INSTRUCTOR PROFILE ~ DARREN
So the year is 1999, I’m an asthmatic plumber with a bad back, a dodgy left knee, one kidney and a new girlfriend who is crazy about Bikram Yoga! Not quite sure what Yoga is all about! Maybe floating around a room on a white fluffy cloud? Anyway my back gets worse and after repeated visits to various GPs and an MRI scan I find out I have a prolapsed disc and a bulging disc both in my lumbar area. With aggravated sciatica and for a short spell unable to walk (my mum used to come down to the flat where I was living and help me get dressed; a little embarrassing for a 29 year old man), followed by a few weeks off work I go for a series of epidurals (4 in total) and am told that there is a possibility I could be in a wheel chair by the age of 50 and that an operation to fuse my spine IS my best option. I decided not to have the operation but did change career and was lucky enough to get an office based roll in a builders/plumbers merchant.
Trisha still mad on Yoga suggested I give it a go as it had worked wonders for her (nothing to lose I guess) and as we were still in the honeymoon period of our relationship I thought better keep her happy and go along – besides how hard can it be! … Well what WAS that all about! Not a fluffy white cloud in sight, just hard work in a hot room and OMG did I feel good afterwards!!!! My first few months of practice were a blur as I wobbled and sweated for 90 minutes in each class. The teacher sounded like the adults speaking in the Peanuts / Charlie Brown cartoon – Mwah mwah mwah mwah mwah! And every time I bent forward in a posture sweat would shoot up my nostrils which felt like I just jumped into a swimming pool without holding my nose! You know what I’m talking about eh. Anyway, as I progressed the teacher now sounded like Jersey’s latest rap artist but at least the dialogue became clearer and made more sense. Before long I was practising 3 to 4 times a week, as well as developing a home practice. In 2005 I attended the fall teacher training at the Bikram Yoga College of India headquarters in Los Angeles, California. The training for me was not about becoming a teacher but immersing myself in Yoga for the 9 weeks with like minded people. I kinda had my arm twisted to start teaching in 2012 (Trisha was teaching 7 days a week for over a year since opening and was really in need of a day off). It was a scary thought at the time and I certainly felt out of my comfort zone teaching for 90 minutes in front of a room full of students but once I started I wished I had done it sooner! Teaching has not only enhanced my understanding and deepened my personal practice but has opened up another world of meeting lovely, inspiring people and witnessing the benefits that they too receive when they practice the 26/2. This Yoga really was a turning point in my life and I know that as a teacher and a student I can never stop learning. Apparently I’m middle aged now but I don’t feel middle aged. I do from time to time experience back ache and sciatica occasionally flares up, but fingers crossed I will never be in the mess I was in all those years ago. My lonesome kidney receives good attention in many of the postures, my left knee is way better than it was and out of habit I still carry an asthma inhaler around with me but they often go out of date before I get a chance to use them. I am certainly not alone with my aches and pains and there is always someone going through a tougher time but Yoga always makes life less rough round the edges.
I took up Bikram Yoga in 1999 and am a qualified instructor via Bikram’s Yoga College of India (2005) this Teacher Training is a 9 week residential course with a minimum of 600+ hours for completion. I am a qualified Yoga Therapist having attended and completed the necessary one to one prescription writing and asana training at Ghosh’s College of Yoga and Physical Education in Kolkata, India (2018). I am trained to teach Hot Yoga classes at an intermediate level (2016). Further, I have completed the ‘Inferno Hot Pilates’ teacher training. I am a qualified massage therapist and also qualified in Indian Head Massage technique. Over the years I have undertaken continuous, additional trainings and workshops with, amongst others, Christian Scaraglino, Craig Villani, Muktamala Mitri and Gabriella Walters. Aside from formal training I have also privately practiced and studied other schools of Yoga and Meditation. I have been building my knowledge and skills since starting my Yoga journey in 1999 and will continue to attend workshops and courses in my commitment to broadening knowledge and skills in order to best serve practitioners on their Yoga journey. Having come from a background of having personal conditions and injury prior to taking up Yoga myself, I am particularly interested in the healing benefits of a regular Yoga practice. I know that a stripped back posture can be very therapeutic and that most people can achieve and benefit from the most simple form of asana. Having a back to basics approach, finding stillness in best effort and keeping Yoga as true to the original teachings will preserve the therapeutic and healing and I want to share this with others 🙂
Well that’s all for now so hope to see you at the studio soon where I am always happy to chat about bad backs, TM, heavy metal, grunge, teacher training memories and Yoga of course ☺ .
Welcome to Yoga Matters.
Well that’s all for now so hope to see you at the studio soon where I am always happy to chat about bad backs, noisy guitar based music, teacher training memories and Yoga of course ☺ .
Let go of ‘Can’t’
June 2014 updated 2018