I grew up in England, splitting time between the blustery North Yorkshire Dales and London. By the age of 17, I found myself embroiled in the London art world social scene. Despite my relative youth, it was here, amongst the furious activity of those striving for recognition and social progression, that I found myself infatuated with a life of supposed glamour, excitement and intrigue. Night after night I was witness to an orgy of networking. The private member’s clubs hosting battles of one-upmanship. Velvet sofas in dark corners proving to be the prime venues for Instagram follower comparison sessions. The streets of Shoreditch and Soho providing the stage for impressive feats of drug consumption. I was young. It was exhilarating. I had one sided (often short lived) love affairs that I never thought i’d recover from. I had drunken blackouts, the embarrassment of which I thought would haunt me forever. But, another day another story. It turns out my behavior was pretty low in peoples’ interests.
After a year, this ‘excitement’ caught up with me. I was alone. I was depressed. I had a pretty heavy alcohol dependency. At some point or other, those who lead a hedonistic lifestyle tend to hit rock bottom. Mine happened at a remarkably young age and for that I am forever grateful. Something had to change. In fact, everything had to change. I knew I needed some sort of guidance. I needed to restore my faith. In those truly dark days before my (self-proclaimed) transformation, the only thing that brought me solace was this notion that there must be a purpose and I must be on a mission of some sort. Perhaps there was more to life than making a blurred appearance on the daily mail website.
I had been practicing yoga on and off, with purely superficial motivations, for a few years. Despite my real aim of looking good naked, I had always found a fascination with yogis. The real cave dwelling, lotus-pose assuming, dreadlocked sages of ancient India. What did they know that I didn’t know? I began practicing yoga asana obsessively. It replaced all other addictions in my life. I decided that once I could contort myself into pretzel-like postures and exponentially lower my heart rate the meaning of life would simply materialize before me. I trained hard. I meditated on the chakras. I practiced advanced pranayama (breathing techniques). I started waking up obscenely early. I flew to America and trained to be a yoga teacher.
I felt better for sure. Physically and psychologically. But was I “enlightened”? Did I understand my true purpose? Had I found God, or some form of higher power, to instruct me on my path? Well, no. I mean, huge progress had been made: green juices and obnoxiously complex coffee-free freshly-pummeled nut-milk lattes took the place of alcohol and cigarettes; sunrise happened at the beginning of my day rather than the end; rather than trying to make social media fame through ‘enviable’ images of my ‘glamorous’ life, I tried making social media fame through ‘enviable’ images of my wholesome and sanitized (heavily edited) ‘yogic’ life. Overall, I was no longer a toxic, unsmiling party-girl, but I was hugely irritating and an offense to the true nature of Yoga as intended by my favorite cave-dwelling, dreadlocked sages.
This was when I began to study. I bought book after book, listened to lecture after lecture, youtube video after youtube video. The Bhagavad Gita, the Upanishads, the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra’s, Srimad Bhagavatam (etc. etc.) all piled up for my consumption. Suddenly the equations started to add up. I started to understand. I found connection with Krishna and began devoting my practice to a closer connection and affiliation with the divine. I travelled the world, studied in an ashram, met devotees from many backgrounds. Paths opened themselves to me and encouraged the progression of my journey.
In my exploration of these sacred texts, I began reading into Āyurveda – “the science of life” – which is the ancient system of health care. I had come across Āyurveda at various points in my life, when dealing with digestion issues, but in connection with my yoga practice and study of Vedic scripture, the Āyurdedic philosophy took on a whole new level of profundity. My mission was to understand in order to teach. In order to help. To provide people with what they need in order to advance their spiritual practice. I trained and qualified as an Āyurvedic Health Counselor, to further my knowledge and put me in a position of service.
My aim is to share. To inform and to support. The spiritual path is not one to be treaded lightly, and many turn for guidance at times of vulnerability. The practice of Yoga and the wisdom of the Vedanta is sacred and should be treated with the utmost respect. In today’s society, the interest in spiritual progression and attainment of an enlightened state is prevalent. While this a very positive step to greater social awareness, Western society runs the risk of destabilizing these ancient traditions through over simplification and lack of understanding. However, we do have the tools to share the truth of this practice – to keep the yoga of the sages alive. I do not by any means claim to be an expert in this compendium of knowledge, but I am a committed student, practitioner and teacher. My only intention is to share what I have learnt and be a part of a community of informed practitioners with the shared goal of keeping this practice pure.
With love and reverence,