Carli Deal first experienced the healing powers of yoga during pregnancy. Now she's helping others to discover the magic for themselves
- NAME: Carli Deal
- AGE: 47
- OCCUPATION: Yoga teacher
- YOGA YEARS: 15
Why did you start yoga
I was pregnant with my youngest son Elijah and began experiencing pains worse than I'd ever felt in my previous pregnancies with his siblings. After weeks of discomfort, my doctors told me I was suffering from a relatively common condition called symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD). It felt like the weight of my son was causing severe arthritis; every step I took felt as if my hips and lower back were going to physically snap and break. I was very active before my pregnancy so it was mentally and physically challenging to be rendered immobile. I refused to take painkillers and on a whim, decided to try pregnancy yoga at my local yoga studio to see if it would help my achy body. It did, and more.
Favourite yoga haunts
After the birth of my son, I continued with my practice and it became an important part of my daily life. In 2015, I began looking for a school to become an instructor. Near the hustle and bustle of Kings Cross in London, I began my formal training and made some incredible friends along the way. Some of the students were commuting as far as the north of England, others from the southern coast and the beaches of Brighton. We'd all come together for a common reason and spent weekends together training, learning and helping each other. It was a magical time, transitioning from student to teacher.
How has yoga changed your life?
I've found that parts of my daily life embrace different limbs of yoga; at home we begin every day in silence followed by melodic sounds of Sanskrit chants on the stereo and burning incense, to which my kids joke that they have learned almost every word to every track! My home itself is not too dissimilar to a yoga studio...lots of living plants, natural fabrics draped here and there, pillows, pillar candles. Ever since my practice began I started to change my immediate environment and found my mindset shifting, my sense of wellbeing and identity changing from old perspectives that I no longer identified with.
Best yoga moment
We teach to an audience of all ages and often get asked to come to secondary schools to introduce yoga to older students towards the end of the school year. One particular year we were introducing yoga to 16 year olds and quite a few of the males were reluctant to take part, let alone even sit on the mat. In one day, we had introduced over 150 students in a hall to the importance of breathwork, balance and several asanas, but what blew their minds was the power of Savasana, taught as guided relaxation. The kids fought hard not to fall asleep and every single one of them came back to their awareness with a gentle gaze, leaving the hall quietly and exclaiming "Whoaaaaa"! Supervising teachers commented how certain students who were usually deemed as challenging, took on an almost angelic form as they lied still on their mats, feet rested high on bolsters. That left myself and my assistant teacher feeling like gold.
Yoga is so much more than how it's presented on social media; the difficult, almost acrobatic poses that require years of practice. While there is a place for that, there's also power in the breathwork, the meditation, the being still, in the other seven limbs of yoga. It can change your physical health, your physique, even your way of thinking. My life and the experiences I've shared with others act as my constant reminder of its power.
Find Carli Deal on Instagram @trinity_yoga_