A Journey to Hatha Yoga
Victoria Marriott's Yoga Journey
Anxiety, high stress and lack of sleep were significant issues I was experiencing back in London during my previous life in Investment Banking. I had completed my work experience in New York City after University and had been following ‘the Bikram craze’ from New York back to London because I was told it was cool. However, I think those hot sweaty rooms with no fresh air just made me panic even more and it certainly wasn’t the right environment for me to learn how to breathe properly and slow myself down from Corporate life.
As the markets started crashing in London during 2008 and 2009, I pushed myself even harder in new Power Yoga and Hot Yoga classes that I was discovering while following the crowds of hip London yogis that kept themselves looking so fit and fearless. However, I personally was feeling full of fear and not looking my best as my panic attacks got more intense and I started crashing into what some were calling at that time ‘my quarter life crisis’. My burn out.
I’ve always been drawn to intensity; intense learning experiences, intense working environments, intense yoga - I’m a classic Type A personality so of course I also enjoy intense travel experiences. I had a whirlwind tour around the main sites of India in 2008; Taj Mahal, Delhi, Mumbai and Goa, but I wanted to immerse myself in the Country and explore it more. I wanted to break free from my routine and career trajectory and experience life differently, explore yoga in its birthplace and feel into its roots. After quite literally ‘hanging on’ in my career, collecting a bit more of my bonus each year, I finally plucked up the courage to leave my banking career in August 2011. I was 26 years old. I was free to explore, free to allow myself to connect to yoga properly, explore my own inner being as well as experience India fully. I had escaped the London ‘rat race’.
It was quite the liberating feeling jumping on that one-way flight to Mumbai and checking into The Yoga House in Bandra, Mumbai. Oh how I loved Mumbai and how I loved my yoga experience right away. Yogisthaan was my teacher, a beautiful teacher from Pune who teaches a mindful Hatha practice with pranayam. I felt instantly grounded into my hatha yoga experience and knew right then that this was the sort of yoga that I had needed to understand and connect with more. It was much slower than the power vinyasa yoga flows I was used to. I felt more at peace transitioning between the poses and I could allow myself to feel – both physically and emotionally at that time (but the spiritual journey had started). From this moment on I started following my heart through my travels, connecting with some beautiful travellers, life’s magic seekers, exploring new parts of India, including the sensational backwaters of Kerala. It truly was a magical experience.
Since arriving in Australia on the back of my India trip, I have continued to explore and experience Hatha yoga more deeply. It took a while for me to feel ‘good enough’ to tackle my initial Hatha teacher training in 2017 with a sensational Australian teacher I connected with most, Nicole Walsh at InYoga here in Sydney. I knew I wanted to share the wisdom that this practice brings to people’s lives and wanted to help provide the tools people needed to tackle their own anxieties and fears to allow them to live their best, more connected, lives.
I remain connected to Yogisthaan and with the new ‘Zoom connecting craze’, I am able to explore his teachings and wisdom to share in my classes also via Zoom and Facebook Live. It feels so wonderful to connect globally, share practices and build an online community that can thrive as we build our new reality together. A reality that is more mindful, a human race that is more deeply connected to their bodies, their breath and understands the power of living a more conscious life.