"Yoga has helped me to be more aware of my body, emotions and mind. It has transformed how I live my life; I now find it easier to enjoy ‘moments’ and let go of things that don’t matter but most importantly it helps me connect with nature and to live a fearless life closer to my true self."
Sarah is a Social Media Marketer & Trainer at Jellyfish, a global digital agency in London. She trains businesses and professionals every week on how they can be using social media and digital to effectively communicate their messages.
Having worked in the digital space for the past 7 years and continuing to do so she feels the benefits of practicing mindful activities such as yoga and meditation are bountiful.
Some people think that being a social media marketer and a yogi are polar opposites but, for her, part of being a social media marketer is knowing when NOT to use social media as much as knowing when to use it. Using social media mindfully is something we all need to get better at.
Living in London as a tech professional her practice is centered around bringing calmness and mindfulness other professional’s busy city lives. The asanas in her practice are inspired by the modern strains we put on our bodies, mind and soul from sitting at desks all day, being over-connected through mobile to being surrounded by people within the city. She focuses on postures that help open up our hips and the upper front of our body in particular (chest and heart).
For Sarah, the tradition of yoga is ultimately about two things - freedom and happiness. Explained very simply by Georg Feuerstein “Yoga helps us to remove all obstructing (mental) clouds, so that we may come (free) to enjoy the sunshine within”.
Sarah discovered yoga in her mid-twenties through classes in her office, it wasn’t something she chose to do - she came across it, introduced to me by the incredible Michelle Carvill, my manager at the time, ultimate life goddess and fabulous mentor still to this day.
How has yoga helped Sarah?
"Yoga has helped me to be more aware of my body, emotions and mind. Because of this, it has transformed how I live my life; I now find it easier to enjoy ‘moments’ and let go of things that don’t matter but most importantly it helps me connect with nature and to live a fearless life closer to my true self. Fear stops us from doing a lot of things, practicing yoga has taught me to release fear from my heart and it pushes me and challenges me to try and open up fully to the moment even though this means that you may get hurt."
How does Sarah strive to live yoga off the mat?
"A personal ongoing goal of mine is to live yoga in everyday life, not just on the mat. This is something that I connect with deeply and these values are what I strive to live by, it is part of who I am so, naturally this will come across through teaching and contact time with me.
For me, yoga practice is not just about being aware, mindful and calm for the time that we’re on the mat, but it’s about carrying this state of being with us when we leave class, so it can have a much deeper impact than just making us look and temporarily feel good.
We might initially come to class for the physical benefits, I know I did, but the reason so many of us stay is because there’s that magical feeling that we at first cannot put our finger on but somehow starts to make us a better human.
Living yoga off the mat is something which the ‘8 Limbs of Yoga’ refers to, in particular, the Yamas and Niyamas. Yoga can indeed increase physical strength and flexibility and aid in calming the mind but what’s the point if we’re still rigid, weak and stressed-out in day-to-day life?
Honouring the same yoga ethics off the mat helps us always be more mindful of actions, and cultivates a more present and aware state of being. It makes us a better person."
So, what kind of teacher is Sarah?
"As a yoga teacher, my intention is to safely guide others through a class so that they can nurture their mind, body and spirit in this busy connected world and maybe learn something about themselves along the way, just like I did.
In the 4 years I have been practicing Yoga I have enjoyed Ashtanga, Vinyasa Flow, Yin and Hatha so my teaching style takes inspiration from them all.
My classes always involve flowing movement and music to help quieten mental activity and create an energy within the room. I strive to be a clear and compassionate and open guide, I try to express myself in a way that makes students feel safe, confident and accepted and relaxed. I do my best to give precise instructions and effective cues, taking time to point out any things to be aware of in posture that would be dangerous as well as ‘the why’ to the posture. I find talking about the benefits and meaning of postures helps give a deeper connection to what you are doing.
In my classes, all levels are welcome and I provide options for poses to allow students to work at their own pace. I truly believe yoga is for everyone, ‘If you can breathe you can do yoga’. I encourage people to let go of competitiveness and harsh judgment as they breathe and move mindfully. There is no need to force ourselves into shapes that are not right for us.
I aim for my students to leave a class feeling happy, open and free from mental chatter. I also aim for them to learn beneficial techniques for relaxation and stress relief that they can choose to do themselves whenever they feel the need."