Hello – my name is Renee – welcome to Bright Lotus Yoga.

I discovered yoga over a decade ago, and to this day I still remember the feelings I had after that first class. I felt so relaxed, calm, recharged and alive. Euphoric. And ever since then, I’ve been practising yoga. Sometimes regularly, sometimes not so regularly. Mostly with teachers, sometimes by myself.

The more I did yoga, the more I wanted to learn about it. This feeling intensified during a challenging point in my life, both physically and emotionally. I started practising yoga more regularly than ever, and it brought huge and remarkable benefits. I then decided to take up yoga teacher training in order to deepen my practice and share with others the joy, comfort, inspiration and strength I’ve discovered through yoga over the years.

I initially started my teacher training with Ruth White and then I became pregnant. I continued regular yoga practice throughout my pregnancy, and I truly believe this was instrumental in helping me achieve a calm and successful home birthing. Motherhood was a new and beautiful journey that brought forth its own lessons and challenges, so I had to halt my yoga teacher training until the time was right. And when the right time did come, a yoga teacher training opportunity presented itself nearby in the form of the Yoga Garden Teacher Training in Storrington.

The training was life changing and it felt so good and so right. I learned so much; I made lifelong friends. The experience gave me more confidence to practice on my own, make my own discoveries and to share with others.

I am forever grateful to my teachers: Toni Roberts, Ana Marcela Wakeham, Lucy Deere and Nina Fowkes. To Swami Kriyamurti and Swami Ramdev of the Bihar School of Yoga Worthing, who introduced me to yoga and have taught me so much. And to Suay Buckley who deepened my appreciation for the joys of meditation.

I am also extremely grateful to my other ‘gurus’ who teach me something daily: my daughter, Bea, my dear family and loved ones, my students. Thank you all for sharing with me the joys, trust, openness, encouragement, support and all the valuable lessons. I am reminded daily that yoga is truly for everyone.

The more I learn about yoga, the more I discover how much I don’t know and how much there is still to learn. Being a yogi is being a perpetual student. This suits me well because I love learning, and in turn I love sharing with others what I’ve learned and what I am learning. Yoga can deepen and enrich our lives on so many levels. I’ve discovered that challenging situations in life can be dealt with through breathing, acceptance, softening and yielding, much like allowing the body to do new and challenging yoga asanas (poses) in its own time – respecting its boundaries, accepting every part of the process with grace and patience.

I chose the name Bright Lotus for the following reasons: ‘Bright’ because I believe that we all have gifts – a light – to share with others. ‘Lotus’ because this flower emerges beautiful and pure from muddy and murky waters – grounded in the earth but moving towards the light.

Through my yoga practice, teaching and constant learning, I hope to bring out and encourage the ‘bright lotus’ in others, sharing our light to make this world a brighter and more joyful place.