I am Laura, a qualified Hatha Yoga Teacher on a journey to recover my soul. Since qualifying I have found myself unable to teach, because I have been in the full-time job of trying to heal the battle wounds – both mental and physical – inflicted from a life of anorexia and bulimia.
I started practicing yoga some years ago, whilst working in a particularly high intensity job with homeless young people. It’s ironic really, that so much of my professional life has been devoted to helping people navigate mental illness, but the one person I consistently neglected was myself. I’ve been lost at sea when it comes to helping myself.
I’ve lived hard and fast for years, pushing myself to my limits, always seeking something more, never stopping. And I loved this lifestyle for a really long time. Fed by adrenaline I thrived on stress, though I have now realised I have a complete inability to manage my stress levels and it started to take its toll. Increasingly I tended to regulate my emotions with frequent days spent without food, preferring the company of wine or any other substance that would fill the void inside me that I couldn’t see.
During this tsunami I was inflicting on myself I somehow managed to find the light of Yoga. It helped me to find a sense of calm amidst the chaos. Though yoga couldn’t ‘fix’ my broken soul at that time, it became the one thing that kept me afloat, and subtly planted the seeds of change within me.
In February last year I was lucky enough to be offered a lifeline with a scholarship to complete my 200HR Yoga Teacher Training in India with the wonderful Ashiyana Family – thank you guys, you don’t know what a gift you gave to me.
In the months before my training, my perpetual running away from my past and present problems, led to me spiralling out of control and completely losing my way. I relapsed into an eating disorder that had taken over all of my teenage years and some of my twenties. An eating disorder that I believed I had recovered from but, what I now know, had really just been temporarily usurped by other addictions.
It took a long time for me to see that I was sinking, and even longer to accept that I needed to do something about it. I credit my two-month immersion into yoga whilst in India for this enlightenment.
And for continually reminding me many months later, of the realisation that I am more than my madness and muddled mind. I am not my eating disorder.
…I am Laura, also an adventurer with a longing to travel the world and the good fortune to have already seen a great deal of it. I am a lover of literature and music paints my world with bright colours. I recently developed an unexpected passion for Guatemalan Hip Hop, which amused my friends given my total lack of street cred. There was once a time when I felt completely content in the kitchen cooking for friends and family – and can’t wait for that day to return. I love long hikes and open spaces and losing myself in nature’s magic.
And I believe in the power of the Universe and the feminine wisdom of the moon to guide us towards trusting ourselves and our path, if we are open to it.
I have now opened myself up to be guided, and if I’d known which direction it would take me in a few years ago, when I was striving – and failing – to be some big shot in the charity sector (read Save the Children, Oxfam, the UN), I wouldn’t have believed it.
Having been forced to stop because of my precarious mental health, I found time to reflect on my life, how the path I pursued was no longer serving me. And I rediscovered writing, something that I used to turn to regularly as a teenager in the height of my illness.
This time for reflection has led to my decision to embark on this blog, weaving together the two joys and healing influences in my life, yoga and writing, to help me find true recovery from my relentless eating disorder.
To slow down.
To remember that I won’t find what I need at the bottom of a wine bottle.
Ultimately, to recover my soul, and discover who I can become.
Thank you for being here and being a part of my journey.
Love and light.