Perfectly Imperfect, a love affair with yoga.
Honestly I count how blessed I am every day even though I am still master of the swear word. In between cussing, I think of all the things that I am grateful for ... coffee, my daughter, sharing yoga, my friends & family, this beautiful Island that has always drawn me back that is now my home.
I picked Bali for a few reasons a) it was close to my daughter who is 21 & at university in Australia b)I speak Indonesian a language similar to Bahasa Malaysia which I learned while living in Malaysia on a student exchange in 1988-89. c) I had been here many may times over the course of some 35 years. Simply I love the peace, the smells of durian, belachan & frangapani each time I made my way out of the airport. It takes me back to that first time every single time
India was also an option to set up home as my Grandfather came from Pondicherry to Fremantle Australia in 1928 crossing the courntry (lord nows how?) to marry my Grandmother in Bundaberg in QLD in 1938 in what I am certain is one of Australias first interracial marriages.
It was just a question of where & how???? I always knew I was going.
Yoga has been in my life now for about 12 years on & off. After years of depression & debilitating anxiety I eventually started to feel sparks of happiness return as anxiety started to pack its weighty bags & I figured that it was the yoga that was the commander of change.
The practice I have today is a daily practice of nearly five years. Days off happen occasionally like when I squidgy a couple of ribs & need some acupuncture & cupping or when I know my body needs to rest.... I take respite in a restorative practice which is like a gateway to meditation for me.
8 years ago this Sydney city girl packed her car & drove to the other side of the country with her dog so that she could live where the sun sets over the ocean.....cause that makes you feel like you are on holidays every dam day. This is actually a really long story when I have corralled the courage & words I will share it. Perth was home for a for a few years & eventually found my way to Australias North West as a Hospitality Consultant -think red dirt mining & remote water holes with the occasional crocodile.
Port Hedland (PHE) has an amazing creative culture that too often plays second fiddle to the iron ore mining that rules the region. Probably didn't put that much thought into whether or not I would find a yoga space for collective practice. You would think these things were everywhere right ... Ah, no they are definitely not!
The town had 1.75 - 2.5 or so yoga teachers when I arrived, the decimals come into play because they were not always around. Like the rest of the town they were working shift in fluro orange PPE or didn't have anywhere to teach, so collective practice was sporadic & unreliable but when it was popped up yogis turned up & practice was shared.
The challenge of not always having classes available was when my home practice journey really began... how hard could it be right??? Honestly the mindset part is always harder than the actual act of creating shapes. So I would go for a warm up walk & then come home & roll out my mat, in-between bee lining to what ever available classes popped up on my radar so that I could refuel my home practice with new ideas. I was able to integrate my past dance & Aerobic & PT training, teaching & stretching to create my own routine.
While living in the hotel that I was renovating part of the project was renovating one of the function rooms which was a completely underused space I go the idea that it would perfect for regular scheduled practice. I called the only teacher in town at that time & she readily accepted my offer of the space. Together we were able to put in place a more regular timetable the renovated space. Finally kitty & the PHE yogi tribe had somewhere to go, I never missed one of those classes. I felt lucky that I was able to give space for yoga to the community that it so desperately wanted & needed it.
Mining towns change without ever really changing.... people move in & move away the FIFO work & the transient nature of this shifts the dynamic of the town without actually changing the structure of it. It looks the same it just doesn't feel the same, eventually that teacher left & we were in a YT free zone.
I wasn't a qualified teacher when I opened Port Shed Yoga. I was still in the middle of my first ever YTT, which incidentally I wasn't doing because I wanted to teach I was hungry to understand how the yoga had changed me. There was also no where to practice again, I had moved consulting gigs & I seriously wanted somewhere where we could go to enjoy collective practice......so that I could put into practice all that I was learning & share notes with other students & the teachers of the occasional classes that were popping up again.
I came across a space & thats when things seriously changed.
The indigenous corporation I was consulting to had signed a lease on the building, which for many reasons couldn't use it for the intended purpose, so I negotiated the use of the space. It was literally a shed a disused furniture warehouse, it was huge with creaky floors with crappy carpet but man did it have a special something in there! Ceiling fans were the first project.... cause yoga in PHE could feel like a natural Bikram class. I was approached by an amazing massage therapist (if your in Perth look up Calm Blue Therapy) who took up residence with us. I built a small shop, bought mats blocks & messaged the 4 Yoga teachers that were now floating & flowing around town & created a yogi collective. We had our own T-shirt (essential is you ask me!!!) By our 2nd month of trade I had graduated from my first 500hrYTT & was upfront leading practice too. I had found a happy place.
