About Me and My Yoga Journey
I first learnt about the benefits of yoga in a class in 2006 in my hometown of Sofia, Bulgaria and have been practicing ever since. My first teacher, Vera Zaharieva, made yoga interesting, fun and enticing to experience and learn about, so much that I could not wait for each class.
Having trained in rhythmic gymnastics as a young child I have always been flexible, but what I found profoundly beneficial was the sense of grounding, contentment and calmness yoga brought. It is here that I want to note that contrary to popular beliefs, yoga is not all about flexibility and adopting unusual postures. It is true that it can improve flexibility, but it can offer so much more – it is practical system that has a broad range of practices and techniques for various people and needs. Personally, it is through yoga that I continuously learn to live and experience my own body in a supportive and non-judgmental way, keep cultivating compassion towards myself and others, manage anxiety and stress in the daily life, as well as understand the relationship with myself and how I relate to others, and the world.
Working in the tourism sector required that I travelled away from Sofia often and sometimes for long periods, so I developed a regular personal practice to accompany me. It was after moving to London that I considered completing a yoga teacher training.
About My Yoga Teacher Training
Looking to deepen my knowledge and understanding of yoga, I graduated a comprehensive 2 year course at one of the UK’s leading yoga centres – Triyoga, under the mentorship of Kate Ellis and Catherine Annis. After completing the course, I gained a certification with the British Wheel of Yoga in 2016 and was selected to return to the training as a teaching assistant and mentor to the new teacher trainees.
Following that, I graduated another 2 year training course with Kate Ellis and Pippa Richardson on The Art of Teaching One to One – a specialist training for working one-to-one with a particular focus on how yoga becomes therapeutic. This approach (Embodied Relational Yoga Therapy) draws from yoga, body psychotherapy, embodied relational therapy and developmental movement.
Most recently I completed a Restorative Yoga Teacher Training with Anna Ashby and Chris Swain in London. Personally, I find Restorative yoga as one of the most beneficial practices for the busy lives we have as it supports calming the nervous system and restoring the natural rhythm of the body. Restorative yoga is usually practiced supine and supported by as many props as needed, accompanied by longer “holding” to release tension and relax the body, and mind.
Yoga is a multifaceted phenomenon which originated and developed in India. Ancient ascetics there have used yogic techniques from 5th century BC (some scholars argue even earlier) to achieve liberation from the endless cycle of rebirth. As yoga progressed and evolved, different schools and traditions looking “to solve the existential dilemma as understood by them”, appeared and enriched it by developing further techniques. It is an ever-evolving, powerful system that is now practiced by millions of people around the world for various reasons – maybe to improve general health and fitness or flexibility, or to achieve a heightened state of awareness or a calmer mind, to name a few.
- Improves strength, flexibility, balance and coordination.
- Improves posture and increases overall body awareness.
- Strengthens the joints and betters bone health.
- Increases the lung capacity.
- Balances the nervous system – parasympathetic and sympathetic.
- Helps to manage stress and to ease the symptoms of stress and anxiety.
- Helps to build resilience to the effects of stress and anxiety.
- Helps to maintain and improve mental and emotional health.
- Creates sense of peace and quiets a busy mind.
- Helps better quality sleep.
- Enhances concentration and memory.
- Improves your relationship with yourself, which in turn helps with improving your relationships with other people.