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My story: how I got here

Updated: Jun 26, 2023

Until Covid struck, I was on a clear career trajectory. I had 20 years’ communication experience under my belt, I’d worked hard to build a strong reputation, and I was helping to shape the future direction of my profession. In the months before lockdown, I’d been promoted to a job I thought I would absolutely love, but within weeks I realised it hadn’t been the right move.

At the same time, my dad was taken into hospital and I was travelling with my sister for eight hours every Friday to see him. The chats she and I had on that journey helped me realise that I wasn’t happy. Not just because I’d chosen the wrong role, but because I was ready for something new.

And then, my dad died. I hadn’t expected it, and it hit me hard. The fact that the whole world went into lockdown a month later suited me. I wasn’t ready to rejoin my old life. I was grieving but felt pressure to get over it more quickly than I was. Everything stopping gave me the space I needed to look after and rebuild myself.

Joy in movement

While many people found lockdown restrictive, only being allowed out for an hour of exercise each day helped me remember how much I loved to move. I had been practising yoga daily for a few years, but had crammed it into my already busy morning routine. Now I took it outside, spending lunch hours in the garden, stretching and truly switching off from the noise of my working day.

The impact was immediate. I had to (and still do!) really concentrate on the poses, which quietened the chatter in my mind. I slowed down my breathing, which helped me to feel more grounded. And I didn’t work through lunch! Just an amazing achievement in itself.

Longer term, I noticed that I was getting stronger, both physically and mentally. I didn’t feel quite as stressed. I could step out of a situation and see it more objectively. And I could carry heavy bags - really this was a big deal, I’ve always been a bit of a weakling!

I wanted to help other people feel the same way, so in the very depths of lockdown I signed up to train as a yoga teacher. It was one of the best things I’ve ever done!

The power of coaching

And then I was offered a chance to train as a coach. I was completely up for it. I’d been coached before and it was powerful. What I didn’t realise at that point was that I would love coaching other people so much.

Making a difference really matters to me, and from the moment I had my first practice session, I knew that I wanted to learn more. Seeing someone make a connection or have a revelation is amazing, listening to someone work out how they’re going to make a change is inspiring.

So I spent my mornings before work reading about different coaching techniques and trying out tools. I roped in colleagues to be coached by me. And I started to think about how I could make more of this. (PS I also qualified to be a happiness facilitator - amazing - but that’s another story!)

Taking the leap

I had the beginning of an idea: to support women to live a happier life through yoga and coaching. I didn’t want to regret not trying it, and I knew I didn’t want to do it alone.

I found a team.

I worked with a coach who asked me questions that made me think about what really mattered to me, how I could bring together yoga and coaching, and what I wanted (and needed) from a business.

I worked with a branding consultant who helped me spend time deciding what I wanted Yoco Studio to be known for, and what I wanted to offer.

And I called on an amazing group of women who shared their wellbeing experiences with me so that I could make sure what I was offering would make a difference.

And now…

Since opening Yoco Studio, I've worked with women who've gone on to change career, leave a toxic workplace, and make big life decisions about where (and how) they want to live.

And I’ve helped women with mobility issues to build strength, flexibility, and confidence, so they’re ready and excited for group yoga classes.

I’ll leave you with what some have said:

I whole-heartedly recommend working with Fiona. Having the time to focus on something that really matters to you with the aid of someone like Fiona guiding you is something you won’t regret. You have to put the work in but do it and see how your life unfolds.

HC, Tonbridge

Fiona is a natural coach and creates a really safe space to talk. Her fantastic support helped me to explore and reach my goals. I felt fully supported and listened to - thank you for everything.

DR, Glasgow

I was a complete newby to yoga and was anxious that I wouldn't be flexible enough to get into the positions, however Fiona was amazing and talked me through each position, even changing them if I found them uncomfortable. I am really enjoying our weekly sessions and would thoroughly recommend Fiona to everyone.

Becky, Tonbridge

We all deserve to live a great life, but what great looks like changes over time and sometimes we find ourselves stuck living in a way that isn’t right for us anymore. I support women to live a happier life: through prioritising their wellbeing, doing more of what they love, and focusing on what really matters to them.

I offer yoga and coaching together, and separately. What would be a good fit for you?

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