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  • Rebecca Foster

Step Up To Reach Out: Our mentorship programme

Updated: Dec 28, 2022

As we get ready to launch our next Step Up to Reach out mentorship programme, we wanted to take a look back at the programme we did in June - a six-week programme where mentees learn how to teach yoga in a community setting.

The course includes an introduction to the Foundation’s values, mission and core classes, plus a deep dive into how to teach effective and safe classes to our wide range of yogis, including the elderly, people with disabilities and cancer patients/survivors.

We had seven yoga teachers complete our Step Up to Reach Out programme in June and all seven are currently teaching for the Foundation. Learn a little more about three of our new teachers: Suzanne, Kate and Rosie.


Why did you want to start teaching yoga in the first place?

Over the years, doing yoga has helped me deal with stress, find relaxation and take some time just for me. It has supported me during tough times in lockdown, even via Zoom. I wanted to be able to help others find out the benefits of yoga for themselves through sharing my learnings and hopefully make them feel a little better, too, finding that connection both on and off the mat.

What's your favourite yoga pose and why?

I like playing with balance, so I love half moon pose. I enjoy discovering the tools I can use to help me find more balance, such as using the breath or seeking out better mental focus. I also love savasana for that moment of fully letting go and relaxing – a real gift in today’s busy world.

What did you learn from teaching the Foundation through Step Up to Reach Out?

It’s about how you make people feel through yoga, teaching to what you see and being adaptable. I learnt how o avoid panicking if I need to switch up any plans I had for a class. Plus, it really reinforced one of my main reasons for becoming a teacher: to make a connection, make everyone feel welcome and be a part of something bigger.

What were the most memorable moments from the mentorship?

Teaching my first classes at Age UK and how welcoming and supportive the yogis were, feeling a connection in such a short space of time.

I loved visiting Maggie’s Charing Cross and receiving such a warm welcome there, too. It was great to have such a lovely space to teach in and seeing the amazing support the Maggie’s charity offers.


Why did you want to start teaching yoga in the first place?

I wanted to start teaching yoga so that I could teach at the Lumi Foundation! I had started volunteering with the Foundation in the summer of 2021 and realised that a way to be truly helpful would be to learn to be a yoga teacher. I've been practising yoga on and off for over 30 years and had thought about training as a teacher before, but had never been sure of the 'why'. This was it.

What's your favourite yoga pose and why?

My favourite yoga pose - so tricky! I practised this morning with my son and really tried to think about this. I have always loved warrior two – it feels powerfully strong to me. However, I think my absolute favourite is supda baddha konasana (reclining butterfly). I like where it comes in the flow, the moment of rest and connectedness that it allows deep in the practice, a moment to pause, recover and reflect.

What did you learn from teaching the Foundation through Step Up to Reach Out?

This programme taught me so much about being a teacher. How to look at the yogis in front of me, how to connect to them and how to teach an appropriate flow for the class. The experience also helped me get out of my head a little.

I learnt so much from my mentors, Rebecca and Virginie. It was brilliant to have a chance to closely observe their teaching and so valuable to receive their feedback on mine.

What were the most memorable moments from the mentorship?

During a feedback session, when Virginie pointed out to me that I use 'lovely' approximately once every five words!

I also enjoyed the Zoom session we had as mentees when everyone shared their first experience of observing a Foundation class. It was so lovely (!) to hear everyone's first impressions of the classes and such a wonderful reminder of the magic that is created at the Foundation.


Why did you want to start teaching yoga in the first place?

A friend introduced me to yoga when I was suffering with stress and depression. For a time my yoga mat was the only place I could find peace. Five years later I was still practicing regularly and realised that I wanted to share yoga with others who might find solace there.

What's your favourite yoga pose and why?

This is a hard question, and my answer changes everyday! Reverse Warrior is

great – an amazing side body stretch and you get to gaze up at the sky. It’s also not really a position you ever find yourself in off the yoga mat, but that can be said for a lot of the poses.

What did you learn from teaching the Foundation through Step Up to Reach Out?

I learned that the Lumi community is so supportive and they are not looking for the perfect, textbook class but for connection and light-heartedness. I also learned more about reading the room and improvising depending on how poses are landing with students.

What were the most memorable moments from the mentorship?

The generosity and gratitude of the students – they were so thoughtful and considerate of the fact I was new to LumiFoundation. They always thanked me after the class and told me how much they had enjoyed it. The yogis even took the time to warn me in advance if they couldn’t make subsequent classes so I wouldn’t think they just didn’t like my teaching.

Join our Mentorship Programme

We're looking forward to starting our next programme in January 2023. If you're a 200-hr certified yoga teacher and would like to teach for Lumi Foundation, click HERE to learn more!

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