I live in Bow with my husband, Emerson, and our two kids, Hudson and Harper. I teach yoga around London, but my public classes are mostly at Yoga On The Lane and occasionally at Triyoga. I teach KGHypnobirthing privately and also run courses at Move (in Bow) and Yoga On The Lane (in Dalston). I love connecting with people. I have a penchant to ask why. I’m curious at heart. I like to truly understand things. I’m empathic. All of these things contribute to why I love of teaching.
I grew up in wild Montana. It is truly such a beautiful, magical state, and it took me living in London to fully appreciate why people call it the “Big Sky.” But, one cold, snowy winter, I fell in love with the idea of California. There I found, amongst the blue skies and palm trees, a really amazing university (UCSD) I decided I would go to; so, I moved to San Diego and set to make that a reality. I traveled, bartended on weekends to afford my life and school, made amazing friends and had a lot of fun. I got my BSc in Human Biology, and found yoga in the process. Yoga slowly began to unravel my life so I could see it all from a clearer, more authentic perspective. I began teaching yoga in 2011 while I tried to figure out what I wanted to study in grad school (public health, nutrition, preventive medicine???), and in the summer of 2012, huge shifts began to occur regularly in my life where I could really practice my yoga. I believe those huge shifts were shaking up what wasn’t authentic in my life and reminding me what was-a result of my yoga practice which allowed me to see more clearly and make decisions more in line with myself. I felt lost in what I now see as great lessons and really had to work hard to unravel my way out of the discomfort. I’m grateful, as I learned a lot in the process. Of course the process is ongoing, I just find it more comfortable now. In that time, I met my now husband, traveled through East and Southeast Asia for a bit, and landed in London “for a few years” in 2013. I became pregnant in 2015, and a friend I knew had studied Hypnobirthing (The Mongan Method) and through conversation I found another friend who had the book I could borrow. I read it, practiced it and read positive and pain free birth stories galore. I still feel elated when I think of that birth. It was in a birthing centre, lovely and calm, and despite a complication at the end, it was pain free. Was it hard work? Yes. I could feel my body working powerfully. Was it exhausting? Yes. At one point I dragged a mat and bean bag into the bathroom so I could be alone and sleep. But is was amazing, and it was pain free. Which somehow led me to feel more skeptical it could happen again when I found myself pregnant again in 2018, so I decided to do a short Hypnobirthing course. This birth was even more empowering as my husband and I had to work to have the birth we wanted. I cherish that experience of feeling stronger with him, making choices together that would affect the outcome of the birth, and trusting him completely to advocate for me and support me, all things we learned through Hypnobirthing. I wouldn’t describe my second birth as pain free, and I have good ideas as to why (I had different care and choices available to me during my pregnancy and labour due to my previous complication and the estimated size of my baby which affected my confidence and birth options, and an experience that affected my confidence a few days before the birth), but I also wouldn’t describe it as painful (and I should say I had no complications and a baby that weighed over two pounds less than they estimated). In fact, I didn’t feel any pain pushing Harper out. Where I feel I didn’t have to work to have a pain free birth the first time (the conditions allowed my body to do what it naturally does best), I had to focus more the second time around to stay as near the pain free zone as I could get. I would like to say, I am so grateful to the consultant and the midwife I had, as they both empowered me to have the experience I wanted-one midwife and no doctor the entire birth (though the consultant was just outside during the second stage). I have since studied with Katharine Graves and Kemi Johnson, and in retrospect, I wish I had taken a full KGHypnobirthing course for both births. Even with a degree in human biology, having spent countless hours reading peer reviewed papers and doing a short Hypnobirthing course, I realised there was so much I didn’t fully understand and wasn’t able to utilise. Birth is a fascinating subject and an amazing experience that we should invest in as much as any other big event in our lives. I’ve learned even more about the benefits of releasing fear and building confidence. My two different experiences are invaluable to my teaching, as are the stories and experiences I hear from other parents. There is no straight line, but you can work to create the best birth experience for you, your baby and your partner. I truly love and feel grateful to teach yoga and Hypnobirthing in London.