BBC radio producer Katy Wright on teaching Yoga

BBC radio producer Katy Wright on how she serenely juggles two careers

It must have looked a bit odd to anyone passing St Chad’s graveyard in Otley Road: a young girl performing a series of unusual stretches beside plaques showing the names of those cremated and buried there. But there I was, behind the beech hedge in the memorial garden, a place I’d actively chosen over the hard concrete yard at home, perfecting my yoga poses.

I stopped whenever I heard footsteps at first, but then I soon became too busy enjoying the experience to even notice other people.

That rare warm summer 14 years ago was when I got hooked. Another passion developed shortly after – radio – harking back to weekends spent with siblings recording Children’s Radio(oooooh!) on my yellow cassette player.

As I nurtured a career in Marconi’s medium, I continued to benefit from regular yoga practice.

It kept me energised while helping to run a community radio station one summer, gave me the stamina to broadcast all day from the Great Yorkshire Show while working at BBC Radio York and enabled me to keep my head when producing Jenni Murray at Radio 4.

Yoga turned out to be a good accompaniment to a demanding job, but years went by before it occurred to me it could actually be my job too.After a class one day in York, my yoga teacher told me he needed an operation, was looking for cover and wondered if I’d ever thought of training. I hadn’t, but I was interested.

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He offered to train me up enough to cover his classes while he recovered. I nervously agreed, and went on to study both the postures and the philosophy in more depth. I was glad to be a student again when my teacher returned, but a seed had been sown and I started to think more and more about becoming a fully fledged yoga teacher.

Then one sunny afternoon at a small beer festival in York, I bumped into one of the students I’d taught. She said how much she’d enjoyed the classes and asked if I had any of my own. When I got home later that day, I dug out the well-thumbed application form I’d had squirreled away for months.

In February last year, I went to Edinburgh’s Union Yoga Centre to begin a part-time course while still working full-time at the BBC, which proved to be a tiring but convenient arrangement that meant a weekend in the Scottish capital every six weeks as well as lots of home study.

Since qualifying, all sorts of teaching opportunities have presented themselves, from working with teenage girls at a prestigious boarding school to being invited to guest teach at a yoga club made up of people who’ve been practising together for more than 30 years.

Perhaps most significantly, I’ve been taken on at the beautiful new York Yoga Studio; a job I’m able to juggle with my radio work as the BBC has let me go part-time.

So now I can indulge both my passions and get paid for the privilege – leaving plenty of time for other leisurely pursuits which, thankfully, no longer involve graveyards.

For more information about Katy’s yoga business, visit yogabuzz-york.co.uk.

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