Meet The Teacher – Polly James

How did you get into yoga?

 As a child I dreamed of being a gymnast, then a philosopher and as I got older a psychologist. So mix them altogether and you (kind of) get yoga.

 Was there a moment when you realised that you wanted to pursue yoga seriously?

 After following what felt like a predictable and linear path from school to university and then on to a doctorate (not that I wasn’t unbelievably grateful for these opportunities) I started to feel a little stuck or unfulfilled and heading towards a burn out. I also started to question my blind faith that I won’t really work 5 days a week and will still get long summer holidays! A large part of the decision was also quite simply from a place of wanting to do more yoga, practice it, teach it, talk about. Now I work part time as a pediatric psychologist and part time yoga instructor.


How has yoga changed you?

I believe it’s been an evolving and gradual process and I am still changing. I think that’s the nature of change within an individual: we don’t notice it as it happens so slowly. I suppose if I were to reflect back on how I was before I practiced regularly and to now, I would say that it has made me stretch better, breath better, relax better, be kinder and more accepting of myself and it has given me a longer space between the intrusive thoughts and acting upon them! Oh and more balance in my work life!

 Advice to people considering it?

 Try not to feel too intimated by it or hold onto any beliefs about who it is for or what it is like. Comparisons, prejudgments, critical or negative thoughts about yourself or your ability are not useful (like ‘I am not flexible enough’ or ‘I am way to distractible’). Try to be open and curious about it and experience a few different teachers and styles, as like anything: one size doesn’t fit all.

 My favourite quote as a yogi:

”We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” Albert Einstein

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