My name is Hayley. I’m a yoga teacher based in Edinburgh. Until very recently, my day job was in community mental health in the voluntary sector. My work was focused on group work, peer support and was rooted in recovery and healing in community with others. I bring what I have learned through my previous work to my yoga practice and teaching.
I first went to a yoga class in 2008 to try and help manage stress I was experiencing because of my job at the time, which was in residential mental health. I loved my job but it was emotionally intense, the hours were long and the pay was low.
The classes were on a Monday morning and my teacher was great. She was able to cater to a mixture of beginners like me and people who looked like they had been practicing for decades.
The class was in the basement of a rundown leisure centre in South London and cost £3 a session. I was on a low income and living in an expensive city at the time so I’m not sure I’d have tried it if it was expensive. It made it inclusive to a lot of people and meant the classes had a range of ages and walks of life.
My first experience is one that stayed with me and is the reason that I do my best to offer yoga classes that are accessible to a range of experiences, bodies, ages and financial situations. I strongly believe that yoga should be for everyone.