How music and motherhood brought me to yoga

yoga weekends in cornwall

I had always quite fancied the idea of doing yoga. As a youngster, I got hold of my mum’s copy of Lynn Marshall’s ‘Keep up with Yoga’ book, (which I don’t believe my mum had actually used.) Lynn Marshall was the embodiment of all that was sleek and glossy. She had a TV show on a Sunday morning during the 1970s, and her exotic red and green leotards made yoga seem like an alluring way of maintaining health and fitness. So, sprawled on my cramped bedroom floor, and with Lynn’s book in one hand, I attempted to have a go at the gymnastic displays that graced the pages of the book. Not surprisingly, the lack of space in my room combined with my lack of knowledge just resulted in me having a cricked neck and a few bruises as my flailing legs unceremoniously crashed into various items of furniture.

Fast forward twenty years, and I’m a young mum going to collect my son from nursery school. Outside the school gates is a kindly middle aged lady handing out leaflets. She casually hands one to my friend, but not to me. Upon reading my friend’s leaflet and realising that it is advertising a new yoga class, I go back to the lady and enthusiastically ask for some information. After all this time I can finally have a go at doing yoga! At that time, I didn’t realise that this small act of going back and chatting to the teacher would have such an enormous impact upon our lives in the future…

As a young mum, I had experienced two miscarriages, and I had also suffered from anxiety and panic attacks since the age of six years old. Combined with my job as a professional violinist, my life revolved around adrenaline fuelled moments which left me feeling depleted and burnt out most of the time. When this becomes the norm, I don’t think we realise that there is another way of living our lives – it doesn’t have to be a whirl of high octane feelings all the time. Life can be experienced in a much more calm and replenishing way.

I turned up to the new yoga class, and, within the walls of that dusty church hall, I found a deep sense of calm that I had never before experienced. As a violinist, I found that I became more aware of my posture when holding the instrument, and that the relaxation techniques of yoga nidra enabled me to become more mindful and aware if I felt an attack of nerves coming on. I was so entranced with yoga, that I encouraged my husband, Phil to go along. He worked as a director of an international marketing company, and had to frequently give presentations in front of large audiences. The benefits of yoga for both of us were life altering, and has resulted in us moving from the city to Cornwall, where it is our great pleasure to introduce yoga to many people on our yoga weekends. Having experienced the many rewards that yoga can bring to the mind and body, it is wonderful to share it with others too.

Sue Aston