An interview with Sarah Steed Yoga

I have known Sarah now for over a year. We became friends instantly and she allowed me to stay with her whilst I did my Kids yoga teacher training in Brighton, back then we were discussing our dreams and our eventual path towards becoming certified yoga teachers and possibly running retreats together. We also got tattoos together to celebrate our budding friendship. Fast forward to this present moment and I’m about to train as a Teen yoga teacher and Sarah has just completed her 200hr yoga teacher training! Sarah is a beautiful fusion between gentleness and sass. Her soothing, husky voice has the capability of calming even the most anxious person and she has the sweetest disposition. She is spirited, gracious, and generous with a big heart and I really wanted to give readers a glimpse into her thoughts and of her current adventures in life.

Describe who you are and what you do in three sentences or less.
I’m Sarah, psychology graduate and newly qualified yoga teacher! I am an Aries (with the fiery hair to match!) and I currently live in Worthing, which is just down the coast from Brighton.

Tell is your life journey and how it lead you to Yoga?
Yoga has always fascinated me. I remember taking books on Yoga out of the library as a teenager and trying to hold the pages open with one foot whilst attempting to contort myself into the poses. Needless to say, it wasn’t too successful! During my late teens and early 20s I struggled with a huge lack of confidence, depression, and turbulent relationships. I felt incredibly lost in life and was experiencing a feeling of disconnection from everything. I can’t remember the specific moment I decided to explore Yoga again, but I do remember sweating like crazy in Downward Facing Dog and feeling this huge wave of peace wash over me in Savasana. I had never experienced anything like it before, and every fibre of my being was calling me to repeat the practice. So I did. Again and again. Yoga has been instrumental in shaping my growth and development as a person, and I honestly don’t know where I would be without it.

What are your other passions and interests?
I am an avid reader, although I buy far more books than I will ever read! Living by the sea I also love going for walks along the beach. I have recently begun writing for the Bad Yogi blog, and am currently learning to play the ukulele… although with limited success so far!

From your perspective how does psychology and yoga overlap?
Yoga, like psychology, is a science. It is the science of careful self enquiry in order to gain knowledge and wisdom about ourselves. As BKS Iyengar so succinctly puts it “Yoga, an ancient but perfect science, deals with the evolution of humanity. This evolution includes all aspects of one’s being, from bodily health to self realization”. One of the roles of psychology is to understand more about (and how to treat) mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and chronic stress. The role that yoga can play as an adjunct treatment for these issues is of huge significance.

Who or what inspires you?
I am inspired by people who speak and live their truth, it just shines out from them. As I have studied more Yoga Philosophy, I have also become inspired by the Bhagavad Gita and the Hindu gods/goddesses.

In your career and life, what’s been your greatest asset? And, if you care to share, your greatest hindrance? How did you overcome it?
Hmmm…I don’t know if I could define it as an asset, it’s probably more of a work in progress at the moment! But I would have to say trust. The trust I have to listen to my gut feelings about situations and decisions in my life, about when is the time to stay, to go, to make a change. And as I develop my connection to that inner intuition it feels like more things in my life are slotting into place. My greatest hindrance would have to be my tendency to compare myself with others and feel ‘less than’. I think this is hard given the ‘highlights reel’ of other people’s lives that we are exposed to on social media. But at the end of the day, we choose what information we feed ourselves, and I find that consciously selecting what I read and watch, and focusing on cultivating my own happiness has helped me to overcome these feelings.

What is your personal measure of success and what makes you happy?
I try not to strive for ‘success’ as such, of course I have goals and ambitions, but they are not end points. I can’t imagine getting to a point in my life where I think ‘great – I’ve made it now’, because we are always growing and evolving.
What makes me happy? Sorry to be such a huge cliché, but it really is all of the mundane little pleasures that make up life; lazy morning cuddles in bed, a chilled glass of rose, walking barefoot through grass, laughing, sharing.

What is your best advice you’ve ever gotten?
‘Do the right thing, and the right thing will happen’ – Trust that you are doing all that you can and the opportunities and synchronicity will arise.

What’s next for you and what are your life goals? Give us a glimpse into your bucket list?
As a newly qualified yoga teacher I am really excited to get teaching and start to embody all of the knowledge that I have gained over the course of my training. I am very much open to seeing where it takes me without really having much of a plan (why change the habit of a lifetime eh?). In terms of my other life goals, I am very keen to travel and see more of the world. I would also like to dedicate more time to being creative. I used to love to read, write, paint and draw, but I never make the time to do this anymore, so I would love to rediscover my artistic side! I never want to stop learning and there are so many areas that I would love to pursue in the future; massage, aromatherapy, ayurveda…The list goes on!

Do you have any tips and advice for those wishing to pursue their dreams? Do you have an inspirational quote or mantra you live by that you’d like to share?
Dream – dream big, dream small, but mean it. Trust in the process, and trust in your inner voice or gut feeling that is guiding you. Try not to be disheartened or distracted by the opinions of others, it is your life and your happiness, so why should anyone else govern it? I believe that the practice of setting a Sankalpa can be very helpful. A Sankalpa is a short positive affirmation that you repeat three times at the start of a yoga or meditation practice, such as ‘I am enough’ or ‘I trust in my wisdom’, which blooms and blossoms in your unconscious mind.
lotus pose with prayer mudra
To get to know Sarah a little more, follow her on instagram or read her articles on the Bad Yogi Blog.

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