Bliss Baby Yoga Creative Director and Founder, Ana Davis, reflects on the lifechanging day, 25 years ago when she first embarked on the journey of becoming a yoga teacher.
There are only a very few times in my life when I have felt that I’ve come home, that I’ve found what I’ve been looking for (unlike the song!) and a steamy day in January 1996 was one of those times.
I was 25, newly arrived in the big smoke, Sydney—a disembodying metropolis that had me feeling alone and lonely. I had been combing through the classifieds, why, I don’t recall. Was I looking for something in a conscious or deliberate way?
Those were the days when one read the classifieds with interest and curiosity; we didn’t have the internet then, or smart-phones. I had spent many a solitary Saturday morning with a cumbersome pile of newspapers in an inner-city café, reading, hoping for, what? Connection? Something to fill the hole: of youth, of potentiality…?
Anyway…there it was: an innocuous little ad that was to change my life.
I rang the number. On a phone. A real phone—connected by a phone line in our Newtown share-house. Cream-coloured, the telephone sat in its place of honour on the scuffed coffee table on which my flatmate would insist on resting his enormous Doc Martins, despite my disapproval!
Anyway… the woman who answered was softly spoken and American. There was a smile in her voice and her speech was full with pauses. Pauses that spoke of a quietude deep and abiding. And I wanted ‘in’.
I wanted what she was having!
There I am: ascending the little steps of a back-alley warehouse in trendy Surry Hills—‘Clifton Reserve’, a surprising little oasis, tucked away from the thundering traffic of Crown Street.
The yoga studio was dark but friendly, with strange ropes hanging from the loft-style rafters and moored into the exposed brick walls. The studio’s carpet was thick and pale and was to become a familiar place of repose: enveloping me in a loving way as I lay, like a corpse, sweaty, shaken, and content.
There was an annex-room at the top of the stairs which was to become a place of rowdy, joyful conversation as bodies, both male and female, stripped off their city skins, ready to make peace with themselves.
And there I am: that first day, just signed up to become a yoga teacher, walking back down Crown Street, past the cafes that were to become our post-practice haunts during our year of self-discovery.
There we all were: spilling around teetering tables, languid and light, over frothy cappuccino mugs and tall, fruit-filled muffins.
And I knew it. My body knew it.
I was home.
A nascent fluttering in my belly that rose up and filled the sad spaces in my chest told me I’d found my tribe; I’d found my way forward.
I’d found what my body had ached for, but hadn’t known, until that moment.
And in the months to follow, yoga was to fill my form, joyfully evolving into its prescribed shape: the soft puppy fat dropping away, replaced with contours of toned, long, lean muscles, a straight spine, and a self that was finally sure and whole—that had nothing to do with alcohol or the intellect, or food that comforted, rather than healed.
 This was the great Eve Grzybowski, one of the founders and directors of Sydney Yoga Centre, who was to become my longtime friend and mentor
Ana Davis, Founder and Director of Bliss Baby Yoga, has a passion for a feminine approach to yoga, and supporting women with yoga through all ages and stages of their life. Ana is the author of the popular book, “Moving with the Moon – Yoga, Movement and Meditation for Every Phase of Your Menstrual Cycle and Beyond” which is available as a soft-cover book or Ebook, with 22 x accompanying audio tracks.
Ana has collaborated with Bliss Baby Yoga fertility specialist yoga teacher Rosie Matheson to create our Online Level 1 Yoga for Fertility Teacher Training. She is also the lead trainer on our popular Online Prenatal & Postnatal Yoga Teacher Training Course and Online L1 & L2 Restorative Yoga Teacher Training courses, and offers private mentoring and yoga sessions online, and online yoga classes.
Further Reading related to this topic:
- Celebrating 25 Years as a Yoga Teacher (vlog) by Ana Davis & Beth Ivy Buxton
- The Matriarch and the Maiden: Slowness and Creativity by Ana Davis
- It’s a Lady Thing: Women and Aging by Ana Davis