In 2016 I had reached my goal, I was a menswear designer at a global fashion company in Manchester; I was 22, fresh out of University, working in the job that I had been aiming towards for 6 years whilst studying fashion design.
However, 6 months later I was bored, I was bored of being told to copy other brands, bored of being rushed off my feet and tired of trying my hardest to be creative under so much time pressure. I was on less than the minimum wage, worked in a bar at the weekends until 4 am just to cover my living costs, and all the time thinking, ‘I’ve worked for 6 years for THIS?’ I thought maybe things will be different if I change my workplace. So, I started to search for organic and sustainable brands that needed a designer in Manchester. I thought maybe if I was working somewhere which had the same ethics and values that I did, it would be a great fit, but I couldn’t find anything.
“There is no failure, only a process which is leading us to become the greatest version of ourselves.”
Every night I would watch Ralph Smart’s channel on youtube ~ Infinite Waters. He made me feel better, he talked about many things, like becoming the greatest version of yourself, leaving a job if it made you unhappy, synchronicity, meditation, intuition, all about being vegan and lots about ancient history. He truly inspired me, he taught me so much, I read many many books, watched a lot of videos because of the things he talked about and ultimately it gave me hope to be able do something more meaningful. Another amazing channel is Spirit Science. I learnt SO much on there.
Aware and Changing
I started meditating A LOT, asking for guidance, planning, journaling, self reflecting, working through a lot of issues, using affirmations and really exploring who I was and what I wanted to become ~ which was my own greatest version, but I still felt stuck and unsure of how to even start. I remember one day almost crying in front of close friends when I spoke about how lost I was feeling ~ they asked me ‘What do you really want to do? I said in frustration ‘I don’t know, I don’t know what I want! I just want to do yoga on the beach!’…and that was it. That was the moment.
I had been doing yoga for a couple of years already. I however, had discovered Hot Yoga a while back, and signed up for 30 days of Hot Yoga in Manchester. The classes were 90 minutes long and after the first class, I realised that I had never felt anything like it in my whole life. It was pure euphoria and it changed my whole world! The first week was tough, being new to yoga and trying not to faint in the 40-degree heat was a challenge… but it was so worth it.
“Yoga is a dance between control and surrender.” Joel Kramer
In that first 30 days, I gained balance, core strength and clarity of mind. I began reading about yoga, doing youtube video classes online and I started attending all different styles of classes, Yin, Ashtanga, Vinyasa and Hatha in my local studios and have been doing yoga ever since.I quickly realised yoga was my thing. I have always been flexible and from a young age I was always hanging upside down and putting my legs up the wall. I was practising yoga without realising it.
The Inspiration to Teach
It was when I was attending a class run by a young girl in a local church that I thought to myself, “I could do this, I would love to teach this class!” I was short on money but I looked everywhere for the cheapest way to learn to teach yoga and I finally found one! The British School of Yoga, where you could study at home and attend a one day course to do your practical training and exam.This was just perfect for me and probably my only option as I could not afford to go to any of the courses in India at that point, so I signed up and worked HARD. Every spare moment I had I was doing yoga, researching yoga and reading about yoga. I managed to complete and pass my course in less than 6 months and as soon as I had finished I realised I needed to go and get some real teaching experience.
I had heard of volunteering as I had done some in Costa Rica before, so I did some more research and discovered ‘workaway’. I couldn’t believe it, as within 1 week I had been offered a 4 week volunteering spot at the Hacienda Yoga Retreat in Spain. I handed in my notice at work and my step dad kindly booked me a one way ticket, as I had no idea when or if I would be coming back!
Making Beautiful Memories
When you are on your right path the Universe helps you and I knew this path was right for me. The whole volunteering process just worked for me, I had the most incredible 4 weeks, made amazing friends and learnt from international yoga teachers who were hosting their retreats there! From there I went straight to the Spanish desert to volunteer at another retreat, there was the most amazing yoga rooftop where you felt part of the stars because they were so close!
