Barbara Bhagavati McClements is the founder and teacher of Ananda Yoga Centre in Warrington which offers Hatha Yoga and Meditation classes.
Barbara’s Yoga Journey
I started my yoga journey at the young age of 42 when I was working in the financial service sector. I found myself stressed and tired so started to search for alternative and holistic approaches to health. Rather than go to a doctor to be prescribed pills.
During this search Yoga kept featuring as a combination of relaxation and breathing techniques. Along with physical flowing and long held poses to stimulate energy throughout the body.
I liked the sound of this so I took myself to a Hatha yoga class. I couldn’t touch my toes and giggled all the way through the class, however the teacher was helpful and reassured me that my flexibility would come back.
When I left the class I felt energised from within but the most important thing I noticed was my mind felt calmer. From that day on I went to yoga practice as much as I could. I felt alive again. The stress was disappearing, my body stopped aching and my mind was becoming more still. I felt at peace, something that I hadn’t felt for a long time.
2 years on from my first class and with the guidance of my teacher, I went to India to train as a Hatha Yoga teacher for 5 weeks, where I stayed in the Ashrams of The Sivananda Vedanta Centre.
I decided to train in India as this is where Hatha Yoga originates from. I chose the Sivananda Ashram as this is a place to retreat from daily life. To study yoga and meditation under the guidance of spiritual teachers known as Swamis who have dedicated their lives to teach yoga to all. On top of this I was also given a beautiful spiritual name Bhagavati, meaning Supreme Goddess.
This was a life changing experience for me. When I returned to the UK at the age of 44, I knew I wanted to devote my life to teaching this wonderful ancient practice. I wanted everyone to feel what I was feeling, which was total bliss or “ANANDA”.
So that’s what I did. I gave up my job at the bank and I now teach in Warrington and around the North West. I teach with non-profit organisations, rehabilitation and recovery centres and for Warrington Council and NHS staff. I also have a portfolio of private students and families that I teach in their homes, as well as running and teaching at the centre.
I funded the centre myself with the help of the community as there was no funding available in the Warrington area. By Keeping the cost of the classes low the Ananda Yoga Centre aims to bring people together. So that they can learn and practice yoga in a sacred space. It is our very own Ashram in Warrington.
We need to continue donations of herbal tea and funds to replace yoga mats. If you can help please get in touch many thanks.