Updated: Sep 13, 2022
I did my yoga teacher training on a whim. I signed up just a few months before it started in Nicaragua. I was living in Canada at the time and practiced yoga with a teacher called Julia McCabe. I loved her, her style and her classes. I wanted to be her. She was (and still is) so frekin cool! (love you jules!)
Julia had an ad in the Pique Newsletter, the Whistler based publication that you just had to pick up every week. The ad was for her yoga teacher training in Nicaragua. It caught my eye because it was Julia but I didn't give it much thought - I was on the look out for a retreat to go to. But not teacher training, I didn't want to be a teacher!
My working holiday visa was going to an end which meant I had to move on from Whistler. My plan was to fly to Columbia then travel all the way up to Mexico, overland, over about 6 months, fly from mexico City to Nashville to my Aunt and Uncles for Xmas and New Year then head to Fiji to hang out with some friends who were running a holiday island thennnnn fly to Melbourne where I had another working visa ready, start earning some money again there then fly home. (Yes, I know how surreal this all sounds, I promise you this was my life 12 years ago!)
As I looked a little closer at Julia's ad, I saw the dates. I paused and checked, I had to be sure.
I was going to be in Nicaragua at the same time as this training.
I couldn't believe it. But it didn't change my mind about wanting to be a teacher. Plus I had not budgeted for this. Considering I am not going to be working (way before passive income was on my radar!) for over 6 months I wasn't sure how I would find the money for this.
One day at yoga, I got chatting to a girl called Crystal (who I have now travelled to India for a retreat with, another amazing teacher and super inspiring human) She had done Julia's previous training in Nicaragua. She talked about the experience, the eco resort it was held at and what she learned with so much heart that I was totally drawn in. Then she said it......"not everyone there actually wants to teach, they wanted to experience and the education".
Ok ok ok ok hold up
So of course, I am now emotionally invested. I am going to be in the country. There are too many signs pointing to this training.
But still, the money!!!
3 years earlier, whilst still in Scotland, I was in a car accident. I was in the back of a black hackney taxi (without a seatbelt!!) and someone crossed our path. We crashed into the side of them. I flew from my seat into the partition and smashed my face against it.
I know how terrible this sounds but get this.....it was literally right outside the ambulance depot (and coincidently right across the road from a yoga studio I taught at for a while many years later!
Ok back to Canada. So I am thinking to myself, how can I make this work!
Within a few days an email landed in my inbox, It was from the lawyers about the car crash. I was finally getting a payout.
The payout wasn't much but.....I know you've guessed it already haven't you.....it just covered the teacher training fee.
So the next class I plan to go to. I write a cheque for Julia. (Yes a cheque, it was a while ago!)
I was on my way to this training. I had no clue what to expect. I had to crash study all the pre requisite readings and homework which I sent off from some dirty dingy internet cafe somewhere in Central America. (remember internet cafes! also side note but I was literally in the middle of nowhere for 6 months, with no way of people getting a hold of me unless I went to an internet cafe and checked my emails and facebook! - I cannot even fathom the thought of my daughters doing this! My parents must have been so worried all the time!)
Julia emailed all the attendees, I scrolled through the names to see if I recognised anyone and there was one name that stood out, Steph Wall. I know her! I walk past her many times a day at work! Steph and I both worked at the same hotel! She worked in the hotel bar and I worked in the restaurant! Amazing! So we connected outwith work and chatted about our plans for getting to the training and what we wanted to do, plus panicking because we thought we weren't good enough at yoga! (ohhh so young hehe)
Steph and I were room mates at the training! We were staying at an Eco Resort on the Pacific Coast, miles from any main road and without any electricity or running water. A proper eco resort. We wore head torches after the sun went down, took rain water showers and checked the composting toilets for bugs before sitting down. It was an experience I will never forget. It is also an experience I can say with 99% certainty I won't do again. My eco resort days are over. I am an all inclusive 5 star fan nowadays and filter search results by 'do they have a kids club'. No joke
No electricity meant no phones, cameras (ok there was a few pictures from it as little digital cameras held their charge ok) computers, music or light. It was raw and oh so beautiful. We watched the sunsets together before bed, read our teaching materials in our lunch breaks, practiced teaching outside our shalas (beach huts) and even once saved a almost beached baby dolphin (yes I know when I read it it sounds surreal to me too)
So, no I didn't want to be a yoga teacher when I arrived but I did it, I passed and I sure as hell wanted to be a teacher when I left!
Fast forward 12 years and I now have my own membership site and run regular retreat days. Honestly, pinch me! I am so into how Mellow Mummas became, unfolded and has become its own thing, way beyond what I thought it was going to be.
I love looking back at this story and connecting the dots. Hindsight gives us so much clarity and it is clear to see the universe at work. Brining people and places together, making things happen and guiding you to experiences you never even considered before.
The universe was working overtime that year because my training roommate Steph....well we were literally inseparable, we travelled around some of Nicaragua after the training, we kept in touch and connected whenever we were in the same country. Then one of us had the idea of Steph visiting Scotland. She loved it so much she decided to stay, she moved into my spare room, we set up a studio in Glasgow and called it The Kali Collective.
But that full story is for another blog post!
The 2011 version of me would never have even imagined Mellow Mummas. It has taken many iterations and evolutions (of me, my style and my teaching) to get here. I honestly still pinch myself everyday knowing that I get to create impactful experiences for mums and mums to be.
Check out the Women's Retreat Days here
and the Pregnancy Babymoon Retreat Days here