Student of the month: Bryony Horton

I am so honoured to share our student of the Month for November beautiful Bry. Bry was one of my first ever yoga students and we have been practising and learning together for about 5 years now. I have adored witnessing Bry throughout her last pregnancy as she lovingly adapted her practice as her belly blossomed. And then after she birthed her son coming back to practice slowly and kindly building her strength back with so much grace, patience and acceptance of where she was at each day. Having put in the work, I am now loving watching Bry showing so much courage trying more challenging poses like arm balances and binds, but always coming from such a place of honouring where she it at and not pushing or forcing her practice. Please enjoy her fantastic (I may have shed a few tears!) interview.

1. Tell us a little about yourself…
I’m a mum of two little boys. I am a scientist. I am 38 years old. I’ve lived in Coffs for nearly 7 years and before that in London, Tasmania, and Sydney. I love cooking especially with the fresh food from my garden.

2. How long have you been practising yoga?
I found yoga when I was studying for my PhD. That was 12 years ago. I’ve practiced on and off since then but for the last 5 years or so it has become a big part of my life. I generally get to one class a week (but I wish it could be more) but I practice every day incorporating movement, breathing and setting an intention. Sometimes this is only for 5 minutes (and when lucky 20 mins) but it makes all the difference.

3. Why do you practice yoga and what have you gained from your practice?
For me yoga is so many things. It helps me clear my head, allows me space to listen to my inner self and it feels so good. It helps me relax, it makes me strong, flexible and resilient both in mind and body and reminds me of who I am and what I want to be..i take this out into my every day. And of course it gives me ‘me’ time.

Through my practice I have learnt so much about myself. I have learned to accept my limitations and even embrace them. I have also learnt that so many things are possible if you work hard.  I also have realised the importance of balance. This is a huge is challenge for me and I know that when there is imbalance in life it creeps into my practice. And all this has mixed together into learning about happiness and how to create it and that is a real blessing.

4. How has yoga helped you through your motherhood journey as well as pregnancy and postpartum?
So so much! I practiced yoga when I was pregnant with both my babies. It was a lovely time to bond with these tiny growing people and transition into motherhood. Toward the end when I felt so huge it was so nice to stretch out the sores bits but also a time to relax and look after myself. Yoga was a much slower super propped practice at that stage! My practice was even more important for my second as this valuable me time was so scarce.

It was great to get back to my practice after they were born. Yoga actually both energised me and refreshed me when I was most exhausted. It has helped me to build up my body again and this has been a great journey.

Taking that time out for me helps me to gain persepective and realise what’s important and how to be the best mum and person I can be.

5. What is your favourite yoga pose and why?
Hmmm, well one of my all time favourites if legs up the wall. The is true bliss for me where I can just let it all go. I also really like wild thing and wide leg side stretch, and cross legged forward fold. I think because they all make me feel spacious in one way of another. Recently I have been enjoying arm balances and inversions. When I am strong and courageous and I achieve that peak pose I feel invincible and elated. And they are also super fun. So that’s why I’ve picked crow which is the first arm balance I learnt.

6. What are you most grateful for?
There are so many things I can’t choose but these are a few if my favourite: my beautiful curious and challenging boys, my intelligent and supportive partner, my health, my interesting career, living in such a beautiful place and kinds if food but especially cheese. And if course yoga!

7. I love One Conscious Breath because…
It’s such a nurturing place and I feel like we’ve grown up together as I’ve been coming since it opened. I feel so comfortable there. And of course its always lovely to see Jazz’s shining happy face. All the teachers are great and bring something different. I have practiced in many places and one thing I particularily love is that it is not intimidating at all and has a lovely sense of community.