Daisy Waugh recently participated in the Lumi Foundation, 'Step Up To Reach Out,' mentorship programme. She shares her thoughts on what the programme meant to her.
I turned to yoga to deal with stress, anger and sadness – feelings shared by so many of us - and it has, without a doubt, transformed my outlook on life. In fact I have become quite evangelistic about the physical, mental and spiritual benefits of yoga. It’s why I became a teacher.
BUT practising in a studio can be expensive. The Lumi Foundation brings yoga to people that might not otherwise get a chance to discover it. I was very excited to be included on the last mentorship programme. Having only qualified to teach a year previously, I was also, secretly, quite worried that I might not be up to it.
WHAT WAS INVOLVED?
The training was spread (lightly) over six weeks. Our first session took place one unusually bright Saturday morning in January, in a room above the Lumi studio in Hammersmith. We met up with our fellow mentees (there were 8* of us altoghether), and during a short talk from one of the Foundation teachers, were introduced to the Foundation’s foremost intention: to connect people. London can be a lonely city.
We were also given plenty of practical advice and information regarding the teaching of yogis with very different abilities and in very different environments. At the end of the morning, we were asked to take turns guiding our fellow mentees through a series of chair-bound poses (not as easy as it may sound!). The experience might have been more nerve-wracking but the mood in the room was so merry and encouraging, it was quite hard to stay uptight for very long. I think everyone left that session feeling more confident than they arrived. I certainly did.
We were each designated a mentor, a teacher already giving classes for the Foundation. At first we simply attended our mentor’s classes as students, and then each week we taught a greater section of the class ourselves, until eventually we taught the whole thing. There were Zoom meet ups every couple of weeks and, at the end of it all, a celebratory breakfast at the Riverside Studios.
WHAT DID I LEARN?
Students at every class I attended were so warm and welcoming – and forgiving of my mistakes. This definitely helped. Thanks to them, and to our mentors, what at the start of the course had seemed impossible– to teach a group of students of such diverse ability and approach, while keeping every one of them engaged – turned out to be quite simple, really, after the six weeks of training. Better yet, it turned out to be a truly joyful experience. Through the Foundation I have had the pleasure of meeting people in this borough I might never otherwise have met and of visiting corners of the borough that I would never otherwise have discovered.
I am grateful to the Foundation for all the work that it does in the area, and I am especially grateful that, through the mentorship programme, I am able to be a part of such a fantastic project. Huzza. Grazie. And Namaste.
Step Up To Reach Out
Our next mentorship programme starts on Saturday 16 September. If you are a 200hr-trained yoga teacher and would like to participate, click HERE for more information.