I began my journey of empowering others by teaching performing arts to children and adults in drama schools, colleges and universities, nurturing raw musical talent and directing shows and coaching for performance. An avid dancer, swimmer and fitness enthusiast, I “burnt out” with an exhausting teaching, training and performance schedule and the burden of personal family conflict.
During months of recovery I began to search for deeper meaning in my life and my journey of healing through movement commenced. Rediscovering yoga from my University days, I began a transformational physical and mental journey of deep insight, meditation and yoga practice. The journey blossomed further on yoga teacher trainings in Morocco and London, Ayurvedic Yoga massage training in India with James Winstanley and Reiki trainings with Torsten Lange.
A few years after teaching yoga, I became seriously ill during pregnancy and spent several months in hospital. My size 8 frame filled up with fluid to a size 18 overnight, damaging my abdominal muscles and leaving my abdomen punctured with tubes. I was drained daily as the abdomen became so pressured, I felt I would explode. I was attached to a catheter, pumped with drug cocktails, inserted with hundred of needles and drips as the fluid persistently filled up over months. Despite relentless, excruciating pain, debilitation and illness, I was able to use meditation and yogic breath to bring about peace at a most challenging time.
5 months into pregnancy, the illness subsided and I began a cautious, limited yoga practice. By 8 months of pregnancy I was practicing a dynamic yoga flow daily, swimming 60 lengths three times a week and practicing hypnobirthing. After 15 hours labour, yogic breathing and yoga movement, I gave birth to my healthy daughter at home, drug free.
My beautiful daughter is now 3 years old and yoga has taught me that the illness during pregnancy was a gift. This gift taught me strength, resilience and mental toughness and brought my “little miracle”. Despite massive changes to my physical body after illness, yoga and strength training helped me regain my fitness and at 38 years young, I feel stronger, healthier and happier than ever!
I live every day with a heart full of love, purpose and gratitude and a desire to share the transformational benefits of the healing arts with others. I am honoured and delighted to share my teachings, experience and healing energy with you!
With love and light. Emma Darwish, Yogareef founder xx