We all like to know a little more about the teacher when we start a class, and with so many new teachers here at Liberty Wellbeing we decided to introduce ourselves a little more. Here’s the sixth in the series introducing Sally-Ann Cranage

Who are you and what do you do?
I am Sally-Ann Cranage and I have been working as a yoga teacher for 15 years and over the last few years I have been exploring mindfulness. As well as teaching yoga, I facilitate Jon Kabat Zinn’s stress reduction course. I also have a certificate in counselling which has helped me with this. I also am a hypnotherapist, and I am trained in Thai yoga massage. I work from home and also teach four classes a week at various different locations to various different levels of students.

How did you get into meditation?
I always found the meditations at the end of yoga classes a bit wafty, walking along a beach, visualisations that sort of thing and they did not make much sense to me at the time. I have a friend who is a psychotherapist and she went on a mindfulness course as part of her job and I watched her change. So I pursued that route myself and now I integrate it into my yoga teaching, accepting and allowing makes more sense to me.

Who and what inspires you in your work?
My students inspire me in my work. I find my influences have changed – these days I take things from all sorts of people. I really rated Ana Forrest and Iyengar as a yoga teacher in the old days, but now I have become more Yin as I have got older so people like Peter Blackaby have become more inspirational, helping me work with individuals in a more holistic way.

Which fellow yoga experts do you most admire?
As I have evolved, my inspirations have changed. Carol Samuels was the first yoga teacher that kept me on my mat, and that was inspiring in itself. Sheila Webb (a mindfulness facilitator) I love! She oozes calmness from within. These are the people that inspire me, as they have spaces inside them, rather than being like a washing machine where it leaks out through the pores.

When did you decide to become a teacher?
I worked in finance years ago, I have accounting qualifications, and I do not think I made a conscious decision to become a therapist; there was never any “That’s what I am going to do” moment. The path has been organic, from going to my first yoga class to deciding I wanted to know more, and that path has wended its way here.

What five things would you say were essential to being a good teacher?
Timekeeping; maintaining a professional distance; compassion; organisation outside and inside the class; and inspiration for myself, sometimes I forget what I know.

What is the most popular aspect of your teaching role?
I would not say any part of my business was more popular than the other, I think people maybe marginally like the workshops I do as they book up incredibly fast.

Which aspects of your job do you enjoy the most, and which do you find the most challenging?
I enjoy all aspects of my job except for marketing: I find it difficult to big myself up, it just goes against the ethos of yoga. I struggle with that and having to be on Facebook just to keep my website chugging away. I always miss something out on my flyers and get something wrong, plus printers and technology I have a strong disliking for! I enjoy teaching classes the most. They are fun.

If you weren’t teaching for Liberty Wellbeing, what would you be doing with your time?

If I wasn’t doing this job, I would be walking the dogs more, playing the saxophone more. All the things I do now except more of it.

Do you take part in any groups that aren’t part of Liberty Wellbeing?
I am not taking part in any groups at the moment, but frequently do workshops.

What’s new with your yoga practice at the moment? Do you have any new and exciting developments underway?
I am booked in for a breath workshop I am really interested in going further with the breath, and organising a retreat for some of my students and clients. My business constantly evolves on a day to day basis to keep myself and my teaching fresh.

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