“My training in yoga gave me the courage to set up Dru Yoga in Leeds and train over 200 people"
Listen to the full interview here > or read the highlights below.
Radha: I know from visiting you in Leeds...it was incredible to feel the warmth and love between the team you have created there.
Mona: Yes it's a joy to see people change and step into their personal power.
Radha: Was there a moment where you decided - yes I want to dedicate my life to this?
Mona: Yes, it was teaching a whole group at a time. I wanted to reach more people than I was doing as a reflexologist; training in yoga enables you to teach a lot of people a skill they can use to help themselves.
Radha: It’s an answer to our yearning to really help people isn't it people are looking for the ability to help people.
Mona: Yes exactly. There is something so special about it.
Yoga works with every layer of our being. We are made up of the physical stuff, then we have the layer or ‘life force’ and without this nothing works; our whole body needs it to function.
We then have the ‘thought layer’ and during the course, we come to understand the power of our thoughts. When we begin to experiment with telling ourselves how amazing we are we notice the real impact of this change.
There is also the ‘bliss layer’ and when we meet this place this is where we feel that everything is right in our world.
We really help people to choose how they think and to change their perception and inner world to deal with the outer world.
Radha: We have been accustomed to looking at the physical body - if the mind isn’t quite right then nothing else can be. When I did my teacher training 10 years ago I remember thinking there is something really powerful happening here. I remember realizing that if we want to change the world …. we must focus on our inner world. We can create our own reality.
Mona: Yes, there is so much fear around. If we take ourselves inside and then things start to change…
I can change and reshape my inner world to respond to the outside world which is beneficial to ourselves and others. By keeping my yoga practice going and going out into nature more, walking every day - it made such a difference to my overall well-being.
I found with my yoga I could go deeper inside of myself. I then felt stronger.
It's amazing how for example a small amount of breathwork makes such a difference. Rather than projecting into the future we start to just work with the space of 'now' that we can control.
Yoga has given me the strength to stay sane and firmly in my power. So that what’s going on out there does not affect me. What can I do about this?
Radha: People are tapping into the potential of yoga and yet they may not manage to sustain a habit and then life gets in the way and that wonderful feeling we achieve in our practice is left far behind.
Mona: Support and connection is the key to sustaining healthy habits. There needs to be a strong connection with your teacher. I do not know what I would do without a yoga class. We get rid of stress and tension in the body ….and we can reach that lovely place inside of us.
Live connection and support are key, even if through a screen.
Radha: So let’s talk now about the benefits of the yoga teacher training course. When I trained it wasn’t necessary to become a teacher. I just wanted to learn more; I liked how I felt when I practiced and I then wanted to know the science behind it.
Mona: Same. I had no intention to teach... my friends noticed the changes in me. Friends followed me to the Dru Yoga Centre in Wales to understand how my outlook had become so much calmer. I began by just sharing what was in my heart and the experience I had. I didn’t teach just by the book ….I shared my experience of what happened to me when I practiced. I ended up teaching 12 classes a week and then I began teaching on a teacher training course.
The course will help you to become calmer, sleep better, in your relationships, and bring a deep sense of peace. It helps to transform your inner world. It brings a sense of calmness into you and then other people want to know how you manage to stay so calm.
There is so much going on and yet you have managed to stay calm and during Covid people asked me: how are you managing? Because I know my own inner strength and inner world is stable and strong. When I have my wobbly days I know exactly what to do.
Radha: Yes it gives you this way of knowing how to work with emotions. You know “This is how you feel and this is how I’ll deal with it.” The Dru Yoga book, the Dance Between Joy and Pain talks about the different emotional states we go through. It tells us this is the condition of your mind and this is the treatment; this is how yoga and meditation work and we are seeing that science is backing ancient practices. Like you shared, Mona, it is an experiential art that works on levels beyond our biochemistry that we cannot see but we can feel.
Radha: So you have created friends and waves of change. What has been the most magical experience over your career and life?
Mona: The biggest joy is always watching people on the course. We create a beautiful safe space for people - it’s gentle and it’s kind. My greatest joy was seeing as on the stage and teaching the whole group.
On the course, we create a ripple and it is such a gentle way to help people to know themselves. It is a journey of self-discovery...people have given up jobs they hated, they got out of bad relationships because they realise who they are and they learn to love themselves.
Radha: Nowadays we experience such a range of emotions. Yet we can focus and redirect our energy towards what we want to create and build.
I see a real strength of emotion and compassion and you glow with this. You are changing the world. It is that rippling outwards of transformation that you are creating.
Mona: Yes it’s all about discovering your true self and stepping into your true power.
The course is an experience that allows people to know themselves deeply.
Radha: So what would you recommend people do if they are interested in teacher training?
Mona: Find a Dru Yoga teacher, attend a class and you should come away feeling like something has changed within you!
Remember it is self-development with a training qualification at the end.
A Try Out day is the perfect opportunity because it gives depth.
You can get in touch with one of us and we can have a good chat about the course.
Radha: It has been a magical experience to have a conversation with Mona and to experience her energy and hear about her experience.
It can almost sound too good to be true as if it’s too obvious ...it can’t be that simple.
I would say do listen to what Mona mentioned and try different teachers. Don’t give up on yoga if you haven't tried a few different teachers.
Is there anything else you’d like to leave us with today?
Mona: Don’t be afraid of doing anything. Life is for a living - it's not a rehearsal so don’t wait until there is a perfect time! The only time we have is now...don’t think oh maybe I’m not good enough at that … don’t let these thoughts stop you.
The course can help you to be the person that you want to be and live the life that you want to live. You will discover that you have talents you didn't realize you had.
There is nothing to fear except fear itself.
Radha: Thank you for being a living example, for your friendship and your leadership.