My name is Jo Hutton and I founded Happy Yoga Newcastle to share with Newcastle the positive and life changing experience of yoga. I had a vision to create classes that would bring the ancient of art of yoga into the modern world in an accessible, fun, and joyful way.
In 2004 I stepped into my very first yoga class at Drama School, and my life changed forever.
I remember in my first yoga class thinking that there was no way my body would ever be able to move or bend like that of the teacher, I felt frustrated by the relaxation and amused by the Oming. I had an idea that yoga was all about pushing your body into unfeasible and ridiculous postures, I felt competitive with the other girls in the class to be the most flexible and I left the class with my body feeling punished and my mind feeling frustrated.
Luckily this first taste was not to be my only experience of yoga.
Into my class timetable was scheduled at least two lessons of Iyengar Yoga a week for the duration of my four year course.
After a while (and thanks to the patience of my teacher) yoga stopped being new and weird to me and I was able to accept where I was coming from and start with that. At first, I engaged with my yoga practise on a very physical level. I have always had issues with my weight and didn’t have any respect for my body, I smoked heavily, drank every night, I was always on a faddy diet, and I didn’t have a regular sleeping pattern. Through Yoga I managed to reconnect with my body. To stop treating it like an enemy to be tamed and punished but instead to honour it as part of me. Once this happened healthy choices became easier, I stopped smoking, my diet became stable and my sleep improved dramatically, (though I do still enjoy a glass of wine now and then).
Then slowly, very slowly I found that I was able to sit still longer, that I enjoyed time on my own and I became interested in meditation and relaxation, which I now can’t imagine my life without.
I don’t think that people have to change everything about their lives in order to engage with yoga, I think that small changes to their daily lives can make a big difference, helping them become more self assured, more confident and happier.
I don’t believe in pushing your body beyond its limits, I believe in going to those limits and honouring them. Through regular practise your limitations will soften and you will be able to do more every time. I believe its beautiful discovering how much your body can do but in order to do this safely you must have patience. It’s my responsibility as a yoga teacher to create an environment where people feel safe to listen to their bodies and are confident enough to just do what they feel comfortable with, even if the person next to them has their legs wrapped around their head.
After graduating, from Drama school, I trained at a leading Yoga Academy and gained a 200 hours teaching qualification, specialising in Pre and Postnatal Yoga. I am accredited by the International Yoga Network, insured by the Independent Professional Therapists International (IPTI) and also hold qualifications in Children’s Yoga, Toddler Yoga, Baby Massage as well as David Sye’s Yogabeats, Four Step Foundation Course.
I love teaching yoga and I feel blessed and privileged that I am able to deepen my knowledge and learn more through teaching others.