In the first of a new column looking at how yoga has transformed the lives of different people, Hannah Nunn, founder of Radiance Lighting, tells how her practice is her anchor.
How long have you been practising yoga?
For about 14 years. I practice a ‘mixed bag' of yoga styles. I have been taught by hatha and iyengar and when I did my yoga foundation course the teacher was from the Satyananda tradition.
I have adopted a lot of practices from all of these styles and developed a personal practice that I enjoy, and that keeps me coming back for more.
I practice at home. I dream of a dedicated yoga space but haven't the room right now. I practice in my living room early in the morning for 20 minutes to an hour every day.
Some days it's the bare minimum to stretch my body out of sleep but most days it's a more intensive practice.
What approach do you take to yoga?
I enjoy a gentle, flowing but dynamic practice and this usually involves a basic surya namaskar with side bends, warriors and twists added into the mix. A while ago a friend introduced me to the ‘Five Tibetans' (which can be practiced in a ‘yogic' way). I have found it to be incredibly energising.
I first started a dedicated daily practice after an iyengar intensive over New Year at the Burren on the West Coast of Ireland. I had just had a painful breakup with a long term partner and faced New Year and my 30th birthday all on my own without him and my kids.
I needed to do something to look after myself and this retreat seemed just the thing. It was wonderful. I felt completely grounded in myself after such intensive practice but clean and light and full of optimism. How could simply stretching my body make me feel positive, hopeful and completely safe? Well it did and I have kept it close ever since.
How do you feel yoga helps you?
Physically it keeps me feeling strong, toned and energised. It helps me iron out the creases that form as a result of my job and every day life. I'm a designer/maker and do a lot of intricate cutting work leaning over a desk every day.
Yoga is like showering off all the aches and pains and leaving me refreshed and ready to live! Mentally it can change my mood. I think I'd be very bad tempered without yoga. My kids have been known to fetch me a glass of water and my yoga mat if I'm grumpy with them! They know what works!
Spiritually I feel connected to myself - and as a result, to others. Practising every day makes me feel well looked after and nurtured; like I'm worth investing time in. It helps me remember the simplicity of things; to breathe a little deeper; to eat well and rest easy.
What's your favourite pose?
My favourite place in the world is Downward Dog. Oh the stretch in my arms, the power in my legs, the lovely energy creeping into my spine. It is perfect.
Has yoga transformed your life in some way - physcially, emotionally or both? Would you like to be featured in a forthcoming column? Please email Lucia at firstname.lastname@example.org