Becca is one of the best therapists we’ve ever met (and we’ve met a few) as well as being a yoga teacher and all-round brilliant human being. You can find her and her healing hands wandering around the Portuguese coastline, or amongst our orange grove here at Soul & Surf.
Hi Becca. How are you?
I’m great thanks, enjoying the stillness and feeling grateful for the freedom I have for now.
Tell me a bit about your style of yoga and therapy
My yoga and Shiatsu draws from Five Element theory, which provides the foundation for a holistic approach to healthcare and supports the balance of our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.
I’ve trained in several quite different styles of yoga. I like to challenge my students with stronger practices, but also engage the more subtle realms of our being through awareness of the energy body. I do this through my bodywork sessions and classes using acupressure points, breathwork and meditations, alongside more familiar traditional asana practices.
How do you connect with the present moment?
Meditation, yoga, surf and walking in nature. Oh and dancing as much as possible, usually round the kitchen table.
What made you choose Portugal?
I’ve been coming here for a music festival since I was 18 and grew to love the country. I wangled myself a job with Soul & Surf in India, and with incredible luck made it onto the team in Portugal, which was where I wanted to settle! Portugal has a laid back vibe that I had been craving when I lived in London. I might go to other places – but Portugal definitely feels like home for now.
Most adventurous trip ever?
Hmm…there are loads. Before I became a therapist I worked as a campaigner for tribal peoples’ rights for seven years. I spent three months per year in very remote tribal communities in Peru, Colombia and Southern Africa. I don’t actually know where to start with some of the mad stories – I don’t think you’d even believe me!
But perhaps the best trip with the biggest adventure was in Colombia where I worked with the Arhuaco tribe, who live in the highest coastal mountain in the world next to the Caribbean sea. One day, after visiting a community, I was in a car with the tribe’s leader when we were attacked by several gunmen. The leader of the tribe was shot three times – luckily he was fine – and we managed to escape.
In hindsight it sounds pretty awful, but the aftermath was spent drinking rum and doing healing sessions with the tribe, who are the kindest and most beautiful people I’ve ever come to know. My boss told me I should probably come home after that, but I ended up staying for another six weeks!
What role does the ocean play in your work and life?
Water is life. I used to live on a boat in London, and it was the only thing that kept me sane in the madness of the city (it also drove me a little mad). I love the rhythm of water and the calming effect it has on my nervous system.
I also appreciate more and more the contradictory nature of this element. It can drive fear through your bones when you see a massive wave over head and I’ve left the surf crying salty sea tears plenty of times. But it always sorts me out one way or another.
What are your thoughts on travelling and the impact on the planet?
This is such a conundrum for me. Travel is my greatest passion and privilege, and has been the focus of my whole life. But I feel more than ever that I can’t ignore my responsibility to the planet – and plane travel is having such a detrimental effect on our ecosystem. I will be limiting my movement in planes, and travelling by public transport as much as possible. But also, I really want to go to Japan so… the conundrum continues.
What do you think the benefits of travelling and exploring the world are?
For me it’s so important to explore and learn about different cultures. Having the good fortune to spend time with peoples from such different lands – and with such different ideas about life – has given me more compassion, more joy, and a greater appreciation for life. I’m a better person for it.
Do you have any sustainability goals, projects, tips or routines?
I want to stop using plastic. I want to stop taking any unnecessary flights. I pledge to move slower and not buy crap on the go because I wasn’t organised enough.
S&S is all about Now / Soul / Risk / Balance. Do any of those strike a chord with you?
Balance, I’m a Libran! Constantly striving for this one and mostly failing. Portugal is helping, surf is really helping and yoga is my daily practice to keep me in check.
Also risk. If you don’t take risks, then zero adventures are coming your way. It’s so important to get out of your comfort zone. Covid has taught us all that we need to be adaptable and make uncomfortable decisions. The more you practice the easier it becomes.
Where’s next on your own travel bucket list?
Japan, all the ‘Stans for hiking, Ethiopia, Madagascar, New Zealand, more India always, somewhere warm to surf… no planes though. I’d quite like to go and see my mum back in the UK too when we can!
And finally – what does Soul mean to you?
Soul is spirit. It’s the energy that lies beyond or behind action and physical form and is what allows us to feel calm, safe and held. It’s the place from which all the other emotions arise.Back to Journal