"My younger brother died suddenly six years ago, at the start of my yoga journey. I didn’t know how to grieve so I pushed away every person who loved me. I packed in my life in London & moved to Ibiza to write a novel. I spoke no Spanish, had little money and I had no idea how hard it would be. One morning I woke to find the left-hand side of my face was completely paralysed. I had a rare form of shingles called Ramsay Hunt Syndrome (often triggered by grief and stress)" . "Misdiagnosed, I didn’t get the anti-virals I desperately needed in time. I was left with permanent nerve damage to my face & fibromyalgia (causing joint pain & fatigue) . My brother’s death at just 29 made life seem utterly meaningless & the facial disfigurement was especially hard for me as I had suffered from severe dysmorphia in my teens. It’s no understatement to say that following my bereavement & illness - yoga saved my life . The shingles wiped me out so asana felt impossible but I practiced yoga nidra, pranayama & meditation which helped to manage my grief & depression. I eventually came back to the asana which helped me to grow stronger & eased my fibromyalgia symptoms but my condition means that many poses will always be out of reach. When I compared myself to all flexible bodies on Instagram I wanted to give up. Then one day I had an epiphany, “Who cares if I never perfect pincha? What matters is that I love my practice & that I’m strengthening my body and mind” . In April 2019 I became a teacher because I wanted to spread the message that yoga is not just for ultra-bendy people. It can be an amazing healing tool for every kind of body. Yoga is about calming the fluctuations of the mind and transcending the physical body. Asana practice can help us to get closer to that state but it’s just a small part of a much bigger philosophy. A subtle practice can even start from a hospital bed . Teacher training was tough because of my physical limitations but I made it through by keeping my intention in mind - and my intention wasn’t a perfect handstand: my intention was to help people heal 💚"