I was born in Thessaloniki, Greece in 1982. My sister and I were brought up in a small town called Pella in the North of Greece, a place as far away from the popular Greek islands as can be, and we had what I can now describe as a happy childhood. What stood out the most were the long summer holidays in the yet unspoilt paradise that was Halkidiki, my dad's stories and jokes every morning and my mom's little shop full of treats and toys! I had a loving family, a few good friends and most of all I had my imagination.
My most vivid memory is looking up at the fluffy clouds in the sky, imagining that one day I would be up there, hopping up and down on their remarkable fluffiness! Needless to say that never happened, but thankfully, something within kept me looking up and dreaming!
During my university studies, I spent a transformative semester in Holland where my lifelong affair with yoga began, even though my first attempts at a sun salutation were painful to watch!
After the end of my studies, I started teaching EFL, which gave me a great deal of experience in interacting with students and learning the art of teaching. I also had a brief spell working as a travel organiser but that didn't last long as the 9 to 5, 6-days-a-week work model didn't really suit me. Around that time though, I attended my very first yoga class at the school of Satyananda, a tradition that was meant to inform and influence my practice and teaching to this very day.
In the following years, with the crisis hitting hard and employment difficult to come by, I was lucky to find myself at the right place, in the right time surrounded by the right people that helped me form and nurture my dream and determination to become involved in a healing, holistic occupation.
Nicola Cruz - Cumbia del olvido
& what I do
And this is how I got to today, teaching yoga in Newcastle.
When I came to Newcastle, I knew that I couldn't just settle for finding work; I had to progress, I needed to evolve. Having fuelled my interest in holistic, alternative therapies and having realised that healing was my true calling, I attended BWY's foundation course in yoga with Linda Irving. At the completion of that I was certain that yoga was my chosen path, so I enrolled on the BWY Teacher Training offered in Durham by Terri Hilder. After the very first weekend of Yoga teacher training, I remember feeling I had already learned so much! But actually, the journey of learning was just beginning!
Now, over two years since I dedicated myself to teaching yoga in Newcastle, I am reminded every day that there is always something more to learn and I learn something new every day.
In October 2015 I attended a 5-day intensive with Tias Little and his fantastic partner in life and work, Surya, at Yogacampus in London. Later the same year I attended a workshop with one of the leading teachers in pranayama, Philip Xerri, and in March 2016 I completed my pregnancy yoga teacher training next to Janine Hurley, founder of yoyogis and long time collaborator of Uma Dinsmore-Tuli. Earlier this year I also had the opportunity to work with Uma as well, this time attending her ever so popular and out-of-this-world Total Yoga Nidra weekend foundation course here in Newcastle.
I believe that a good teacher is above all a good student. As long as students come to my yoga classes in Newcastle, I will keep learning more, honing my teaching skills and making my classes accessible to more and more people who have decided they want something more from life.
Yoga is not just a profession or a study; it is a constant value in my life that informs and shapes the way I think, act, grow and live as a person, alone and with others.