Welcome to Charlie Yoga Devon. This website provides information on yoga classes, Special Yoga and articles that I think you might find interesting.
Charlie’s Yoga Journey
My journey started when I was a little girl practicing yoga with my Mum in our garden. She taught me the Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutations) and how to do my first headstand. I first attended yoga classes led by a wonderful teacher called Pauline, with my Mum, Nanny, and a gaggle of ladies in their twilight years. There, the potential of yoga to keep you young in body and heart became very clear to me.
My yoga practice was a bit on and off during my time at university while I studied Midwifery, and later mother to my two boys. However, I carried on a regular Sun Salutation practice before early shifts to wake me up before each day of adventures on the maternity unit and calm my mind ahead the challenges I might face.
In 2012 our youngest son joined our family, who I affectionately called at the time “The Trouble Maker”. Following a problematic pregnancy and early birth, which he came away from unscathed, he then became unwell at the age of 5 weeks and sustained extensive brain damage that has resulted in a diagnosis of cerebral palsy, cerebral visual impairment (he is registered severely visually impaired) and global developmental delay.
At the time I could not imagine how our lives would look in 5 years and I thank both my boys and husband everyday (in my heart anyway if not out load) for setting me on my yoga journey and arriving where I am today with all the possibilities for the future.
As my youngest son got bigger, I realised I had to look after my body to ensure I could maintain my ability to support him physically. I also needed to find something that would keep me centred both emotionally and spiritually so that I could fulfil my life as a Mother, Wife, Daughter, Sister, Aunty and Friend.
For a long time I had thought “wouldn’t it be nice to be a yoga teacher… But don’t be silly.” Then I thought “well why not?” My husband’s response was “well if you’re going to do it you’ll have to go to India and do it properly!” One year later I arrived in Goa, in India, to start my training with Himalaya Yoga Valley, under the wonderful teacher Yogacharya Lalit, his family and team.
The 5 weeks I spent in India in early 2017 learning the 8 limbs of yoga, history, anatomy and physiology, Ayurvedic (Indian medicine) medicine and more, blew my mind! It was also a break from motherhood that I really needed and time to process the loss of my Mother in 2014.
I met some truly wonderful yogis – practitioners of yoga, both students and teachers – from all over the world. I discovered how deeply yoga philosophy is rooted in Indian culture, representing a way of life that promotes happiness and contentment.
I started teaching yoga classes in Lympstone in June 2017, introducing many yoga newbies to the wonderful physical practice with just a tickle of the other elements of yoga, along with a warming cup of herbal tea and chat after Shavasana (relaxation). Alongside this, I also created my home yoga shala for my own practice, small group classes, private lessons and massage treatments.
I am loving my journey as both a practitioner and teacher of yoga, and seeing the positive impact it has on my students physically and mentally on a daily basis.
I really see yoga as a therapy, and there began my next yoga adventure with Special Yoga for Special Children.
At the beginning of November 2017 I completed my training in London with the Special Yoga Foundation under the expert teaching of Jyoti Manuel who has dedicated the last 25 years to supporting children and their families with all kinds of special needs, all over the world, through yoga.
I’m very excited to be on this journey with both my “Mainstream” and “Special” yoga and would love to have you join me!