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About Leela

Leela's Story

As I look back in life I realise there was always a seeking within me, a knowing that there was more, as if there was a missing piece in the jigsaw of me… 

For most of my adult years I have continued that seeking, a deep knowing that within me there were layers I hadn’t yet reached. 

I dabbled with yoga for years, trying classes but never feeling I had found the right class for me, in fact questioning whether yoga was the right practice for me, a Marathon running Gym bunny who was continually striving for perfection and ‘more’. 

The deep search within me led me to India in 2006 and began a journey which continues to evolve. I found the true power of yoga and meditation at its source in the country I now call my ‘spiritual home’. I was so privileged to attend teachings and private audiences with the Dalai Lama and his words and humility inspired me to step more fully into this journey that was calling me.

There was a pull to India that I couldn’t ignore, I kept returning, visiting different parts. I met an incredible teacher in Varkala who very humbly shared such an authentic and enriching experience of Hatha Yoga in his classes that for me there was no turning back from. This was so different from any other yoga experience, it was healing, nourishing and enlightening, it touched every layer of my being. I will ever be grateful to Sunil for the grace of his teachings.

I continued to practice yoga and meditate, returning to India whenever I could to recharge and reconnect with the source of the true power that is yoga and my teachers.

But yoga and meditation became truly non-negotiable daily parts of my life when I found myself in the midst of an early onset menopause coupled with Thyroid disease. Through yoga and meditation I found the tools needed to manage my symptoms and avoid the need for medication. But more importantly I learnt to embody myself with love, compassion and acceptance at what felt a very vulnerable and precarious stage of my life.

Then one day I found myself in a yoga class with the beautiful soul that is Ali Gunning, it is difficult to put into words the feelings that arose during that class; again Hatha Yoga was reaching out to me through the energy of one who was so giving with a wisdom way beyond her years. This was Akhanda Yoga, the holistic practice that seeks to work with every part of our being, to yoke together every level of our being. I did not know it at the time but this was to lead to my teacher training with the Akhanda Family. 

Completing that journey in Rishikesh with the inspiring and empowering teachings of Vishva-Ji and Yog Sundari was a journey of peeling back layers, exposing vulnerabilities, connecting the dots within and a huge letting go.

At the time I believed my journey was complete, a personal journey with no intention of teaching yoga! In truth the journey with ourselves is never fully complete… There was a feeling of a duty to share the beautiful tools I had gained, the practices and the lessons I had been offered could not stay locked away inside myself and so my teacher journey began.

But as I said, the journey is never complete and I clearly had layers still to unravel. My completion of my teacher training coincided with my astrological Saturn Return and the two years since that time have been testing and tumultuous both for myself and those around me.

My world changed from one of Duracell battery level energy to being completely floored by illness, illness which I could not ‘cure’ and I had to embrace a whole new way of being. It wasn’t an easy acceptance, there was a cycle of pause, rest, heal a little and then go again. I thought I had accepted what was happening to me, but, in fact I was still in the fight mode. This was so hard for a yoga teacher, why was this happening to me, I had embraced a life of meditation, yoga, clean living and still my body was ‘letting me down’. Then the haze cleared and I realised I still had work to do, that work wasn’t about anyone else, it was about me, my own healing and my own self care. 

I have always been a doer, giving, an empath and I had neglected to protect myself and my own energies. I had to truly embrace the fact that it was time for me now, time for me to care for myself. This was the only way I was going to be able to care for and support others.

Once I embraced this concept of self care, made decisions for my own well being, learned to say no, my body began to respond, my mind began to settle back into its meditative way again and the clouds began to lift. 

Throughout my yoga trainings, my teachings, Acceptance has been the word I return to again and again and it was something I now needed to embrace completely with my heart and soul. I had  chronic illness, I had to manage that, but, it wasn’t going to define me. It was simply a part of who I am and it had brought me so many gifts in learning and again these were gifts I could share through my teachings.

As I began to return to my teaching, feeling well but also content with where I was at, life threw me another curve ball and I fractured my femur. 

So I really had no choice but to STOP. To really stop completely for a while. I knew surgery was not the right decision for me and agreed with the surgeons that I could heal without this. So more layers to experience, another journey began. Self care took on a whole new level, it had to be all about me for a little while.

My chronic illness journey I realised, had been one of pausing to get better to do what I do, to be there for everyone else and be strong enough to support them. But this time the journey was all about my healing, acceptance and belief that I could not be there for anyone else during this time. I had to focus all my energy, empathy and caring on myself to ensure I came back from this fully healed. 

The Universe had a plan and I had to listen and heed its messages. As I near the end of this new healing journey I believe this has all been part of my Dharma, I had to stop again completely to fully understand what that was. To take the time to consider what I was doing and how I was doing it and to ensure I moved forward staying true to my Dharma offering teachings based on the many blessings and lessons I have learned over the past two years.

I wish to share with others the tools to help find stillness and balance within to be able to connect deeply with their own true heart and soul. To work with women and offer them safe supportive healing spaces where they can come and leave behind all responsibility and demands and just be. I do this through a fusion of aspects of Hatha Yoga, Restorative Yoga, Yin Yoga, Yoga Nidra, Meditation, Sound Healing, Ayurveda and Self Care Practices. 

I believe it is the combination of each of these jewels that offer healing and I offer them in classes, workshops and retreats throughout East Sussex. My hope is to provide a beautiful space where you are able to explore your own journey and any healing it may need, to find new levels of possibilities in your body and mind whilst providing the tools to take beyond our gathering and into your daily lives.

A complete list of all Leelas trainings and qualifications can be found here:  https://www.leelaholistic.co.uk/about-us/leela-trainings-qualifications/

And One Day...

 

Her heart just opened up

And she knew

Everything she had been searching for

Was always within her...

 

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