‘I literally had a panic attack one evening whilst cooking dinner because I had this overwhelming realisation — like I have to cook dinner EVERYDAY FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE…. How am I going to do this without losing my mind?!’ — Myself and Holly cackle with laughter as she tells me this story. She’s totally right, how the living hell do we perform the same boring routines day in and day out and not let it drive us insane?
It was at this point whilst ‘interviewing’ Holly, initially to find out what brought her to yoga and her journey from student to teacher, that I struck the heart of what this write up should be about. Intention.
Holly’s ethos and practice is essentially centred around Intention. How do we find it? What on earth is it? Why is it important? It’s important because that panic attack wasn’t about having a conundrum over stir fry, curry or pizza. It was the straw that broke the camel’s back to the crippling fear of waking up one day, 50 years older and numb. Numb to the hours and days, weeks and years lost because we’ve not put enough importance or intention into the most ‘mundane’ and repeated actions of our lives. We’ll spend more time cooking than travelling to exotic countries. Does that mean we’ll spend about three quarters of our lives senseless, even comatose because these daily activities appear less impressive?
‘Routine is ritual without intention’- admittedly Holly was quoting someone else here. It’s with this however she’s been able to mould a fresh outlook, so that cooking dinner every night without wanting to throw the frying pan across the room, (I’m exaggerating, that’s definitely something I would do…) can be bearable and maybe even sacred.
Holly’s open. She’s relatable and doesn’t sugar coat anything. It’s these qualities and her drive to spark change in herself and as a result, others which draws me so fiercely to her. She actively seeks out places to build collaborations with, to make yoga more approachable and accessible for the wider, growing, more stressed out population.
The commitment to her strict daily meditation practice (of which is remarkably impressive — coming from me, a yoga teacher, who still hasn’t found one) has instilled in her the roots of pursuing more meaning. Now more than ever, we need teachers like Holly who teach the power of intention and ask the question- ‘why’ do we practice? Are we even awake enough to notice ‘what’ and ‘how’ it is impacting our lives? Holly doesn’t just flow through the motions. Everything is considered. Its beautiful to witness this level of awareness in her practice, to read on her social media and to reap the positive benefits of simply being around her.
Life before yoga, Holly was a make-up artist. For 8 impressive years. What I believe can occur in many paths around this length of time is a desire and natural shift for change. ‘I felt like I was having an outer body experience as I saw myself putting a mask on someone else’ — and with this grew a conflict and curiosity to venture into something new.
Holly’s yoga practise like many, began with the asanas (physical postures). It initially emerged as a result of a minor moped accident in Thailand after the thrills of a raucous Full Moon party. (Ah memories…). I like to imagine it was the serendipity of a full moon that turned the tide for Holly’s path, gave her (an unfortunate) injury and led her to eventually become a yoga teacher. I mean- Werewolves, Yoga teachers — same same but different right? It’s definitely the moon.
Holly’s mission is important. For the last few years she’s been working within the education sector as a result of observing the toll stress takes on students, academics and professional service staff alike. Currently she is helping implement yoga and meditation into secondary and primary education, helping teachers in particular deal with their stress. — If I could cue a standing ovation here, I absolutely would.
Finally I asked Holly — ‘What is yoga to you (right now)?’ Ironically and one I can second she said — ‘I can’t afford to practice at studios regularly’… I mean, was there ever a truer word spoken. This is an entirely separate topic on accessibility we could both write a novella on… We’ll hold back for now.
As a result, yoga has become more internal and less physical. ‘Self discovery, self awareness, self study, self care and knowledge. All the ‘self’ words.’ But within this ability to work on ourselves, we work on our state of mind, find clarity, intention and ultimately show up fully for everyone else. This inner work is Holly’s practice which impacts and forms communities with whom she works hands on with and then with whom they work hands on with and as such becomes a perfectly fortunate knock on effect.
I forgot to ask her though, stir fry, curry or pizza?
All the details you need to get your slice of Holly and my favourite Instagram post of hers:
Monday’s @ Blackheath yoga
Tuesday’s @ Clarity Therapy Centre
Mind Body 9:30–10:30am
Wednesday’s @ Lost in Yoga
Slow Flow and Meditation 19:45–21:00
Friday’s @ Lost in Yoga
Flow to Restore 17:15–18:15pm
Social Media handles and website
Give yourself the freedom to changeFreedom to discover, to try new thingsTo reinventChange is the one thing we can count on but something we are so afraid ofGive yourself the space to openWho you once were is not who you will always beGive yourself permission to change career, to roam freely, to find new hobbies, to change belief, to change loversTo expect all these elements of yourself to stay the same for your whole entire life is limiting, suffocatingYou are constantly evolving, constantly movingGive yourself the freedom, the permissionChange, adapt, evolve