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  • Vicki Shields

Cancer was my gift, but it was time to change, to evolve.

Evolve Yoga Teacher Training was exactly that – an evolution. Powerful medicine for the soul. Little did I know when I was embarking on the year long journey that would truly be one of the most profound healing experiences I have undertaken.


I have nothing but gratitude and praise for the quality of teaching I received, It is a thorough grounding in the ancient principles and practices of yoga.

A more therapeutic approach to yoga asana enabled me to take that terrifying journey inwards and find the hidden treasure: the answers to what my body, mind and soul needed to heal. In each yoga posture we are encouraged to feel the body, to become aware of the sensations arising, to listen deeply to what the body needs. It’s not easy; Vicki tells us ‘the yoga mat is your battlefield’ – but its worth is beyond measure.


I came to the 200hrs Training knowing I needed change. I had finished active cancer treatment eighteen months earlier, and my body felt broken and scarred. The medication I had to take stiffened my joints and weakened my bones.

On the third teaching weekend I cried in a corner because my body was painful and alien. We were not friends. I was frightened to go inwards and hear my body’s message. As a nurse pushing myself to work 50 hour weeks on snacks and poor sleep, I had pushed myself to my physical limits. I had thought I was invincible. I had literally ‘bent over backwards’ for everyone else, never myself, and something had snapped. Cancer brought me home; yoga gave me the key to get in the house.


Connection to the breath furthered this journey and I began to reconnect, like putting the pieces of a broken but much loved ornament back together. Using the breath to open the body, feeling the life force coming back into my limbs, finding the peace of mind and renewed resolution to heal.


My fellow yoga students and our community has been a revelation. We have supported each other in tears, pain, joy and laughter. We are friends now for life, and our time away at the Trigonos retreat in Snowdonia was incredible, and our community is woven together by the most magical of threads.


The teacher training was a gift to myself and you do not need the body of a gymnast or plasticine limbs. What is unique on the course is that everyone gets given a practice custom built for their body, their dosha, their energy level. We all then get to practice this together with the guidance and assistance of both Vicki and Sammy-Jo. I realised when I had gone to classes before that the pace was too fast. With my own sequence to practice I could take my time, I could feel every move, expand every breath. In this way it is not a competition of the bendy people. It is your personal journey to bring you back to yourself. And if you wanted to share it with others after you qualify, you can!


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