Kay Manby: recognising yoga as a way of life
In this series, we catch up with some of our inspiring Teacher Training graduates to see where life has taken them since the start of their Yogacampus journey. Here, we talk to the inspiring Kay Manby who gave up her job in Advertising to teach the elderly, women on remand, and for Social Services in Harrogate.
When was your very first introduction to yoga?
I was introduced to yoga when I strarted to watch a video on a digital channel in the mornings before going to work. I started to do it because my husband had cancer and I needed to do something that did not take me away from my home. So I started in June 2009.
At what point did you decide that you wanted to train as a teacher?
I took a couple of private classes with Amanda Latchmore in January 2010 and they were very releasing and I strongly sensed that Amanda was teaching me to release emotions so I decided to join her classes. I had been working in Advertising and was passed retirement age when I decided I need to take back my life and so I handed in my notice at work. I had started to look around for something to fill that gap and at the same time Amanda approached me and asked me if I had thought about becoming a yoga teacher. I felt inspired by the thought and decided to look into it.
Why did you choose to train with Yogacampus? How do you think our teacher training diploma compares to other schools?
Amanda has been my yoga mentor throughout my yoga journey and she mentioned Yogacampus had a Teacher Training programme in Hebden Bridge. By the time she suggested this I had looked at lots of options...British Wheel of Yoga......Sivananda Sun Power Yoga and Dru teacher training. My instincts were to go with Yogacampus at Hebden Bridge and I started training in January 2013.
Firstly I was looking for training that had depth and strength to it. I was not interested in trying to qualify in one month in some foreign destination. My yoga passage had not been long. I was keen to understand and feel qualified to teach. So it was important to me that the course covered anatomy, physiology and experiential physiology.....plus of course all the philosophy...the asanas...the chakras...breath and awareness....meditation....sanskrit names for postures....the Bhagavad Gita...the subtle body et al would have been too much for me to absorb in a short course.
Having spoken to other yoga teachers, I cannot fully express how pleased I am that I chose the Yogacampus course. We were taught to teach with care and attention for the people in front of us and I am aware of teachers who drive through their classes to a format regardless of ability, flexibility or real respect for the student. Largely because that is the way they were taught themselves. I am also aware that the British Wheel of Yoga training available locally is carried out almost entirely by one person. We had experts in philosophy, anatomy, meditation, Body Mind Centering, restorative, pregnancy, yoga flow ......in fact we were privileged to have been taught by a myriad of expert yoga teachers who shared their passion and inspired us.
What was your biggest highlight on the course? And biggest challenge?
Biggest highlight....that is a tough one! I loved the camaraderie amongst our student group. I loved the range of teaching and particularly enjoyed the intensive (I did Judith Hanson Lasater and went on to qualify as a Relax & Renew Teacher). I learnt a great deal from observations of other classes and teachers which has stood me well.
Biggest challenge....trying to put sequences into a written format with diagrams nearly saw me off! I can feel it but dealing with the technology of trying to present it was truly dreadful!
How has your life changed since graduating from the course? What are you doing now?
I am a yoga teacher.....Hurrah. I teach in three local village halls and I teach at home. I have taught in a local nursing home for the elderly in wheelchairs. I have taught for Social Services in Harrogate (Women in Crisis or with addictions and I regularly teach for the Probation Service in Skipton which covers teaching staff as well as women on remand). So yes my life has completely changed and I absolutely love it!
What is really exciting you right now in your work and in your vision of the future of yoga?
I love teaching restorative and gentle yoga, teaching people to try and slow down and live in the moment through breath and pranayama. The therapeutic aspects of yoga are so multi-faceted and I have taken yoga completely into my life as well as my family. Some of my children and grandchildren practice yoga. I am considering joining the Prison Phoenix Trust for teachers in prison. I have some experience of prison visiting and feel drawn towards the teaching.
Vision of the future.....that yoga is available to hospitals, prisons, schools, colleges, nursing homes and for dementia, and it's more widely recognised as a way of life with huge health benefits and not just an excuse to make shapes!
I have made extraordinary friendships through yoga, through learning yoga from an amazing teacher/mentor, through learning teaching through very gifted teachers at Yogacampus, through a shared experience of learning with a beautiful bunch of women. Yoga has added so many dimensions to my life that it is hard to quantify them, but I shall be forever grateful for everyone who assisted, taught and mentored me along the way. I have made deep and meaningful friendships as a result of yoga and the training at Yogacampus. I continue to learn from my students too......Riches beyond measure.