Having only ever done one or two random yoga classes in my twenties and never particularly taken to it, my introduction to Iyengar yoga through Lorraine at Ulpotha – a magical retreat in the jungle in Sri Lanka – couldn’t have been better. I arrived tired, anxious, with aches and bad posture as a result of months of working too many hours and not getting any exercise. Lorraine promised she would fix me. I thought that was optimistic and that I’d be lucky if I could just switch off for a bit but she really did fix me!

Being the only one on the course to not actually practice yoga was a bit daunting but Lorraine made me feel completely included in the class by effortlessly tailoring bits of it for me and helping me through all the new and trickier asanas. That she managed to give classes to a group whose experience levels ranged so dramatically from zero (my case) to professionals whilst making everyone feel challenged and imparting new insights is a testament to her ability as a teacher and deep understanding of Iyengar yoga. I continue to attend Lorraine’s workshops in London as I am now totally convinced of its healing and strengthening effects.

Ulpotha provided me with the most perfect setting in which to start my journey with yoga practice and to re-energise. The daily yoga and swimming in the lake, the proximity to nature, the delicious organic and fresh vegetarian food, the Ayurvedic treatments as well as the company of warm and interesting people from all over the world – including the Ulpotha residents – made this the perfect retreat for the body and soul. It was just what I needed and I can’t wait to go back next year for a booster.