Chapter 1 - Celebrating 20 years of Sharing my love of Yoga with You
Going back to the very beginning I remember my very first yoga class like it was just yesterday.
In January of 1996, JB and I had just relocated to the beautiful town of Wauchope near Port Macquarie and not long after I was invited along to a yoga class. I was interested in meeting new people and trying something new, so I decided to head along one Monday evening to the community hall where it was being held. (a similar motivation to many of you when you when you have joined our classes)
There was certainly the feeling of being a fish out of water as I took my young, city-girl, nervous energy into this new experience,. I stood awkwardly outside waiting for the teaching to arrive making small talk with other's but it wasn’t long before I was warmly welcomed by the teacher and shown where I could find the yoga mats and the props. The props back then included some home made material straps and old telephone books covered and sewn into fabric to use as blocks to sit on. There was the soft chatter of friends and regulars as they entered the room and I was introduced to those nearby, then in no time at all we were all laying down and beginning the class with our teacher - Jenny.
Like most beginners I was uncertain of what I was doing, craned my neck to copy others, was confused by my breath as it didn’t seem to flow quite as instructed and generally muddled my way through the class, going left instead of right, right instead of left, explored new shapes for my body to fold into, until we finally reached our time for relaxation. Jenny’s voice then eased us all into a dream like state with yoga nidra. Even from this very first class I could feel a change in my body and mind - a shift, an opening, a release - I don't know what - but just something within thanked me for trying something new.
I WAS TOTALLY HOOKED.
Over the subsequent weeks, months and ultimately 5 years I would continue to attend Jenny’s classes and loved every one of them. They supported and strengthened me through my first miscarriage and two pregnancies as I continued with my classes right up until Grace and and then Eve made their entrance into the world and I was back as soon as I felt ready to begin again happy to use yoga to rebuild the strength in my body and to calm my tired and frazzled mind as a new mum.
At this stage of my life my yoga practice taught me a greater understanding and acceptance of changes that my body was going through. It enabled me to be open to “active birth” which was still not a big thing or discussed very much as midwives back then were still fighting for their vital role beside the mother during the delivery experience. It was my beautiful sister-in-law, Keyna, who introduced me to the Janet Balaskas book Active Birth, that changed my take on all things pregnancy/labour and beyond, not to mention the incredible impact and power that I discovered my breath could have during the birthing experience.
I still have that original book with all its highlighter and pencil marks throughout and I don’t even think it has its front cover having been read and reread so many times. In fact, only last year when a gorgeous couple we love visited and were expecting their first baby we dragged the book out again and laughed our way through all the very outdated photos and the shock/horror of the expectant dad at some of the very graphic 1970's photos! There was nowhere to hide as the reality of what was happening was right there front and centre. They now have their very own copy……….
Chapter 2 to come ......... the big move out West