Martine Allars: Journey with yoga

Martine Allars is our valued Head of yoga at Elixr and has been practising for over 26 years. Yoga has been transformative for her mind, body and soul and we are honoured to share her story of how it changed her life.

Hand on heart, I would not be alive today without my yoga practice.

It has been the bedrock that I have clung to through every hurdle, setback and devastating loss. I never thought that when I stumbled into my first yoga class 26 years ago, that it would change the shape of my life – but it has and continues to do so.

Not at first, of course.

Yoga has this way of quietly altering every aspect of you. I remember thinking that the om-ing was slightly cult-like, comparing myself to the uber-bendies in the room and feeling like a plank of purified wood, but mostly I loved how it made me feel better.

I wasn’t sure how it did but it was enough to keep me coming back again – and – again.

This practice of breath, awareness and movement has kept me anchored during heartache and break, chemotherapy, kidney failure, job loss, dialysis, two transplants and the hardest experience of all – losing my father – the person in all the world that I was closest to.

The simple act of lying on my mat, remembering to breathe, the practice reinforced that I was more than my body and the struggle. I often remind students in class that a handstand won’t save your life but knowing how to sit with your discomfort, mind and breath will.

My personal practice is an Ashtanga one, I love that is the same thing each time and observing how I am in comparison. It combines breath, movement and rhythm to quiet the maddening fluctuations of the mind. For me, it brings me peace and acceptance each day and I crave its daily presence in my life.

No other yoga for me has gone so deeply or so thoroughly – without it I am all at sea, and with it, I feel capable of anything.

I invite you to find the practice that feeds your soul and carries you through the darkness that life can bring so that you can celebrate when the sunshine and spring return.

Hope to see you on the mat soon.

To book into one of Martine’s yoga Classes, check our timetable here.