All About Yoga founder Megan discovered yoga as a way to cope with her mental health struggles and it was, and continues to be, a key part of her healing process. Yoga has helped to turn Megan’s life around, enabling her to become more confident as a person, both in controlling her anxiety and being able to accept her body, giving her the tools she needs to deal with a critical mind. She loves to teach others what yoga has taught her - physically, emotionally and spiritually. She shares her story with us here.
Megan is Listed.
I came to Yoga in 2012 when I was suffering with poor mental health. I attended a class in Guernsey with a good friend and instantly loved it. I returned to that same class with the same teacher weekly, and gradually started going to more and more classes until I was attending 3 classes a week and then also practising at home. I booked a retreat in India with my friend within a few months of starting Yoga classes - a big step for me as someone who had struggled being away from home and family on my own whilst at university. Thankfully, my friend coming to the retreat with me made me feel much more confident and comfortable to attend. I loved that there was no competition in Yoga. It is just you and your mat. Everyone is in the same class, but completely in their own zone on their own mat.
I was never good at sports at school. And hated team sports especially as I was not remotely competitive, preferring to just hide in the background instead. I never felt good enough and felt I was just letting the team down by being a bit 'rubbish' at netball, hockey or whatever it was we were doing. Yoga was so different. It was a practice that did not matter whether I was any 'good' at it, it just had to feel good for me and me only. It allowed me time to move my body and escape the constant worry and anxiety and thoughts in my mind at the time. I needed this escapism to help me to deal with my mental health and to improve my relationship with mySelf and with my body. Yoga was not the only thing that helped me to recover at the time, but it was certainly a huge aspect.
Yoga gives me time to get out of my head. I struggle with overthinking and mulling things over for far too long. I find it difficult getting words out my mouth instead of keeping them in my head. I need Yoga to allow me time to give my mind a rest and to give me some balance to deal with life off my mat.
Physically, the practice allows you to keep your body mobile and subtle. It is much more than just stretching or flexibility. There is so often a misconception that you need to be flexible to practice yoga. That’s absolutely not the case! Hopefully, by practicing you will become more flexible, but more importantly (in my opinion) is the benefit it brings on a mental level. Yoga allows us to feel into our body through movement, therefore getting us out of our busy minds. By connecting to our body, both in movement and in stillness, with breathwork, we build a better relationship with ourselves. We learn to appreciate our bodies (rather than criticising them!) and in turn quiet the racing thoughts, and can help depression, anxiety and other mental health issues we may suffer with.
It's hard to find balance with a young family and a business. REALLY hard! Running a business that doesn't have 'normal' working hours means that I need to work evenings and weekends, taking me away from my children. I find this extremely difficult sometimes. It also means that when my husband is not working, I am, so we can sometimes feel a bit like we are simply passing each other as we go through the front door! However, to make things work, we have to ensure we communicate. Tom is extremely good at telling me to get off my phone, reminding me that the email or Facebook message does not need an instant reply. It can wait until the morning - or more likely when Penelope is at nursery and Max is napping! It's certainly a juggle, and much more so with two children than it was with one.
I constantly feel pulled in many directions and have guilt that I am not giving my best to anything. It definitely makes my Yoga practice and breathwork even more necessary to keep grounded and remember that I do not need to be perfect. My best (on that particular day!) is good enough, and it is ok to make mistakes. It is also ok to take a break from work and put family first, as I did in January when I decided to delay my return to teaching from maternity leave. I just did not feel ready, and my body had not fully recovered from childbirth a second time around. It is important to acknowledge these things when running your own business. You don't want to become a 'busy idiot' as the saying goes, but you also don't want to run yourself into the ground so that you are too unwell to work and too unwell to commit to home life either.
Again, this can be a struggle with a business that can feel like it's 24/7 and with young children. I try to attend a boxing session once a week, which is a much-needed stress release for me. I take Max along with me, so although this isn't time completely on my own, it's still much needed and beneficial for me. Otherwise, I try to find time to read when I am out and about and Max is sleeping. If I know he will be asleep I may arrive fifteen minutes early to an appointment just so that I don't get tied down with an extra job at home, but instead can sit in the car and read. It's those small things that matter to me. I love to read and do really miss the fact I don't have a lot of time for it at the moment. When the children are older and (hopefully) sleeping at night (!) this will change.
I'm a Guernsey girl through and through. I missed home and my family so much when I went to university. So much so that I came home early. Guernsey to me means family. We are so lucky to have a close family here on the island who see each other all the time. My brother and my sister-in-law are my friends as well as my family, we socialise in the same group, it's lovely. My mum is my absolute rock, who I don't think I go a day without speaking to.
Guernsey to me is about family life doing simple things - walks and lots of outdoor time in the garden in summer, cups of tea visiting family at home, chilling out playing with the children without any phones nearby.
Megan is a qualified Sun Power Yoga Teacher and the founder of All About Yoga, where she offers a selection of regular classes from her studio in town. Megan loves to teach others what yoga has taught her, physically, emotionally and spiritually. She believes that yoga can benefit everyone, no matter your age, shape, ability or fitness level.