After that I travelled to The Yoga Shala where I spent 5 weeks. This was the most life changing and challenging experience. I got do the adjustments in the classes, I taught art therapy workshops, led guests hiking to the top of a mountain every week and learnt how to cook vegan recipes! It was hard work, I did 2 yoga classes every single day for 5 weeks, with chanting and meditation in the morning whilst running the whole retreat with 3 other volunteers. It was an incredible place, all the food was organic and grown right there and the other volunteers turned into my sisters. I also completed my first ever 5 day water fast with the help of Amparo, the chef, she is a magical person and so wise, she taught me how to connect with my soul and I will never forget her.
This is when things got really crazy, I had -£500 in my bank but I didn’t want to go home. I had just gotten started! That is when I found yoga travel jobs, I didn’t feel ready to teach but when do you ever feel completely ready for something? Within a day I had been accepted at a huge resort right next to the incredible Lake Toba in Indonesia to TEACH yoga to the guests twice a day for 2 months! I thought about this offer for a week, I meditated, I journaled, but inside I had already said yes to myself, my intuition was guiding me. I thought there is no way I can pay to get there but sure enough from Barcelona to Sumatra the flight was £300. I COULD NOT believe it. I booked it.
“Sometimes, we just have to step back and let life happen and trust that it will workout.” Spirit Science
I was in bits when I had to leave, I really felt like everyone I had met had really brought something to my life, something I had never felt before in England. Everyone was so inspirational, open and giving. I spent a couple of days travelling and exploring the incredible city of Barcelona and then flew all the way to Asia.
Discovering the Teacher Within
I had the most life changing 2 months at Lake Toba. The place just has a mysteriously magical energy that you can feel as soon as you arrive. I started teaching my own classes and again met other volunteers that became family and will be my friends for life. I then flew to Bali and taught yoga at a beautiful homestay on the beach for 2 months to guests and the local women. I loved it and it really did feel like home I really got to be creative with my yoga classes, be my true self, experiment, have fun and become the teacher I wanted to be.
I would say my style of teaching is a creative, ever evolving fusion of styles inspired mainly by Hatha, Flow, Hot Yoga and Yin. I love meditation, when I teach I am always trying out things I learn or read about; that is one of the things I adore about teaching yoga, you get the chance to create a truly beautiful experience for others, and the feeling of contributing to making someone’s day a little brighter is magical. I always encourage people in my classes to practise gratitude as thinking of one thing that you are grateful for almost instantly lifts your spirit.
I have just set up my own website and blog Keep Spirit ~ it’s all about inspiring others to follow their inner guidance. I interview inspirational people and brands to show others that yes it’s scary to follow your dreams but when you get on that path there is something magical about how the Universe helps and guides you. One thing I’ve learnt is that we are never ever alone and if you keep in the flow you will always be guided in the right direction for your own soul journey. That’s why..
“…if something isn’t working out for you, it’s probably a sign to say that maybe this is not meant for you.”
I am now teaching english in Lombok whilst also teaching yoga at The Lombok Yoga House. Island life is the best; there is the most amazing fruit you can ever imagine, the sun shines every single day, the people are happy and the vibe is relaxed. I am here working hard on my dreams, I want to make Keep Spirit a real success to truly help and inspire people. Next year I will go to India, as it has always been my dream to travel and study yoga there. I will also create a fully sustainable bamboo yoga collection to stay true to my creative nature, and give back to Indonesia ~ there is a crazy amount of bamboo here.
I am excited for the future and I can truly say without sounding cheesy that yoga has changed my life forever. This all has happened in less than a year. I cannot stress enough how much travelling enhances your time on this planet. Forget about money and just go an travel for a while, get out of your bubble and go see how the world is. Memories and experiences are life changing and give you so much more fulfilling happiness than having a new dress every week to go out in.
If you are doing something inspirational or you know someone within the field of creativity, yoga, personal growth, reiki, ayurveda, travel, community projects, organic & sustainable living, volunteer projects, or anything that may inspire others, please email me at [email protected]
Love and Light ~
Designer, Yoga Teacher, Reiki Master
Instagram ~ @keepspiritlife
Facebook ~ @keepspiritlife