Changing your work-life to welcome more freedom and fulfillment is a process and a journey. Here, every month, we will share stories of women who are doing it. Real stories, real transformation. This is a virtual treasure chest -- full of the challenges, struggles, lessons and insights of others -- which you can use to enrich your own path.
This month’s featured “woman on purpose” is Jennifer Bentley a former Forensic Science Team Manager. She’s currently a self-employed yoga teacher.
Describe the big shift you’ve made in your work-life. What led you to that change?
I commuted up to London and back for 4 hours a day and after 10 plus years of doing this I decided to get my work life balance and follow my passion - to study and teach Yoga. My defining moment was being on The Tube in London and seeing a busker who had painted on his guitar ‘Live the life you choose’. I then knew I needed to change direction to find fulfillment. I trained with The British Wheel of Yoga, the governing body of Yoga in the UK which took 4 years. The course was interesting and challenging but putting in effort reaps rewards. I was still working full time and doing a management degree at the same time. No wonder I needed Yoga in my life!
What were you most fearful of in making that change?
I felt no fear at all as I knew it was the right thing to do. I personally had benefited so much from attending Yoga classes I wanted to share that knowledge with others. As Eleanor Roosevelt Quotes. “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams”.
How is your experience of life different now?
I am giving something back every day. I can see the benefits I am able to bring to a wide variety of people. I am keen to promote Yoga as a form of wellbeing that can be practiced by all, whatever your ability. I have seen numerous successes over the 25+ years I have practiced. Yoga helps in all areas of your life and is the perfect antidote to the demands of daily life. I have always suffered from a bad back and Yoga has helped me enormously in this respect. My body feels strong and remains supple. I also have to mention how lucky I am to have met so many great people through teaching Yoga. I am surrounded by happiness and smiles. My Yoga students have such an amazing vibe, I have made some incredible friends for life.
What’s your biggest concern in this moment?
Everyone is so stressed, more demands are being placed on us from every area of life. If everyone could try doing Yoga it would make life experiences so much more enjoyable. Yoga gives a sense of contentment and gratitude for all that we have, even if we are in a place in our life where it could be considered we have so little. The small things in life really are the big things. The philosophy of Yoga helps us to see this.
What are you most excited about going forward?
I want to open my own yoga studio. A haven of peace and joy, a place that welcomes all. No commercialism, no greediness, just the pure essence of Yoga. A Super smiley Yoga hub for inspiration and personal enhancement.
If you could travel back in time, what’s one piece of advice that your current self wishes that you could tell your former self?
Not to worry, not to stress and go with your heart. Heart-led decisions take you where you need to be. It feels good when you get there :-)
About Jennifer Bentley
Jennifer Bentley is a fully qualified British Wheel of Yoga teacher who teaches students at all levels and abilities. Her style is sensitive to individual needs and follows the teachings of Desikachar, founder member of the Association of Yoga Studies or a style known as Viniyoga. Based in North Kent, Jennifer holds weekly classes at Beechen Hall in Walderslade Woods as well as holding personal one-to-one sessions for people with a unique need. She also runs regular Yoga workshops and Yoga retreats designed to reconnect you with the important things in life. Visit her website for more information.