The Warrior

I am the storm
Kate Kinnish Yoga - Warrior pose

When I started my teacher training course, I had no idea if I wanted to teach. All the students on the course were doing the course for individual reasons; some to deepen their knowledge, others to teach. As part of the course, we were encouraged to write about various questions and deliver this to the whole group.  Having had children and left the hustle and bustle of the corporate world, I hadn’t delivered a talk to a room of people in years. Filled with dread and a lack of confidence, I answered the below question. 

Write about one physical, emotional or spiritual issue you are dealing with right now or have dealt with. How can/did yoga help you? Can you incorporate that as a story in your teaching and how?

In early 2014, life was good. I had a beautiful little girl, amazing family, friends, three beautiful sisters, and I was just getting to grips with the daily challenges and rewards motherhood offered up, including flying broccoli, poo explosions and the reality that my child hated my purees but loved Ella’s Kitchen!

That same year, May 20th on Millie’s 1st birthday, we got the news that mum had been diagnosed with stage 4 “terminal” cancer.  It was a huge shock, like a Tsunami, a 60-year-old who was so fit and healthy ended up in a hospice within weeks.  Hundreds of questions went through my mind…Why us? Why mum? If there is a god, how could he do this? Why do they use the word terminal? We are all terminal. How am I going to cope without her? How will Dad manage? She won’t see the grandchildren grow up…

Within minutes, my world came crashing down. I was so angry. I cried. I screamed.

The months and years that followed were tough. Gruelling rounds of chemotherapy, travelling up and down to Yorkshire, hospital visits, hair loss, seeing mum so poorly and hearing her say, “I want to die”.  I had to be there for Mum and Dad, leaving Millie and my husband at home for long periods of time whilst also finding out I was pregnant with another baby. 

Eventually I cracked. I was exhausted. Burnt out, depressed, pregnant, not coping, overwhelmed; I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t be the strong one anymore. I just felt so sad.

I had always practiced yoga; before the children, throughout both pregnancies and when the kids were born.  I love the way it makes me feel, I guess it became my “anti-depressant”. An hour where I let the thoughts drift away and breathed. I didn’t have to think for that time about anything else.  I came away from my mat feeling stronger, I often focused on the breath as a colour – usually yellow – which for me was warmth and sunshine and taking that all through my body, I started to smile again.

To incorporate this into a teaching, I would explain the breath as a colour if people found this easy to relate to. I would also explain the benefits that yoga gave me during an emotional issue that’s still on-going but how it’s made me physically and mentally strong.

My practice made me believe; I would cope, I could cope, I was coping, and it was ok to have all those other feelings but I also needed to take some time out for me.

Almost 4 years on Mum is still here…living life, beating odds; there’s a silver lining right there.

Since writing this piece, mum died. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of her and I miss her terribly. Mum read this piece and as she always said, “Fate whispers to the warrior, “You cannot withstand the storm”. The warrior whispers back, “I am the storm”.”

Fate whispers to the warrior, “You cannot withstand the storm”.
The warrior whispers back, “I am the storm”.

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Kate Kinnish Yoga is my new yoga studio based in Westerham, Kent. Set within the stunning Kentish countryside, you can find your flow at any of my classes that are held in my private garden studio or private poolside studio. I have been practicing yoga for over 20...

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Kate Kinnish Yoga is my new yoga studio based in Westerham, Kent. Set within the stunning Kentish countryside, you can find your flow at any of my classes that are held in my private garden studio or private poolside studio. I have been practicing yoga for over 20...