Do you know your Hatha from your Bikram? Are you constantly looking for ways to de-stress your day? From teacher training to private clients, Sherene Banner explains the reasons why she became a yoga teacher and how you too can follow in her footsteps.
Describe to me the journey you had to becoming a yoga teacher. Was it something that you were always interested in?
I have always been interested in movement. When I was very young I went to ballet and tap classes, I had been practicing tai-chi when I was at college and then one of the places I worked at provided staff with subsidised Yoga classes. During my pregnancy I had a self practice at home as I could no longer go to regular classes and afterwards I found a preference towards a flow/vinyasa flow yoga. From there my interest in yoga grew and I wanted to deepen my own practice and took a course which in the end gave me a teaching qualification (Yoga Alliance 200 hours). The rest is history…
What does your job entail?
One of my main aims is for my students to be aware of their body. Fine tuning their internal awareness whilst noticing how they are externally, interacting in the environment around them. This is the same whether it is a children’s yoga class or adult one.
What are your views on well-being within Walthamstow? Do you think there is enough opportunity for people to have some ‘me’ time?
I think Walthamstow and the Borough of Waltham Forest are very lucky to have so many options for the community in regards to well-being. Even within Yoga there are so many to choose from in Walthamstow. People start going to a class thinking there is one type and then find the rabbit warren of options available to them.
There is enough opportunity for people to have “me” time but generally we still do not take it and see it as a luxury or an expensive thing to do. People tend to think of looking after their body and mind once something has happened to them ie: an injury or over-stressed at work etc. We should try to act sooner and see well-being as a prevention rather than a cure.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
I really love what I do so that’s a highlight in itself, to be fortunate enough to enjoy my job, but I still enjoy seeing how people who regularly attend classes start to “get it”. I’m not talking about being able to do a head stand or to put their legs behind their head, but just finding a connection to their body to improve to their mobility, more importantly how to calm their mind and focus. One of the children’s yoga I teach in school is for a SEN department and seeing those children get something out of their session is really rewarding.
How did you end up becoming a yoga teacher in Walthamstow?
I live in Walthamstow and love the community feeling here. I try to make sure my sessions are accessible to all by providing classes for all abilities, women only classes and Yoga for children (as part of their school day).
How do you balance your work as a yoga teacher with your full time job?
When I passed my teacher training, I was finding it hard to do my 9-5 day job and teach in the evening so I requested to become part time. They didn’t agree with that so I just made the leap and resigned to make a go of becoming a full time yoga teacher, luckily it has paid off.
Are there any things that frustrate you about being a yoga teacher?
Not really, I can’t think of anything
If you could be anything else for the day, which job would you choose?
If you asked me that a few years ago when I was working in the fashion industry I would have said a yoga teacher but now I don’t know what else I would do. I would like to continue with my self practice and learn more about the body. At the moment I am studying Holistic Massage.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?
Try different types of yoga to find out which style you prefer before applying for a teacher training course. Have a self practice so you have something to base your understanding and teaching on. Once you have passed your teacher training, keep being inquisitive about your yoga practice and make sure you still enjoy it.
Tell me something that you have never told anyone else
I still have an irresistible urge to jump on bubble wrap when I unexpectedly receive some in a parcel- especially the giant bubble wrap, it’s great to try to tap dance over.
To find out more about Sherene, or to book a class with her, visit her website, here or follow her on Twitter
Words: Grace Molan