In my last blog about Spiritual Practice I wrote about the times in my life that I felt connected to source. Honestly I near peed my pants with nerves my first class & my yogi sister @unravelingyogi bless her was like ...'kit... just slow down, just breathe'... she is like the yin to my super yang I am lucky to have her. The experience was connection to source or of being in your flow state, I felt like I had come home.
When we officially opened..... 'The Shed' as it became affectionately known.... it was to 45 people rolling out their mats & me being blown away by the support in the town - natch I cried, totally overwhelmed by the community repsponse.
I hadn't really worked on mindset at that stage & genuinely felt no one would turn up lol
Bow, bow, wrong!!!! & we couldn't have been happier!!!!
The Shed became home to yoga in Port Hedland. We delivered classes, workshops & retreats ran donation classes each month from which we donated the proceeds to not for profit organisations in our community. We inspired yogis to pursue their own teacher training aspirations & watched people blow their own minds as they did a handstand or any asana they thought was out of reach. Messages from clients about how a pranayama had gifted them space form their anxiety & rumination - this is the stuff that makes me so happy that I share this practice. It felt like we were genuinely contributing to the town & from the feedback & reviews we received we were. Not every class was packed to the rafters but it trucked along & was the foundation of the Port Hedland yogi community.
Meanwhile kit for ever the student, decided another super intense course was in order, after doing another 300 hr YTT & more short module YTT's. I tried to figure out where I could fit in a chunky wad of study around maintaining a 14 hour consulting day 6 days a week, sharing practice 4 times a week sometimes more, managing The Shed & my own daily practice.... In the middle of this in comes an amazing offer to come & teach in Bali for 3 months...
During my time in Bali I did a lot of work on mindset, its been one of the game changers of my practice & the decisions that I make in my life. I had learned about & attempted to integrate these techniques into my life before but here for the first time they were no longer just words. A combination of self study, meditation & yoga had provided the perfect storm & created space for them.
There was a kinda mantra that I kept coming up for me, I learned it as a kid when my dad used to drag us to Amway conventions... "Get rid of what you don't want to make room for what you do" I started to apply this mantra to aspects of my life. Over the last 7 years it has helped me move states, jobs, houses, towns & countries & my mindset. It is still here helping peel away layers as they make them selves known & I am ready to let them go. Its the offloading of the stuff that we acquire.... all that stuff that advertising, programming & patterning messages us into believing we should have, that we don't actually need.
Then there was a persistent feeling that one where your gut instinct is telling you you are on the right path, I could feel it in ma bones. If I just kept doing the work which apart from my consulting work included - self study, meditation, reading, journaling, asana practice.
The answers started to reveal them selves as a kind of ideas puzzle, made up of pieces of some of my favourite things. Yoga, sharing yoga leanings, travel. India, food & Bali. This is where the pieces of Perfectly Imperfect stated to fit together as a story. Sharing yoga practice, travelling to India , living in Bali eating awesome local food.
What I really wanted was to share the yoga that changed/ saved my life. It was when I got to this idea that Perfectly Imperfect Yogis was born... because we all are - Perfectly Imperfect.
One of my key drivers is to make yoga accessible to everyone, It doesn't always have to be the super fancy instagram stuff.
To me the yoga that has the most impact is the one that gets someone coming back to the mat & showing up for themselves. Cause when you make it accessible & the yogi keeps showing up change happens. NB. This does not involve a two minute handstand hold. I will be a very excited yogi adventurer when I can do that!!!! However I am not sure that it will make me be a betterer happier version of me, although truth be told I will be very happy!!!
So that perfect storm with the mind set shift had my fingers typing the email of my resignation from my consulting gig before my brain had even caught up with the words. The boss was notified & I was out in 30 days! I didn't even freak about it ... normally I would have but I was prepared I had done & was still doing the work.
Things really started to take shape after that, I had the Yoga India Adventure filled, a retreat booked in Bali( we will be running another one in 2021) & clients in my Transformation Program. We have added the STAYCATION RETREAT I am sharing collective practice & working one on one with clients around the world. Important to this story is not not only the work life evolution but that I am actually happy, happier happiest!!! more than I have been in a very very long time.
I finally realised I- yes me, I have the potential to help other people by doing what I absolutely love. This Yoga these shapes, the philosophy - I genuinely believe will effect positive change in the world making us happier healthier humans.
Welcome our Yogi tribe - Perfectly Imperfect Yogis, I hope that in some small way something that we do or say encourages you to come back to your rubber rectangle & show up for you.
I am an email or FaceBook Message away - Please let me know how I can help you with your practice?
yoga is just a practice
that becomes a habit
that changes your life