When I was setting up my yoga business, it didn’t take long for me to decide that Empower Yoga was the right name for what I was trying to achieve through my teaching. Already tired of seeing yoga represented as a relatively gymnastic activity for the physically adept, I wanted my classes to send people away feeling stronger and more confident than when they arrived, both in their body and mind as well as in their practice.
Now in my third year of teaching, that message seems to have done its job. My classes are full of women who want strong and healthy bodies, and who are proud of what they achieve on the mat and in life. On my mats are the shy, anxious and insecure, the overweight, the frail, and those with a huge array of physical limitations. All are welcome at Empower Yoga, where the fundamental approach is simply to do what feels good in your body. No pressure to achieve a pose, but simply embracing an overall mindset of ease and fun.
I’m not one of those people who has always been healthy and active, or who always felt at home in their body. As a clumsy kid, I didn’t like PE at school and skived off games. By 32 I was very unhealthy, a bit too heavy and was eventually diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) after I became barely able to function. I literally fought my way back to health through martial arts and, although I had dabbled with yoga on and off since I was 16, turning 40 brought me back to it more fully as a way of maintaining a healthy body and mind while I was busy getting punched and kicked. I trained to become a yoga teacher at 42 and as a personal trainer when I was 44! It’s never too late to make a change to move yourself closer to a healthy and happy lifestyle and I am delighted to have many women in their 40s and 50s as my clients, who I hope to inspire with my personal journey.
My years of martial arts training and the strength and discipline that comes with it makes me a better yoga teacher and PT. I support my clients to develop power and confidence. They measure their success by how many press ups they can do or by the strength of their chaturanga, not by how much they weigh or by the size of their jeans. I am so proud to have built a clientele of strong females (and the occasional guy who is brave enough to join in!) who shout about my classes and who happily flex their muscles on our Facebook page.
I am therefore delighted to wear Yoga Leggs while I’m teaching my classes. Cut high on the waist, they stay put while I work and are perfect for those of us flying the flag for fitness over 40! Representing a brand put together by strong women for strong women, Yoga Leggs was an obvious match for Empower Yoga and my coaching practice, Brainbox.
Tracy is a yoga teacher and personal trainer based in Bristol. She founded Brainbox Coaching in 2004 and Empower Yoga in 2014, and is also a nutrition coach, self-defence instructor and writer for the Personal Development Trainer Centre (PTDC). She has been featured in the Guardian and OM Yoga Magazine and has struck a yoga pose on the cover of Cardiff Life. You can see Tracy on TV from January as a featured instructor in the weekly series, Be Fit Bristol Fit. Her ethos is all about helping people to achieve their healthiest, happiest and most confident life.