From Mats to Milestones: Inspiring journeys of success from our Teacher Training graduates
I just loved the energy and atmosphere at the recent Brighton Yoga Foundation’s 10th Brighton Yoga festival; a gathering of like-minded teachers, entrepreneurs and volunteers came together to create a buzzing charity event.
The festival not only showcased the holistic benefits of yoga and other wellness practices but also told the stories of those whose lives have been transformed by the activities of the BYF. From trauma survivors, addicts and the homeless, to ethnic minority and LGBTQ+ groups, witnessing these narratives firsthand was a profound experience. It underscores the far-reaching benefits of all styles of yoga as well as other movement and wellbeing practices on the body, mind and soul.
What made my heart sing equally, was the amount of connection I felt from so many fellow teachers.
I felt so proud to see so many Harmonise Graduates, old and new, adding their spark to the event’s vibrancy. Teaching sessions were filled with familiar, encouraging faces of graduates and retreat guests, reflecting the incredible bond we share.
Seeing so many of you there really meant so much.
During the day, I caught up with and discovered what these wonderful Harmonise graduates are now doing within the community, and I feel compelled to share their successes. Not only are they inspiring, there could be offerings that will benefit you and your friends.
Let’s meet some of our graduates
Emma Bennett completed her YTT with Harmonise just before lockdown. She had recently navigated a cervical cancer diagnosis, through which she found yoga to be a great support. She now works for Adventure Yogi, and volunteers with WOLO a Sussex based charity for families facing cancer.
Join her Thursday evening class at Florence House Yurt in Seaford: www.wolofoundation.org
Luc Best graduated from the 200hr YTT 5 years ago. He has set up his own business offering yoga and Pilates classes and workshops amid breathtaking nature near Ashdown Forest and Sheffield Park where he lives.
Sam Hart, who generously volunteered at the event for the full day, is an outreach trustee at the BYF. Since training with Harmonise during the pandemic, she has since completed Harmonise CPDs in Yin and Yoga Nidra.
You can find Sam’s community and outreach classes at the Old Boat Community Centre and ‘The Space’ in Hangleton. She also teaches at GBMET college.
Rose Agyeman graduated from Harmonise in 2022 from her YTT and from the Yoga Nidra CPD course in February 2023.
Rose is an integrative psychotherapist and EMDR therapist. She draws on different schools of thought and ways of working to produce the most effective therapy for each individual client. She now incorporates Yoga Nidra within her sessions.
I was also blessed to have 3 of the most recent graduates at the festival who all gave up time to help out either kindly volunteering for the day with BYF, or helping on the Harmonise stall. It literally was hugs and kisses all round, like friends reunited.
Noemi Bell graduated from the Pilates Teacher Training in 2020, the Pre and post-natal teacher training in 2021 and has just recently graduated from the Yoga Teacher Training course. Join Noemi’s new class at Rottingdean Village Hall: birdofparadiseyoga.co.uk / @bird_of_paradise_yoga_uk – what a great name!
Megan Lloyd, an Occupational Therapist works directly with people who suffer with mental health conditions. She is super keen to explore somatic yoga and trauma informed yoga and how they can help improve quality of life. She taught her first class a month ago and in her own words “It was a whole mixture of nervousness and liberating!”. Very proud of you, Megan, for ‘facing the fear and doing it anyway!’
Tammy Tinawi, newly graduated and gloriously enthusiastic, shared her first cover teaching experience on our Harmonise YTT Whatsapp group:
“It was terrifying and amazing at the same time, but I feel so proud. I felt like all of you were there with me as you are all a big part of this journey. I almost imagined you all in the class to get me through it. Apart from a few fluffed words it went really well!”
I just love hearing about students stepping outside of their comfort zones and then feeling fanstastic afterwards, all whilst enhancing the lives of others. Isn’t that’s what life’s all about? Go Tammi!
Honestly, I’m not sure the pre-class nerves ever go away 100%. However, I believe that’s a sign of being super passionate about something and caring about it going well! It’s what motivates us.
Anatomically, nerves and excitement share the same neural pathway. So, when students tell me they are nervous; alongside grounding and breath practices; I offer the suggestion that perhaps it’s excitement. This can often help to reframe it!
Diving into Healing Sounds
During a brief escape, I was lucky enough to join 2018 YTT graduate, Siofra Lamb’s Flow, Yin and Sound Healing class. Siofra balanced the practices brilliantly within this 45 minute session and the deep healing from the crystal singing bowls were just what the doctor ordered after a long day on my feet!
Siofra has since completed the Pilates teacher training with us and is a resident teacher at Revitalise offering weekly Pilates, Yogalates, Yoga and specialist beginner and back-care classes as well as 1:1s. Siofra, who who has a degree in music, also runs monthly New Moon Harmony Sound Journeys (find out what to expect here) – we were fortunate enough to attend the same sound healing training course last November.
Our shining stars
And of course, last but by no means least, my 2 trusted Harmonise tutors, both Harmonise Graduates themselves!
Stacey Beattie my co-teacher on the Pilates Teacher Training, graduated from Harmonise in 2017 and went on to complete our Pre and post-natal training as well. She has also completed Pilates Barre and reformer training and offers a variety of classes ad 1:1s. You can join a class at Revitalise or connect with her here: facebook.com/SynergisePilates / @staceyb_synergise
Louise Windsor, who teaches the L1 and L2 Yin, Meditation and Pranayama, Chakras and Elements and Yoga Nidra CPD courses, herslef has attended a variety of Harmonise CPDs including Pre and post-natal and Older adults, back care and common health conditions.
Louise will soon be adding ecstatic dance to her long list of offerings. YESSSSSS DJ Louise, follow your dreams, I can’t wait to dance to your tunes!
What’s Next for Me?
Well, I’ve been prioritising my book over the summer, and I’m hoping to have a first draft completed by the end of August 😊. You’ll also find me teaching:
- Yoga at Camp Bliss festival next weekend
- An anatomy workshop on our L2 Yin CPD, September
- Meditation and relaxation workshop for Pilates teachers on the 12th September
- and of course I’m looking forward to the new Yoga and Pilates teacher trainings starting next month.
And News just in! Join me at Revitalise from 27th September for 2 weekly 1 hour classes: Wednesdays 5.45pm Yang into Yin and 7pm Strong Flow. Would love to see you there!
Yes, I felt so utterly proud of each and every one of you at the Festival, and of everyone there, especially Revitalise, my second home and family. Connection is such a primal need and it made me appreciate more than ever what a wonderful community Harmonise & Revitalise is, as well as the wider Yoga and Pilates community. I guess you could call it the mind, body, spirit community. It reminded me of this quote that resonated with me during my own cancer journey: “We don’t heal in isolation, but in Community.”
Connection is healing. As the end of the very first page of my book goes:
We are all connected,
We are one
We are love
I can’t wait to share more! Enjoy the rest of your summer,
Love Clare & the Harmonise team xx
P.S. if you would like us to share what you are up to as a Harmonise Graduate, please send the details, a picture, your social media handles and a quote if you’d like to include one, to firstname.lastname@example.org
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Article by: Clare Francis