I can’t believe it’s been one year already, one year since I plucked up enough courage to start my career as an independent yoga teacher. I certainly didn’t make it easy for myself, by deciding to set up my own classes rather than try to be affiliated with a studio in an area where I didn’t really know anyone! But what can I say, I like a challenge, I tested myself to go at it alone, drawn to the idea of making my own decisions and choosing what I wanted to teach and where. This year has certainly had its ups and downs, there have been several moments where I wished I had the security that comes with being employed by a studio, or had chosen a different path where I worked a 9-5 job, but I’m still here a year later, so I must have done something right!
I started out in community centres, seeing what space I could hire for as cheap as possible, walking around posting flyers through people’s letterboxes hoping to find those who were interested in my classes to try and build up some sort of clientele. Months and months of figuring out what works, what doesn’t and even though I’ve learnt so much so far, I still believe I’m only scratching the surface.
But to then be able to branch out to dedicated yoga spaces, it wasn’t until September when LAYD took a big step and starting hiring space at The Yoga Room at The Fitness Collective and Verve Wellness Studio, Bedford Heights. It was a gamble, I was now having to pay for spaces and had to make sure I had the clientele to make it worthwhile. Yet being able to teach in these spaces opened more doors, allowed me to meet other teachers that I could go to for advice and has also given me so much opportunity to expand my classes, even just by the fact they have props!
I began to delve deeper into who I wanted to be as a Yoga teacher, remembering my passion for movement and my extensive dance training. I always knew I wanted to combine Yoga and dance but up until then, hadn’t had the resources. And so I established my signature class: Mindful Flow, designed to demonstrate the restorative power of moving freely, taking influence from somatic practices and the fluidity of dance. This then progressed into my first public event, in November I taught a sold out Yogance Playshop, united dance and Yoga with creative sequencing, blending together familiar yogic postures with the expressivity of dance. The Playshop was such a success I plan to lead many more through 2020, I’m estimating the first one will be around March time so keep your eyes peeled!
In 2019, I prioritized Yoga, wanting to establish myself as a teacher in Bedford, however amongst all of this, I continued to explore choreography and created another dance piece, continuing on from the work I researched within my post graduate degree. The piece, titled Proximal Distance 1.5, was performed at ADJUSTMENTS 05.19 for Motus Dance, and at the University of Bedfordshire’s US Festival as part of their Graduate Bursary Scheme. Once again, a massive thank you must go to my dancers, Elycia, Emily and Abi, for putting up with months of chasing uncontrollable drones around the dance studio, it all worked out in the end! In 2020, I hope to pursue to dancing side of LAYD more, fingers crossed!
Over the course of this first year of business, LAYD has evolved from teaching weekly classes, to teaching corporate yoga for local businesses and Chair Yoga Dance sessions for the elderly. I have learnt and grown so much, and really it is all down to you. I wanted to write this post, not only to reflect but to most importantly say a massive thank you to all of you, whether you joined me one year ago, at some point along the way or maybe in the future, I am immensely grateful for your support. I am very excited for this next year and have so many ideas to continue to grow LAYD. Here’s to 2020 and another year of yoga, dance and a bit of both!
See you in class! x