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My Journey To Teaching Yoga

This may sound dramatic, but I wasn't sure if I was cut out to ever be a yoga teacher. 


(Me in 2015 unsure of where the world may take me)


If you don't know my story, I thought I would give you an insight into my journey.


I struggled with my health as I was growing up. I spent time at Great Ormond Street. Attended so many hospital appointments. I felt so alone.


During my A-Levels, I was kicked out of school and believe me, going from an A* student to being asked to leave felt devastating.


I didn't know what to do, so my parents decided until a new school year started they would send me abroad to stay with family.


On the day of my flight, I woke up and had a tonic-clonic (grand mal) seizure. Soon after, I was diagnosed with Epilepsy then Celiac Disease and then Fibromyalgia. It was a whirlwind of more hospital visits and trial medications.


As I tried to re-navigate a 'normal' life, I was unsure of what path to take. 


I worked a whole host of jobs from waitressing, teaching English abroad, working in a holistic health shop, bartending, babysitting, and the list goes on! I didn't want my health to dictate my life so I saved up and travelled across South East Asia to prove to myself that I could do anything I wanted.


(Photo of me from 2016 in Thailand - look at that hypermobility - something I would learn about years later)


Fast forward to my early twenties, I was working full-time in a primary school, babysitting and teaching drama on the weekends. It felt like a natural step to do an English Literature degree so I could qualify as a teacher. 


During this time, I started doing hot yoga classes at a beautiful local studio. The teachers, the community and the classes genuinely changed my life.


I would get up early to go to a class before work, head into the school and then go to my university lectures, catch up on my studies, helpfully make it back in time for another class, rinse and repeat.


Every single day.


I felt so genuinely happy and full of energy.


My chronic pain and constant exhaustion began to dissipate. My mini seizures completely stopped. My gut was beginning to heal.


Halfway through my degree, I realised I no longer wanted to work in a school environment, so I quit my job and started working at a mountaineering shop, a completely rogue decision. 


But deep down, I knew I wanted to share this blissful feeling I experienced in a yoga class so I decided I wanted to learn more.


I attempted to do my yoga training in India but due to poor health and many hospitalisations, I was unable to complete it. It felt heartbreaking like my health would always rule me.


(The Ashram I stayed at in India)


But I wouldn't be deterred that easily.


I booked another training in Spain for next summer so I could build back up to it.


One day, I was complaining about the ladders at my job (I'm scared of falling) while at the yoga studio, when the studio owner said, well why don't you work for me?


I began as a receptionist, worked my way up to assistant manager and continued my degree.


COVID hit.


During the pandemic, the studio shut down, I finished my degree and the yoga training was cancelled. 


Was this a sign?


What was I supposed to do with my life?


I knew I could write, so with no experience or actual marketing background, I decided to become a freelance copywriter. This taught me a lot about running a business, managing my time, outsourcing work, a sedentary lifestyle and of course, the dreaded burnout...


Because of lockdowns, everything was still closed and restrictions were everywhere. 


But then I saw an online yoga training based in Colorado. 


I decided to try it - I mean what's the worst that could happen? In six weeks, I completed my first 200 hours. I learnt about Ashtanga, Vinyasa and Rocket yoga with a huge focus on training range of motion, callisthenics and Wim Hof. 


(My first yoga photos for my website were taken by my boyfriend in a local park)


I started teaching friends and family, but I felt like it wasn't enough. 


What can I say, I am a curious bean.


Since then, I've taken so many anatomy classes and training programmes.


I went to Portugal to learn about advanced yoga and functional neuroscience. 


I am a qualified Yoga Nidra teacher. 


I've completed pelvic floor training. 


I've read hundreds of scientific papers and books on neuroscience, the brain, the breath, fascia, yogic philosophy, tai chi, qigong, pilates, mobility, meditation, facial massage, strength training, the list goes on and on.


(That's why my classes can appear a lil bit 'odd' because they fuse everything I have ever learned.)



I took yoga teaching full time.


I've run workshops, created an online membership and built my very own app.


Last year, I even taught at two yoga teacher trainings.


But it doesn't stop there. 


Every day I promise to keep learning. To keep questioning. 


I have found my passion in life.


Balance Brain Body is a combination of all the above, my experiences and working with others. 


I created it because I know how it feels to be burnt out, exhausted and want more in life.


To feel the limitations of day-to-day pressure, stress and a modern lifestyle.


That's why I always try to add a dash of light-heartedness to my classes. My teaching style has evolved so much that I'm excited to see how I will keep learning and growing so I can help you.



Your body is resilient and strong. I hope that you know that.


This is your reminder that you are constantly changing. That when things feel rough or challenging, you will make it through and I promise you are not alone.


Thanks for being here.


All my love,

Francesca

Founder of Balance Brain Body

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