I was introduced to asana, pranayama, mantra & meditation by my mother. An introverted child; I was fascinated by the opportunity these practices gave me to explore my inner space and find peace away from the busy, noisy life of my family.
When a family move took me away from my friends at 8 years old; daily yoga posture, breathing & meditation practice became my way of coping with the new bigger & louder school I found myself in. My inner world was more interesting and peaceful than what was happening around me.
Both my inner & outer worlds changed significantly during the period 1982-1986 following a series of seizures, brought on by photo sensitivity & the stress of going to an even bigger and louder school. I started to find simple tasks difficult, and had to learn how to do things that I had previously taken for granted from scratch. My yoga & meditation practice gave me a framework within which to relearn movement, speech and behavioural patterns that I had lost during the seizures. It also changed the way I started to think about life & consciousness. I felt increasingly alienated from the world around me and withdrew into myself for a few years.
Eventually I found an opportunity to engage again through studying history, philosophy, psychology & the sciences as a young adult. I also found the Bhagavad Gita and the Yoga Sutras. I left the UK to travel, eventually finding myself in the rainforests of Australia, where my meditation practice gave me the first glimpse of the natural yoga being state I had enjoyed since before my seizures.
After tuning in again, I had the strength to return to the UK & talk myself into university, obtaining a 2:1 BSc in Environmental Science & a PGCE in Physics & Chemistry. I had careers as a research scientist & secondary school science teacher, but these paths increasingly became incongruous with my inner experiences. Inspired by Nature & Godfrey Devereux; I began teaching yoga in 1999, but it was not until 2007 that I left science teaching behind to immerse myself in yoga. I started spending extended amounts of time in various ashrams in India, much of it in silent meditation and study. Here, immersed in my practice and Indian culture, I started work on my own translation of the Yoga Sutras & Bhagavad Gita; fertilised by my intimate experience of the yoga being state & the path I used to get there & interpreted through the lens of my understanding of modern scientific principles.
Debbie Farrar - Yoga Teacher