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Who Am I?

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Hey, I'm Michelle / Shelly / YogaiSH!

Thanks for taking the time to check out my website or social media pages, attend a class or just read this blog.
The English language is most definitely not my area of expertise and sometimes I struggle to put into words what I am actually trying to say…however I have so much that I want to pass on, I feel it has come to a point in my life, to get what I have in my head and my heart out into the world.

I am going to be writing about things I have experienced first-hand or subjects that are very close to my heart. I am a spiritually free, movement enthusiast, who loves to discuss, learn, change, inspire, dance and encourage a lifestyle prescription rather than a medical one.

Yoga Squat

As a professional in the health & wellness industry, I get asked questions and recently those questions are coming thick and fast. I strongly believe we are becoming more health conscious and finding answers to these questions is vital self-education. Self-education is simply gaining more knowledge and knowledge is power. My experience has given me (potential) solutions to problems that many people need not suffer through. I have been in the industry for 15 years. I have seen and dealt with a variety of circumstances in which I have learnt ways to help others. There is such a plethora of information and more importantly mis-information, that I think it can be daunting to do the research, or look into it yourself. Especially if you do not have much background knowledge on the subject. I am not an expert at anything and I will always be a student at life but if I can positively influence you, or ignite a spark in someone via a blog, a class, a 1-1, a workshop…..for me, that’s a sweet success. I hope my writing serves this purpose for you.

As it’s my first one, I thought it best to start with an introduction:

Yoga Arm Balance

I am a 34 year old local girl who was born in Worthing (well, Southlands actually!) and I still live and love it here. Worthing has so much on its doorstep, however, having grown up here I totally took it for granted for many years. We have the coast and the downs practically in walking distance from each other. Not many places have that luxury. It was only really in the last year or so that I have begun to appreciate this place I call home. Worthing also contains my incredible network of family, friends, clients, fellow teachers & a whole bunch of awesome yoga practitioners that I have the pleasure to train on a weekly basis #lucky!

"A home is not the 4 walls you reside in, it’s a place that if you are not there, your absence will be noticed"

This is a profound statement.  I heard Cal Newport (professor of computer science and author on minimalistic living and digital decluttering) say on a recent podcast and it really rang true to me. Have a think about it. Read it again and again. Hmmmmm?
Anyway…I digress….I was supposed to be introducing myself.

I have been physically active for as long as I can remember. I always loved PE at school and was part of most teams. As a family we were quite active, taking our bikes on holidays and playing outside in the fresh air whenever we had the opportunity. I would be down the beach with friends on the weekends and or on my roller boots or bike, making up games to drag each other around the block (probably not very safe but it was fun!) I swam for Worthing Swimming club 2 or 3 nights a week and competed at weekends. Very little time was spent on devices, if any.

As soon as I was old enough I joined a gym. I played for sports teams whilst in school and college and whenever there was an opportunity to play badminton or tennis with friends or family, I was there! So it makes sense that when I finally got around to picking a long term career path, it fell into the health & fitness sector. I qualified as a gym instructor first and then whilst working for a local health club, I studied EVERYTHING I could! I didn’t know what I wanted to do in the industry, all I knew was that I was roughly in the right place!

I qualified in; personal training, pilates, yoga, GP referral, pre/post natal, exercise to music, circuits, spinning, Zumba, choreography & conditioning, nutrition & weight management, posture correction, torso & core stability, Bodyjam and swiss ball (…and breathe!), yet I still didn’t know what I wanted to specialise in.

I ended up becoming Gym Manager for a small local gym and gained my level 3 NVQ in leadership & management skills. I knew quite quickly into this role that it wasn’t for me. I love love love inspiring positive action in those that are willing and able to change but managing a team on a daily basis did not light the fire that I knew I needed. So I was still kind of aimless.

I’m going to step back in time slightly to explain where one of my strong views on life came from. One of my earliest memories, in 2005, when I was a fresh bright eyed and bushy tailed newly qualified gym instructor, is of a chap named John. I was sitting in the gym, waiting for my client (John) to turn up…..he arrived…..in a wheelchair! My instant reactions was, Sh*$! I am not qualified for this, I had only been there, maybe, 6 months and I have never trained anyone with a disability like this before.
What happened in the next hour with John has quite literally shaped my life ever since.
John wheeled himself up to me with the biggest smile on his face. He was a double amputee from the knee down but despite this….I still remember the big smile on his face. That says something to me, even all these years down the line.
He could obviously see the fear within me because he looked at me and said “don’t look so frightened, my name is John, it’s a pleasure to meet you” We spent 10 joyful minutes, completing the necessary paperwork and getting to know each other and then he said “I just want to have a go at anything you can get me on”! So I said, Ok….Lets do this. We went around the entire gym, laughing, having fun and getting John to move his body in ways he just couldn’t do on his own.

I learnt a priceless lesson that day;

Firstly, don’t judge a book by its cover and secondly, when you don’t really have anything to complain about, don’t complain!

I would say more than 50% of my 1-1’s, involve a negative discussion about being healthier and how it is going to make their life more difficult. Excuses and false reasoning are a regular occurrence. I am NOT saying this is everyone but I am saying that the majority of those that make these negative barriers are not disabled in anyway. John never complained once. He just wanted to move and enjoy it.
I vowed from that day on, to complain as little as possible (I’m realistic, I can’t never complain!!). I decided, that as long as I have an influence over the thing that I feel I need to complain about, I should put my energies into positive change rather than complaining. I also decided that you have to want to help yourself first before anyone else can truly help you.

Mental Health

Outsiders can try but the buck starts and stops with you.

In a professional capacity I encourage others down a better lifestyle, it can be hard not to absorb negative energy or take it personally when a client does not succeed. John was a lucky, early career lesson. I can help but I am not responsible. SUPER IMPORTANT.

So, back to my management role…I QUIT!!!!

I became a self-employed personal trainer and studio instructor. 2.5 years in I decided I wanted to specialise in functional movement and now I dedicate most of my teachings and learning to a form of yoga, called YogaISH! Which is simply, my take on a yogasana practice based on my fitness background and my own holistic lifestyle choices.

I spend a lot of my time educating myself on all things related to a healthy lifestyle and personal quiet time (otherwise known as meditation).

I strongly believe most body symptoms require a lifestyle prescription rather than a medical one. The wise Dr Rangan Chatterjee confirmed this in one of his many awesome podcasts.

Your diet is not only what you eat. It is what you watch, what you listen to, what you read, the people you hang around with. Be Mindful of the things you put into your body, emotionally, spiritually and physically – TinyBuddha.com.  This is so true it gives me Goosebumps.

 

•Be a good human.  •Invest in yourself.  •Actively seek happiness.  •Smile as often as you can.

 

There is so much more I could ramble on about but I’ll stop here.

Thank you for reading my first blog. I hope something has resonated with you and inspired you in some small way. I want to keep life as real as possible. Warts and all!

Feel free to leave any comments or ask me any questions. Follow me on Instagram or Facebook.

Namashizzle Guys xx

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