Yoga helped Katie Brown navigate the stresses of working on a daily newspaper and the trials of motherhood. Now she's sharing the magic with others
- NAME: Katie Brown
- AGE: 52
- OCCUPATION: Yoga teacher and author
- YOGA YEARS: 23
Why did you start yoga
As a teenager, I found a book called Everyday Yoga – and I loved it! I enjoyed the exercises and found the breathing practices helped with exams. So when I started work as a journalist on a newspaper I attended classes as they were a great way to cope with deadlines and stress. The more yoga I did, the more I wanted to learn. I did some overseas travel and in 1999, I left my home in London to emigrate to Australia. I then enrolled in a year-long Yoga Diploma course. At the time (like many teachers) I didn’t actually intend to teach, but after graduating I had an opportunity to do so…and so I took it! It’s kind of weaved its way into every facet of my life now.
How has yoga changed your life?
It’s a constant, a safe place to go to if I’m tired, stressed, miserable but also if I’m happy and joyous. I love the ritual of rolling out my mat, I love it when you practice in a group and the group energy is greater than the sum of its parts. Yoga keeps me moving, my body, my mind, my spirit. It enables me to enjoy my body, particularly as I get older. It gives me mental stamina and strength and I know that if I need to figure something out, taking myself to my mat is the best place to start.
Favourite yoga haunts
The best place to practice is in nature! Anywhere you can feel your feet on the earth and breathe in fresh air. A view of the sea or trees is an added bonus.
Best yoga moment
It has to be that dreamy feeling you get when you come into a deep, conscious relaxation. It’s that sliver of space between sleep and wakefulness. You start to feel that line between who you are and the world around you begins to blur. Your mind is still, your body deeply relaxed. The stillness radiates from within and you experience your energy fusing with the energy around, giving you a sense of being part of the flow of life.
For me, like most other yogis, yoga began as an interest and gradually became a bigger part of my life. I love the philosophy and often remind myself the value of the yamas and niyamas – in particular non-attachment aparigraha), acceptance (santosa) and being kind (ahimsa). I also try to check in with myself using the koshas – the five layers of the body – and remind myself that yoga is far deeper than a physical practice. I have witnessed the popularity of yoga grow over the years, and now I can see people are really placing an emphasis on the value of restorative yoga and relaxation. It used to be that when a teacher led a guided relaxation or yoga nidra that would be the cue for half the class to up and leave, now it’s the part most people enjoy and value the most.