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 Clare Kerrigan, yoga teacher and Studio Manager of Yoga Kula in Leeds, who found a constant companion in yoga and has recently taken a group of students to the Himalayas on her first yoga retreat.

When was your very first introduction to yoga?
My first yoga class was as a teenager (at a gym in Skipton, North Yorkshire) from then on I was aware of how good and fresh it made me feel. I kept going back because of that feeling, which kept growing - leaving a little bit more space in my mind and in my body each time. Yoga has been a constant companion since then, throughout my working career, studying drama and then working as an actress. Yoga has always been present and I’ve kept returning to that feeling of ‘coming home’ by having it in my life.

At what point did you decide that you wanted to train as a teacher?
I’d been thinking about it for a good few years before I made the move to actually do something about it. I’d put quite a few barriers up for myself, thinking I wouldn’t be good enough and even if I did apply - I wouldn’t get on the course. In the end absolutely everything was pointing in the direction that I should go for it and it's been the best decision I’ve ever made.

Why did you choose to train with Yogacampus? How do you think our teacher training diploma compares to other schools?
I’d researched other courses, but the description for Yogacampus stood out heads and shoulders above the rest. One sentence in particular that really sung out to me was the non-dogmatic approach that this course would offer, by allowing you to find your own path from which to explore and develop. Another aspect was the length of time: 18 months with space around the modules to embed the learning. The final important factor was that I would be able to work whilst I studied.

What was your biggest highlight on the course? And biggest challenge?
Actually getting on the course in the first place! I had very little confidence in myself at that time, so I’ll never forget that feeling when I found out I’d been accepted. Then the amazing people I studied with (finding friends for life!) and the outstanding and inspiring teachers on the course; truthful, all different, and rich with knowledge. Ultimately having the space with which to grow and discover my inner teacher (and confidence) without feeling rushed was also a major highlight. Managing a heavy workload and life whilst studying was challenging at times, there were some stressful times with quite a few late nights trying to keep to deadlines, doing my best to not get behind with reading or assignments.

How has your life changed since graduating from the course? What are you doing now?
My life has changed big time. I’ve stopped listening to my self-saboteur (who was no fun to be around!) My journey with yoga has been a very empowering one. Going to India on my own was life changing, and then falling in love with the country and returning again and again. Finding my teaching voice and realising that the feeling of ‘finding home’ with yoga as a student, is just the same as a teacher! The learning is there all around you. I love my job, I teach at Yoga Kula in Leeds, a studio I’m very proud of (where I also work as the Studio Manager). This year I combined my two big loves - taking a group of beautiful students with Yoga Kula on a retreat to the Himalayas.

I’ll never stop learning with yoga, I’m happy that I trusted that feeling not so long ago and didn't stop myself.

Clare Kerrigan studied on the Yogacampus Teacher Training Diploma in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire and is now a teacher and Studio Manager at Yoga Kula in Leeds. The next Hebden Bridge course will start in March 2016 and more information can be found here.