Yoga Journey- Where it all began
My yoga journey began just over 10years ago. I very reluctantly stepped onto a yoga mat after being dragged along by a friend at work. I was always into fitness and used to go to the gym a few times a week. However, I thought yoga was too slow for me and to be honest, a waste of time. If I was working out I wanted to sweat and feel my body ache. However, that first class showed me very quickly how wrong my preconceived ideas were about yoga. From then I was hooked.
Taking the leap
After 2years of building up my own practice and feeling both the physical and unexpected mental benefits both on and off the mat, I decided I wanted to explore yoga a little deeper and did my pregnancy yoga and mum & baby teacher training. I was teaching around my full time job as an events manager and really wanted to make teaching my full time job but I was nervous and afraid to take the leap. I moved to London in 2011 and after a year as a Marketing manager working crazy hours and feeling very stressed constantly with work I decided to bite the bullet. I’d had enough of the Sunday night fear and felt I could be so much happier doing what I loved so left my job and did my 200hr yoga teacher training. It was daunting but also really exciting. I built my classes up slowly and started working with a number of professional rugby teams and athletes, which took me down a more sports yoga focused path.
‘Do what you love and you will never work a day in your life’
Teaching yoga for me is so much more than a job, it is my passion. Since I started teaching full time I never feel like I’m going to work. I almost feel guilty for being able to do what I love every day. Don’t get me wrong it has it’s own challenges and it’s hard work but I am so much happier in myself and in my life since I made the leap. Yoga has helped me both physically and mentally in so many ways on multiple occasions. One of my favourite quotes and one I live by really defines my yoga journey: ‘Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self”. It took me many years to realise the full benefits of yoga, I focused purely on the physical side initially and almost resisted the mental side. However, as I started to let my walls down and explore the more mindfulness aspect I was even more surprised at the positive impact yoga had on my life and what it taught me on and off the mat. I love being able to share that with people and help my clients realise the same benefits.
The culture shift
I moved back to Dublin in July 2016 and was very pleasantly surprised to see such a shift in the whole health and fitness space since I left. The yoga community had totally transformed. It’s great to see so many yoga studios across the city but the shift goes a lot further. People are a lot more aware of what they eat and how they spend their free time. It’s great to see people out walking / running before and after work. People not letting their day job be an excuse to not lead a healthy active lifestyle. Dublin has transformed into a health and fitness hotspot with everything from weekend park runs to healthy foodie places not to mention a huge shift in our coffee culture. I’m not going to lie, I bring a strong Americano to my early morning classes. I’d love to say it’s a green machine juice in my mug but I usually have that mid morning. For those early morning classes I need my coffee.
Exciting times ahead
I think we are only at the start of this health and fitness movement. I’m very excited to be working in this space. There is a great community. It’s is growing daily and includes a wide range of options for fitties, foodies and fashionistas. It’s moved far past people going to the gym a few times a week – now that’s not enough. Dublin has realized it’s a lifestyle. What you wear, what you eat, how you fuel your body and how you keep active and fit are all interlinked.
I am very proud to be an ambassador for Gym+Coffee and love what they are all about. Taking the leap to teach yoga full time was a big stretch for me, excuse the pun. It really does challenge me and stretch me constantly. It also makes my life richer and has given me so many opportunities that I am truly grateful for.
Julie B Yoga