Other than a one-off freebie yoga class when I was a student, I started practising yoga in 2012 - my mum is a yoga teacher and had just moved to Newcastle, where I was living. I went along to classes to support my mum, see what it was all about and help improve my running. I grew up in a pretty active household full of boys and so was initially drawn to the physical challenge and no-nonsense approach of ashtanga. But, over time, I started practising more regularly and soon realised I was gaining more from yoga than just the physical benefits. I started looking forward to mum's yoga classes as time out from a busy working week and found it kept me grounded while I was working as a school teacher. I had my first taste of Mysore style ashtanga yoga in 2013 and have been pretty much hooked on ashtanga ever since.

I completed my 250hr teacher training at The Yoga Space in Leeds in 2018 with Brian Cooper and Nichi Green. I am also very fortunate to have attended workshops and retreats with David Robson, Tim Feldman, Mary Powell, Donna Southwell and Joey Miles. In 2016, I learnt the ancient tradition of Vipassana meditation during a 10-day silent meditation course, which highlighted to me just how similar the principles of ashtanga and the principles of Vipassana really are. It helped me understand how the practice is training my mind as much as my body, and this is something I'm passionate about helping my students realise. I mostly practise at home and at Mysore classes with Dan Burt of House of Ashtanga, and I currently practice Primary and Intermediate Series. I still practise with my mum whenever I get the chance and we often teach on the beach together during summer!

I spent 5 years working in a primary school and so began teaching children's yoga and family yoga a few years before my adult teacher training. I trained to be a children’s yoga teacher with Calm for Kids in 2016 and again with The Yoga Space in 2018, and I also trained to teach mindfulness to children with Calm for Kids in 2017. I have experience teaching children of varying ages, needs and backgrounds in a whole host of settings, from schools and community centres to yoga studios and Brownie camps. Having worked in schools, I understand what pressures kids face today and how fast-paced pretty much every aspect of their lives is. As a teacher, I always wanted to spend less time on the National Curriculum and more time helping children understand their minds and emotions, so I feel very lucky to be able to do this now through yoga. I also find teaching children's yoga is a welcome, playful contrast to the structure and discipline of ashtanga!

When I'm not yoga-ing, I like to get outdoors as much as possible, preferably near a beach. I can usually be found cycling to and from yoga classes, spending time with friends and family and eating. I studied Spanish and German at university and have had a few stints living and working abroad. I've recently returned from a winter teaching yoga in Morocco, but I'm just as happy at home or exploring the UK, usually in my partner's van!

©2020 by Louise Watson Yoga.