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Our office yoga guru

We like to practise what we preach at the office, and part of that includes a little team yoga. Delivering the yoga is the fabulous Sarah, who has her own beautiful yoga journey.

My yoga journey

I haven't always been a yoga instructor. I used to work in corporate events, and went to my first yoga class around 23 years ago. I dabbled in it for a long time, trying different classes until I finally found a style that suited me.

Fast forward many years and I did an in-depth yoga workshop which lasted for four months. My goal was to improve my personal practice, but the teacher asked whether I would be interested in teaching. It wasn't something I had considered before, but it opened the door in my mind to that possibility.

My job at the time was intense and I was trying to have children but without much success. I was in that space a lot of people find themselves in, where they're burned out but can't stop, and it was the yoga that really kept me going.

Around that time I happened to fall pregnant with my son, so I decided to defer the idea of teacher training, but did practise pregnancy yoga during that time. When I had my son I found that the yoga techniques helped me with giving birth, and as it happened the lady I had done pregnancy yoga with said she was doing a teacher training course specifically for pregnancy yoga. I had found it very helpful, so although it wasn't initially my primary area of interest I decided to go for it, and when I returned to my corporate job I taught alongside further yoga training, which eventually gave me the experience and qualifications I needed to teach a wider variety of people.

During that time I had also had my daughter, and for several years I did my corporate job and taught yoga as well. Again, it was always yoga that kept me going. Now, I have just been a yoga and mindfulness instructor for seven years and can teach anyone, in dynamic, therapeutic and restorative style, including children, along with mindset matters work and postnatal mum all of which I am really passionate about.

My yoga philosophy

It's important to me to blow away all those initial preconceptions about yoga and who does it. For me it's not a competition and it's not about trying to be exclusive or purist. I see yoga as personal and deeply inclusive, and on a personal level it's always helped me to cope with life's challenges and been a conduit for self discovery. I hope I can help bring that to other people as well.

My philosophy is rooted in the mind-body connection. The way I teach is very sensitive towards the joints, so we do a lot of preparation at the start of the class to bring awareness to what we're doing and limit the possibility of injury in both the practice but also in everyday life. I'm also a real promoter of rest and the benefits of breathwork. I like functional movement (movement you would use on an everyday basis) and bring that into my teaching, so there's practical benefit to the class.

I would say I teach in a very somatic way, which is having an awareness of being in your body - again, it's all about that mind-body connection, tracking what you feel when you're moving and using that as you go into your next movement. I teach in a flowing style which I think I've adapted over the years and becomes almost meditative. I will mention things like grounding or relate things back to earlier movements so clients can track the feeling within the body and notice how it feels. I also think it's important to give people the freedom not to follow every single thing I do if it doesn't feel right, and I can make alternative suggestions.

Yoga helps us to give ourselves grace

We're all different; our anatomies can be quite different from one another, and that's important to remember when you're doing yoga - to remember that it's not about being the most flexible or competing with the person next to you. Much of our movement is also about the patterns of our life. So, if you sit at your desk day vs people who have been cutting down trees all their lives, you will move differently. We almost have to forgive ourselves for the life we have led if it has affected our health and our body patterns and be open to appreciating our bodies and how well they serve us.

We spend so much time beating ourselves up and not celebrating the things we can do. Often when something goes wrong that's the only time we pay attention. With yoga you spend time listening to your environment as well as your body. I spend as much time as possible connecting with nature - when you do that it can really change how you feel. I spend a lot of time in woodland and I like to bring some of those practices that help us in nature into our classes, so there's a lot of grounding work, which is particularly important, now for people who have busy lives.

One of the things the yoga practice can also bring is self-awareness around how we treat other people. I think it gives us an opportunity to become calmer - come into your wise mind self - so we're able to share more and give more because we have cared for ourselves. There's a lot of empathy and intuition we can tap into when we start to slow down. When we meet our own needs we're better able to support other people too.

If you would like to find out more about Sarah and her classes, email:

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