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WHAT COMES NEXT?

Updated: Mar 10




As F. Scott Fitzgerald said

“For what it’s worth - it’s never too late, or in my case too early, to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit. Start wherever you want. You can change or stay the same. There are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you’ve never felt before. I hope you meet people who have a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start over again.”, The Great Gatsby.



I recently found myself in conversation with a fellow Yoga Therapist and friend talking about what I might do next.


Most of my sentences started with , “I should”. “ I should…..be considering something in politics/going back to law/fighting inequality/teaching yoga in more schools/for more charitable organisations….and on and on”, it was only when she (being the wise soul that she is) pointed out to me that there were a lot of “shoulds” in my musings and deliberations that I started to really think about the difference between the following -; what was the difference between doing what I feel compelled to do, what I want to do, what I can do, what I need to do and what would be the best thing for me and those close to me? Some potential questions for us all to consider?


I don’t have the answers yet, but I wanted to use this blog to say a little more about the journey I have taken to date which has shaped me as a yoga teacher and brought me to where I am now and of course what may come next. Maybe some of it will be of general interest or just something which shows the different paths into yoga us yoga teachers take.



Aged 18 (too long ago to state), the first in my family to head off to University I read Law for three years with the intention of working with and for people ( something in Human Rights was the ideal), next was Law School for a year followed by a training contract ( a further two years of on the job training before qualifying as a lawyer) in a London Law firm.


After 6 years I took my newly qualified Lawyer self to a different Law firm deep in the heart of the London legal world (around Chancery Lane/ The Royal Courts of Justice) and specialised in defendant Clinical Negligence. I had a brilliant time and it was fascinating and demanding work but I wasn’t quite doing the human rights work I was interested in or working overseas as much as I wanted. So, I applied to join the Government Legal service and spent a number of unforgettable years as a Lawyer in the Home Office on the Prison Law Team followed by a couple of years working on mental capacity cases with the Official Solicitor.



I recently attended a talk by former Olympic rower Cath Bishop who subsequently joined the Diplomatic Service working at the FCO here and overseas. Her story, like that of her amazing fellow crew mates, is inspiring and as I write this on International Women’s Day it is certainly a story/journey worth reading.


I listened to her work in the FCO, sitting next to one of my teenagers who is very interested in that line of work, I found myself reminiscing about the years spent on domestic and international legal matters. The time spent working with Secretaries of State, Ministers and Heads of Departments on various prison legal issues here in the UK, the Judicial Reviews, cases in the ECHR, days and weeks spent visiting prisons in the UK and abroad ( Callao in Lima, Peru) from Young Offender Institutions to adult male and female prisons. Also, remembering the close work with the FCO as I travelled to places such as Peru, Mexico and India negotiating International Prisoner Transfer Agreements and The Hague where together with a lawyer from the FCO I negotiated the Enforcement of Sentence Agreement between the UK and ICTY.



Here I am now a Yoga teacher of 21 years (there was an overlap with law!), a yoga therapist and a parent. Practising and teaching yoga has almost been a fifth limb for me for so long that it is arguably second nature. I started practising yoga to help alleviate the stress which could build up when managing huge litigation caseloads and have undoubtedly benefited hugely from this ancient and wise practice.


Teaching for a number of years doesn’t mean that I take my yoga teachings for granted, indeed I spent much of 2021-2023 studying Yoga Therapy and diving into neuroplasticity and the therapeutic application of yoga to numerous physical, neurological and mental health conditions satisfying a desire to learn, evolve and take a path which I find interesting, of benefit to others and worthwhile.



What has always struck me about yoga teaching is what we as teachers can also learn from our students whether teaching in large groups or small private sessions. Not only a practice in humility but also one of communication and connection. Online yoga classes have opened yoga to the wider world (it is brilliant to be able to take classes wherever you are) especially since 2020 but being in the same physical space as each other, breathing together and co creating an almost tangible physical energy is really quite special.



My advice for anyone seeking a yoga teacher has always been to check out your local area, speak to friends, word of mouth and recommendation is the best way and being part of a local yoga community/sangha can provide a very supportive and healthy environment to thrive in. Community and connection are even more important after all we have been through since 2020.



I am so proud of the yoga community that I am part of/have co created. I am lucky to have carefully and with a sense of humour intact navigated the London yoga scene for a considerable length of time and am privileged to know some incredible fellow teachers. Ultimately the most important component is those who turn up time and time again and help create a community. I am delighted to have taught so many wonderful people of all ages over the last 21 years in many different locations many of whom I have taught and worked with for some time (some even from the beginning!).



So, what comes next?


I am taking a short sabbatical to ponder some of the questions I have raised above (wish me luck!). Having worked consistently for 30 years alongside the most important job for me - raising a family, I am embracing a pause so that I can really listen. Really listen!


I believe this is something that if we can do (and I appreciate it may not be possible) it may be of much benefit. Stepping out of the boxes we and indeed others put us in, trying something different (always good for neuroplasticity) seeking guidance from the Yamas and Niyamas, Bhagavad Gita and other philosophical texts, and of course as a yoga teacher on sabbatical mulling on the question, “what is my dharma in life?”



It won’t be a complete pause because I will still be teaching private yoga classes, seeing yoga therapy clients ( especially in the field of neurological conditions), and teaching sixth form yoga and mindfulness, and I want to be here to support my teenagers especially one navigating exams and have some fun times with them.  


The combination of working almost daily through the pandemic (so many online classes), supervising home schooling and studying myself has put me on a treadmill of “doing”. I was probably like most of us there already. For many of us it is our nature to be busy, to be “doing” and to be focusing on the next task ahead. We also tend to attach so much importance to what we do, from our sense of self-worth and place in society and I am conscious that the journey from lawyer to yoga teacher and yoga therapist has seen me question that many times.



Now is the time for slowing down the “doing” and focus on achieving for more “being”. Exploring non attachment, surrendering and how best to direct focus and energy (Aparigraha , Ishvara Pranidhana and Brahmacharya) and seeing how comfortable I feel in the unknown (probably not very!). I will readily admit that I am not great if not busy planning something work related.


A pause of sorts is needed, however although not necessarily in the words of Arnold Schwarzenegger …. I will be back! How could I not be. Teaching yoga is a joy and a privilege. I have spent years mindfully building a wealth of experience and yoga is a passion.


Keep an eye on my website, Instagram @lornafisheryoga or Facebook LornaFisherYoga, sign up to my newsletter and join me in September for what I love – yoga. Keep in touch!


In the meantime, I will still be here, practicing yoga, writing some blogs, finishing some of the yoga therapy books that I didn’t quite finish and seeking inspiration for new flows ahead. Still “doing” but doing it slowly, as Cory Allen says,

“Slowing down is the superpower that lets you listen deeply, speak clearly, and choose wisely”.

 

We can certainly try!



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