Name: I have two – Catherine Roll and a spiritual name Sat Mohinder. This means by connecting to sacred Truth, I embody my most elevated divine consciousness. For work I combine these as Catherine Sat Mohinder.

Job title: Yoga and meditation instructor. Reiki Master healer.

Employer: Self-employed.

Age: 46.

Where are you from? Lancaster.

Where do you live now? Whitehaven.

Where do you work? Weekly class and one-to-one sessions at West Coast Yoga Studio, workshops throughout Cumbria and admin and accounts at home.

How long have you done this job? 13 years.

Take us through a typical day: To do my job well I need to practise what I teach as best I can. This means living as consciously as possible by bringing awareness to my thoughts, feelings and decisions throughout the day. Yoga and meditation doesn’t just have to be something done in silence for a set time each day. It is great to do this, but the real wonders start when you integrate it into all that you do!

On waking, while still in bed, I bring my attention to my breath and give myself some Reiki. Rate of breathing and state of mind are inseparable. Consciously slowing the breath down brings more control over the mind and is so calming. The mind follows the breath and the body follows the mind!

In over 15 years of practising yoga and meditation, the most valuable thing I have experienced is the benefit of slowing and deepening the breath. I do this whenever I remember throughout the day.

Once I have done this I might get some studying or class planning done in bed before the children wake up and my day gets busy!

Once out of bed I do a sequence of sun-salutations. This has evolved over time to include further stretches and breath of fire, a very energising and cleansing breath. The children often join me for these.

Ishnaan is ancient hydrotherapy massage which involves cold showers. I don’t do this every morning but always feel more energised and alive when I do.

My youngest three children are home-educated and being self-employed means my schedule can fit around them. I teach evenings and weekends when my husband can care for them.

They love yoga and meditation and will be helping plan and teach Family Yoga at The Creating Joy Microfest in Fell Foot woods this bank holiday weekend!

One of the things many people love about Kundalini Yoga is the music used in class. So, as my day continues with a mix of children’s activities, housework and cooking, it is often to the sounds of beautiful mantras. Affirmations and mantras are great tools for lifting your energy and for focusing your mind during meditation.

I prepare most meals from scratch which can take time but eating well today is my investment for future health. Yogic guidance is to choose and eat food consciously. We eat a plant-based diet that is as cruelty-free, fair-trade and as organic as possible We eat a small amount of home-grown food and hope for this to increase over the years.

Being in nature feels good for my soul and we spend as much time as possible learning and playing outside. In West Cumbria we are blessed to have beautiful mountains, beaches, rivers and woodlands on our doorstep.

Seva is a yogic term for service to the community and is an important part of my day-to-day life. I help run a playgroup which opens its doors to welcome all ages once a month as ‘Friday Friends For Everyone’. This is a coffee morning we often run as a fundraiser for different charities. Our last one raised money for The Alzheimer’s Society and people had the opportunity to do the ‘Dementia Friend’ training during the session.

I am also a co-founder of Walkmill Activity Group a community group working with Moresby Parish Council and The West Cumbria Rivers Trust to keep Walkmill Community Woodland in public hands. This role involves lots of communication, some meetings, some proposal writing and currently we are conducting a survey to determine current use of this beautiful woodland.

Evenings could be a class or a one-on-one session. If not, I enjoy a ‘Breathwalk’ (see picture). This is a walking meditation that combines physical exercise (brisk walk) with different pranayamas (breathing techniques), hand mudras and mantra. Breathwalk combines a lot of activities I love, which is great as I have very little free time. It leaves me energised and refreshed for the evening’s work once the children are asleep. This might be admin, promoting new events, preparing classes, learning new techniques or assignments for the year-long training I am doing to become an end-of-life doula.

I could definitely do with more sleep! Once I’ve done as much of my to-do list as I can manage (it is never all finished!) and had some time to unwind I am usually later to bed than I would like.

Although my days are busy I am so happy that work fits around my family life and is something I truly love.

What do you like most about the job? The satisfaction of seeing and hearing how much others gain from the classes and using the techniques I share. People can think that as a yoga and meditation teacher you have everything sussed out and live in a Zen-like state 24/7. Everyone has their challenges and issues, though, and I’m no different. Yoga and meditation help my physical and mental health daily and I love seeing others growing and healing too.

Meditation is said to be like a mental shower clearing out negative, self-limiting thought patterns. We wash our bodies daily yet what about our minds? We are bombarded with information daily. Meditation can help us let go of what does not serve us, leaving our thoughts clearer and giving us greater peace of mind.

I love bursting the illusion that the only way to meditate is by sitting and trying to empty the mind. By giving the mind things to focus on, mudras (hand positions), mantras and different pranyaymas people can find meditation much easier and enjoyable.

Helping people feel safe, welcomed and valued when they come for a class is very satisfying. People comment on how supportive and friendly the class members are and they really are a wonderful bunch of people that it is my pleasure to teach! We can be quiet and peaceful when needed and also have a good laugh at times too. Classes are suitable for all abilities and beginners are always welcome.

One-on-one sessions are extremely rewarding. People come to me for all different reasons and I love planning their sessions and giving them techniques to help. Being paid for something I love and seeing how much it can help others is a dream-come-true.

What do you like least? Admin and accounts are necessary but not my favourite. Being self-employed is flexible but I have to be strict with myself around boundaries and work-life balance.

Why did you want to do this job? Kundalini Yoga and meditation have changed my life in so many ways and I wanted to share these teachings with others. When I heard about the teacher training course it felt like a calling. I just knew that whatever it took I would do it!

What jobs have you done previously? Before teaching was my main job I was an orthopaedic occupational therapist on the trauma ward.

What qualifications or experience do you need? There are many different courses out there, some more comprehensive than others. I did a 200-hour Level 1 Kundalini Yoga course. This covered anatomy, breath, asana – postures, sound and mantra, yogic lifestyle, humanology, yogic philosophy and death, roles and responsibilities of a teacher, the mind and meditation.We were assessed practically, had a written exam, had to attend so many classes, had to teach so many classes and I had to commit to do a meditation of my choice for 40 days in a row keeping a journal about the experience. I am really looking forward to deepening my knowledge in November by starting level 2 at the Sahej Academy.

What is a typical salary for this job? It varies depending how much work you take on.

Any advice for people wanting to get into your profession? It’s a great time to become a teacher of yoga and or meditation as their many benefits to physical and mental health are now widely recognised. Also, an increasing number of doctors are using social prescribing which can include referring people to yoga and meditation.

The NHS website says “Evidence shows that regular yoga practice is beneficial for people with high blood pressure, heart disease, aches and pains – including lower back pain – depression and stress.”

The main thing is to try different types of yoga and meditation to see which type works best for you. It’s easier to teach something you are passionate about and enjoy yourself!

  • New term of classes at West Coast Yoga Studio, Whitehaven, begins Thursday September 5, 6.30pm-8pm. Call 0790 791 6344 for more information. On Facebook search for @satmoyoga, and for Friday Friends For Everyone search @ff4every1.