultivation of patience, empathy, and understanding towards ourselves and to others. Yoga practice offers us the space to deal with the ‘stuff’ life can sometimes deal us and learn what to dissolve and what to accept.
Learn to cultivate a yoga practice that serves and supports you and be happy being uniquely you! You don’t have to try and be like someone else.
10. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE COMING TO ONE OF YOUR CLASSES FOR THE FIRST TIME?
It can be really intimidating coming to a yoga class for the first time – so well done for simply getting yourself into a class and rolling out a mat. Please understand that every person in the room has been you before – the person teaching you has been you (and sometimes wishes she was a brand new student so she would get to do it all over again too!). I believe that new students help us to become better teachers.
See the beauty and elegance in simplicity and allow yourself time to develop – it’s not all about the posture – it’s a full experience. Yoga practice helps us to sense our bodies from the ‘inside out’ through breath and movement and this is the essence of a true yoga practice.
Try not to compare yourself to others and don’t compete, your yoga practice is hopefully going to be a lifelong love affair and we want you to come back time and time again.
Lastly, listen to your teacher, they really do have your best interests at heart – and try to be really present in the class you are in at any given time (oh, and enjoy it too!)
To sign up for a class with Margie, take a look at our Timetable.