'The bravest, most ridiculous decision of my life, turned out to be the best.'


Brave or crazy. Those were the words that kept going through my mind as I contemplated reinventing myself – moving from a well-paid job in the stressful, youth oriented business of advertising to yoga teacher.

It was the best move I could have made.

In my mid-fifties and going through menopause I found that I wasn’t enjoying my role in advertising as much as I had when I had started my career many years earlier. I was no longer enamoured with the excitement of TV commercial shoots and long hours.  And with this thought constantly plaguing my mind, I made the decision to undertake a course in yoga teaching.

The downside of this decision was that, although I had kept myself fit, I had only done a few odd yoga classes here and there when my youngest daughter was a new baby. In fact, when I look back at my decision I can’t believe my audacity.

But it was my audacity and it was my fuel.

"I made the decision to undertake a course in yoga teaching." Image via iStock.

I chose a part time yoga teaching course that I would complete over a two year period, hoping this would give me the time I needed to properly learn yoga and integrate it into my mind and body before I had to face any prospective students.

Then reality reared its ugly head. I hadn’t studied since school days and anatomy and physiology required a huge amount of study - all those muscles, bones and organs of the body. I wasn’t the only ‘older’ person doing the course and interestingly we were so determined to achieve that we all did really well. I became totally immersed in yoga. The history and philosophy of yoga, pranayama and meditation, the asanas, all of it.

And, as planned, with the dedication and knowledge of my teachers, I received my diploma two years later.

The next step, of course, was to find a class to teach.

By chance my yoga teacher and mentor offered me a class on a Sunday afternoon. It wasn’t an established class but it was a start. The class was duly advertised by letter drop and word of mouth (not your expensive TV, radio, or even press ads that I was once accustomed to). In the end, just one student arrived for the 90 minute class. She came back the next week and the one after. Eventually a few more students came but the numbers were very, very low. There was no way that I could live on an income from one class and so few students.

" In the end, just one student arrived for the 90 minute class. She came back the next week and the one after." Image via iStock.

But I wasn’t going to give up. I decided to use my advertising experience and wrote an article for the local newspaper advertising a new class for over 40s, and to my immense surprise they printed it. The power of advertising won out and the class was filled.  It was both thrilling and daunting to front a class of 16 people after having so few before. But they came to the first class and continued to come along week after week.

And so my reinvention had begun.

Slowly, slowly I built up the number of classes and the number of students. And now, 13 years later, I have enough classes and students to keep me busy, to keep me satisfied and to keep me happy.

I love the work, I love my students, I have time for myself and my family. I’m calmer, more compassionate, more empathetic. While I might not earn the money I once earned, I’ve found that I don’t need as much as I thought. I’m at peace with myself.

It was brave and it was crazy, but reinventing myself was the right thing to do.

How have you reinvented yourself?