Angela Sykes is the director of Yoga Kula Leeds, a Senior Yoga Teacher, and a Yoga Teacher Trainer. She is an ambassador for Sweaty Betty, and has featured several times in Yoga Magazine, including as a cover star. She shares her personal Yoga journey with us below.

When I was 11 I fell from a horse. Although luckily nothing was broken,  since that day I felt stiff, tired and in pain. I developed aches and pains especially in my neck and shoulders and itchy, red, angry eczema.

After several trips to my GP,  being given strong pain killers and steroid creams,  and eventually told I had to learn to live with how my body felt….I carried on not really knowing how to feel better in my body.

At 22 when I had graduated from university, the pain in my body had become worse. I started to think about who could help me to feel better. I was finding that Western medicine couldn’t provide the answers I was looking for, and so I decided to Google the people who lived the longest in the world. After learning that it was Japanese women, I started to think about how I could learn from these women, and realised the best way was to live among them, immersing myself in their culture.Angela // Journey

I bought a one-way ticket to Japan and didn’t return to the UK for three years.

Here, I immersed myself in Tai Chi, Karate, Hot Springs, Shiatsu massage, acupuncture and much more! I learned to cook Japanese food and live the Japanese lifestyle. Over the next few months my body began to feel better and my angry red eczema disappeared.

That’s where the Yoga began.

One day my karate teacher was working on some moves I didn’t recognise from class and I asked which discipline they were from. After explaining that they were yoga postures, she invited me to copy her practice.  I started to work on the moves with the attention and breathwork I had learned in my martial arts training.

And the rest is history, I moved back to the UK in 2010, and I opened Yoga Kula in 2012. Since then we’ve welcomed so many wonderful teachers and students into our community.

If you would like to share your yoga journey, please get in touch!