Jamie Denham

West End QLD

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I first discovered yoga in 1989 in Norwich, England, while studying at the Norwich School of Art. I was very passionate about painting; it was not only the act of painting that I enjoyed so very much but a profound stillness that would arise when so absorbed in the present moment. At this young age, I lived one day to the next, just being enjoyed, with no grand plans just expecting everything to work out. So after leaving the art school with a degree, but not much of direction with what to do with the skills I had, the outside world was a great shock. It was not coincidental that at this time, I start to suffer from high anxiety and panic attacks, also that I started practising yoga. I soon noticed the only relief I got from the anxiety was when doing yoga, it had a soothing and calming effect and would last many hours after the practice. I also observed that in the same way when painting, yoga also opened a gateway to a profound stillness within. I painting, however, which was a matter of chance whether this state would arise, I could see that yoga if done correctly, and it was a key to this stillness — driven then as I had been with painting to look deeper into the art of yoga, travelling to India to meet many great teachers of varied traditions.