Having just come home from teaching a wonderful, outdoor yoga class, now prepping for a morning of filming yoga videos and then taking the afternoon to chill, go swimming and practise some yoga for myself. Sometimes I forget how far I’ve come and the journey I’m on to create this work / life balance I adore!
My work days are fun and flexible, whilst also throwing in those mega productive days to push forward on plans and projects when I need to. Thinking about writing this blog post has made me reflect on how far I’ve come and take a minute to appreciate where I am in my career right now. I usually do this only once a year on 1st December when I went self-employed, you might have seen these little round ups if you follow me on Instagram (Year 1, Year 2, Year 3).
It’s not always been like this though and at 32 years old, I feel like the last 3.5 years of work / life are the only one’s that ‘make sense’ to me… So let’s go on a journey and take it back to school.
At school I was very much an ‘average’ student in most things, so when it came to picking a subject for a degree I just picked what I was best at. Geography. There was an element of interest in it, but definitely not a passion. This resulted in going to Reading University for a year, realising I’d made a huge mistake, came home and felt completely lost.
Round two saw me switch to a creative degree in fashion and jewellery design. I finished my degree with a 2:1 from Middlesex University and a realisation that fashion, objects and things, did not bring me joy. Upon reflection, I am so glad I tried both of these though, as it’s important to find out what doesn’t bring you joy, as well as what does!
After graduating in 2012 I was desperate to stay in living in London, as soon as I moved here I had an overwhelming sense of ‘coming home’. So I got the first job that would have me, in fact I think I found it on Gumtree! It was an e-commerce job and that set me up for the next 5 working years of my career. I bounced from office to office in the hope that I would find my place, even trying to convince myself SEO, selling and analytics were my passion.
Soon enough the 9-5 days became 8-7 days and I was depressed. One day I thought ‘What’s the point?’ I was in a constant state of anxiety, highly stressed, exhausted and all just to try to sell more clothes and make-up.
I once told a manager that I was struggling and cried in the toilet a lot, they replied with ‘yeah that happens to everyone’. I was in shock and confused that this is how life/work was! My friend would say to me ‘Don’t get so stressed, it’s not like you’re saving lives!’ And that became my mantra to get through the work day.
I started yoga because I’d read it was good for stress and mental health (I’d did it a tiny bit with my Mum when I was a teenager), but now I really needed it! Having a yoga class booked for after work was my perfect excuse to leave work on time and to put it simply, it just made me feel better! I soon released yoga had this ‘after burn’ effect, like after a yoga class I would decide to eat a little more healthily, speak more kindly to myself and make better decisions on the weekend rather than drinking and sleeping them away.
In 2016 I decided to do my Yoga Teacher Training, initially it was just to learn more, but as the course went on I knew I wanted to do this as a career. Yoga had made me feel so much better and I wanted to help others feel the same. The job I had at the time was a 1 year contract and was due to end just before I qualified as a yoga teacher. My manager asked if I would like to take a permanent position with them and I said ‘yes’, with the caveat my salary would go up (I had a minimum number in mind). They came back to me with a flat out ‘no’ and no counter offer. So that was the decider, I saved 2 months wages, left my job and dived into self employed life.
I have now been self employed for 3.5 years and whilst this journey has taken many twists, turns, ups and downs, I can honest say it feels SO good to have control over my work load, schedule and salary. All my successes and all my failures are down to me and I love it!
My main focus this year to build a yoga YouTube channel which will generate a passive income eventually and spread the word about my teaching style. This will then lead onto paid online courses and memberships. I also teach private and corporate yoga sessions across the city and create bespoke video content for a range of brands and apps internationally. I am so grateful to these clients for allowing me to teach them. I am particularly passionate about providing yoga in offices as I think people often put The Job before themselves really easily, in fact it’s encouraged! Eating lunch at your desk, coming in early and staying late, leaves little time to look after yourself. Ultimately, if you don’t look after You, everything else around you suffers, the job, relationships, your health. I get such a buzz from seeing and feeling a group of corporate yogi’s take a collective sigh, find a stretch that they didn’t even know they needed and relax!
Shout-out to my past self for putting in the work to get me where I am right now.
And to my future self: I’m working, I’m grinding, I got this, I got you.