Diana Brook owns and runs a yoga studio in Wales, Caerphilly, to be exact. We caught up with Diana to ask about her journey – from trying yoga at the local gym to running her own yoga studio. Diana is also one of the BSY family today, as she is hopping over the bridge to attend our Myofascial Release Intensive.
“Despite practising yoga since my 20s, I only completed my yoga teacher training five years ago and became a yoga teacher in 2014. The same year I self-published my book The Mind, Body & Soul Workout Guide – my holistic philosophy in a seven-step guide to wellness.
Yoga brought everything together to complete my holistic business. I love sharing tools and insights to help empower others. With new class opportunities coming my way, I was teaching more and more yoga. Before I knew it, I was teaching large groups; it turns out students did want to practice with me – silencing my fear voice once and for all!
I realised early on there was a huge demand for evening yoga classes but being a Mum with two boys, juggling home life, teaching and running the business, time was becoming a limiting factor in how I could reach more students to share the power and joy of yoga. I’d secretly had this dream of having a space of my own to teach, to create a community of yogis, making yoga accessible to everyone so that students can experience the benefits of yoga.
Then synchronicity and opportunity sort of happened and unfolded! A local Caerphilly physiotherapy business contacted me asking if I would be interested in renting a space which would be ideal for a yoga studio. It was a family event going to see the studio space for the first time, with my Dad, two boys and fellow yoga teacher as I wanted their input to help make the decision.
From the moment I stepped into the space, it just felt right. I realised that this was my purpose, my dharma.
My vision of a dedicated yoga studio with a team of yoga teachers quickly turned into a reality. Only two years after qualifying to become a teacher I opened ‘Diana Brook Yoga with Soul‘ in August 2016.
One of the highs is seeing the space being filled with wonderful students, being guided by ‘Yoga with Soul’ teachers, it never fails to make me smile. And the best part is we’re still growing a thriving community of yogis!
Day to day life managing the studio is busy! One of the demands being the owner, manager, teacher and Mum is managing and prioritising time. Keeping my diary organised is essential. A typical day can often start at 8:30am and finish at 8:30pm. Every day is different depending on scheduled classes, private one-to-sessions, organising workshops, writing my next blog or whether I’m hosting a retreat – it’s true that you become the admin, finance and marketing team all in one!
Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
To have more beautiful dedicated Diana Brook Yoga with Soul studios across South Wales because the more people who have access to yoga the better!
How did you get into yoga?
I have always enjoyed working out and when a new gym opened locally in the Vale of Glamorgan I joined for the state of the art equipment and circuit classes back then! The gym soon introduced yoga on their timetable which really appealed to me as I’ve always had a keen interest in holistic living. From my very first class, I was hooked! Now yoga has been part of my life for 25 years.
What does yoga give you?
Where do I start! Yoga gives me much needed time and space on my mat so I can switch off my thinking mind. Yoga is like a lining up, tuning in to something greater than myself. No doubt you’ve heard this “on and off the mat” expression before but it really is so much more than a physical practice! When life happens and stirs up challenges this is when yoga goes beyond the 4 corners of my mat. To be honest I don’t remember my adult life without yoga in it as I started practising in my early 20s. Yoga has been a consistent discipline in my life that I couldn’t imagine life without yoga in it.
When I’ve felt at my lowest yoga has given me clarity, connection and confidence when I’ve need it most.
Did you have fears before you embarked on yoga training and what were they?
YES! My fear mind set would constantly remind me I’m not flexible enough to teach yoga. You can’t do a headstand away from the wall. You can’t teach a group of students. Who wants to listen to what you have to say anyway. Thankfully I didn’t listen!
What would you say to anyone considering a YTT?
When a yoga student asks me about YTT I always get excited for them! My advice first and foremost is do your research, there are so many courses and choices available it can be a minefield to navigate the options. A few key things to consider are, the style of yoga, accreditation, length of course, logistics and resources – it is an investment, both time and finances. Once you’ve narrowed down the options I always recommend going along to a trial class or open evening and encourage students to ask lots of questions. It’s so important to find a teacher and yoga school that will inspire you to become the teacher you want to be.’
Are you interested in reading more yoga stories? Look HERE
Image credit: Clare Wilson Photography