My name is Ciara Bomford.
I am a trainee yoga teacher, with a small class in Abergavenny, South Wales I love teaching yoga – it is my favourite part of the week, and I am so blessed to have enthusiastic students who are keen to explore all aspects of yoga – asanas (physical poses), relaxation, chanting, meditation and philosophy. Yoga Teacher Training with Universal Yoga has been one of the best experiences of my life, a real opportunity to grow and develop both my yoga practice and my whole life.
I first started yoga when I was 17. I was so stiff, downward dog was agony. But I carried on practising, and when I experienced anxiety and depression at university, it was yoga that got me through. This was the point that I started a daily yoga practice, although I can’t say I have kept it up continuously ever since – many things, including children, part-time study, travel and fluctuating levels of motivation have interrupted me along the way! Nevertheless, I have always come back to yoga in times of need, and the difference it makes to my sense of wellbeing, positivity, courage and resilience is immense. I try to practice for at least half an hour every day.
I have done many forms of yoga along the way – Sivananda, Iynengar, Kundalini and many years of Ashtanga. A turning point for me was doing an intensive Yoga Mind course, with Ade Belcham, and studying the Yoga Sutras for the first time. I realised that it doesn’t matter in yoga how flexible you are or what difficult poses you can do. Yoga is just a way of preparing you for meditation. It’s all about the mind. If you are touching your toes and thinking about your shopping list, you are not really doing good yoga. That very stiff person who cannot touch their toes, but is totally concentrated on their breathing and physical sensations is doing much better yoga! I followed this up with a Mindfulness course, with Sue Weston, and I try to bring that mindful attention to all of my practice.
My teacher training is in Sivananda Yoga, and I love the way that Sivananda embraces the whole of yoga, not just the physical aspects. Meditation, self-inquiry, philosophy, chanting and relaxation are just as important.
I have also been a Career Development Practitioner for 22 years, training at the University of East London to complete a Diploma in Career Guidance and later a Masters in Career Development and Management. It was an inspiring course, and I have always loved working the career sector. When I sit with clients and talk to them about their dreams, fears, barriers and hopes, I feel so privileged and can hardly believe that someone would pay me to do such an interesting job.
Over the years I have always been interested in the theory and skills that can help practitioners to be more effective, and I have studied counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy, motivational interviewing, mindfulness, coaching and mentoring. In recent years I have been responsible for training trainee Careers Advisers and for CPD for qualified Careers Advisers in my organisation.
I am the co-author of “Creative Career Coaching: Theory into Practice” with Liane Hambly, which will be published by Routledge on 30th October 2018.
I am a member of the Career Development Institute and a Registered Career Development Professional.