With thousands of yoga teachers in the world, what sets YogaLondon’s tutors apart is their unique histories, their personalities and their expansive life and yoga experience. Loretta met Mother Theresa at the age of 10, trained as a physiologist and speech and language therapist, volunteered in Mexico, lived in New York City and raised three children. She’s a prime example of a well-rounded YogaLondon tutor.
Loretta grew up in Suffolk, one of 12 children. Her eldest sister Annie, who learnt yoga while studying ballet at boarding school, first introduced her to yoga. On school holidays, Annie would come home and teach Loretta and the rest of the children how to do yoga. There were other activities going on in the family home that left a lasting impression on Loretta. Her mother was part of an organization that supported Mother Theresa’s work in Calcutta long before she became a household name. When Mother Theresa first visited England, she took Loretta and several other children from the local church on a walk and told them a story and a prayer that they could repeat. She said “Whenever you’re asked to do something which you know is right, but which you find hard to do, say to yourself: ‘I Do It For You’” – and you can count one finger for each word. That prayer, and the experience of meeting this enigmatic woman, has never left Loretta.
Whilst at school, Loretta had a biology teacher that deeply inspired her. That, combined with her fascination with the functioning of the human body, led her to study physiology at University College London. Upon graduating, she obtained further professional qualification as a Speech and Language Therapist. Loretta believes that the inability to communicate is one of the greatest causes of human frustration.
After finishing her studies, Loretta spent two years travelling in the USA, Mexico and the Caribbean. She undertook a wide variety of work during that time, including volunteering at Annunciation House, a place of refugee for asylum seekers on the Texas/Mexico border. With her skills in Spanish, she was able to run a clothing bank as well as assist in the medical clinic. The experience of helping so many disadvantaged people suffering from the effects of treatable diseases had a profound affect on her.
Upon returning to the UK, Loretta pursued a career as a speech and language therapist. She moved with her husband to Kent and continued working until her third child was born, at which time the family then moved to America. It was during this hectic period of her life that Loretta was re-introduced to yoga. While her husband worked 12-hour days in New York City, and she managed the household and their three children, Loretta realised she needed an outlet for herself. A yoga class presented itself to her, and without hesitation, she made it a priority.
Within a few years, her yoga evolved from once a week to a consistent and regular practice. It informed everything she did, as well as solve a medical problem that had developed after the birth of her third child. She felt that she’d been waiting her whole life for yoga.
By the time Loretta returned to England, four years later, her yoga practice had blossomed into something she did every day. If she didn’t do yoga in the morning, she felt as though she hadn’t brushed her teeth. Instead of resuming her vocation as a speech therapist, she decided to re-train as a yoga teacher. She undertook her Teacher-Training with the Yoga Academy and qualified in 2007.
Shortly after qualifying, the Director of the Yoga Academy, aware of Loretta’s background in anatomy and physiology, asked if she would devise an anatomy course for their yoga trainees. Developing the course became a challenge and a passion for Loretta, allowing her to integrate her knowledge of anatomy with her experience in yoga. She knows that many people come to the anatomy section of a teacher-training course with a great deal of trepidation. For Loretta, she deals with this by making the subject accessible, enjoyable and useful. She asks herself when teaching, ‘will this make them a better yoga teacher?’. Only if the answer is yes, will she teach it.
Loretta began teaching for YogaLondon in 2013. She teaches anatomy as a means of helping trainees understand how the study of the body is absolutely relevant to yoga. Her teaching is based on practical examples. She watches as her students begin to understand how integral anatomy is to their teaching and how they can apply this knowledge to their own practice. Watching as her students warm up to anatomy is the most rewarding feeling for her. She teaches on our 200hr and 500hr advanced course, in addition to her private teaching in Kent.