4. Retreats, Boundaries and Wild Swimming with Venetia Adamson

episode description & show notes

Harriet is joined by long time collaborator and work wife, Venetia Adamson.

In this episode they talked about wild swimming, the joys and challenges of retreats, coffee, boundaries on social media and finding your way as a new yoga teacher.

You can find Venetia here:

Read the full transcript:

SUMMARY KEYWORDS
people, venetia, teaching, teachers, retreat, bit, coffee, swimming, training, yoga, feel, nourish, life, teach, harriet, places, week, decaf, person, fire

SPEAKERS
Harriet McAtee, Venetia Adamson

Harriet McAtee
Welcome to In Our Experience, a podcast exploring the many ways of living well with nourish yoga training. I’m your host Harriet, yoga teacher and founder of nourish today I’m joined by Venetia Adamson. Venetia is a yoga teacher and trainer based between Oxford and Hove. Long term members of our community will know that Venetia is essentially my work wife. And as always, it was a really awesome time chatting with her. We could have talked for much longer, but today, we talked about wild swimming, we talked about the joys and challenges of being on retreat. We talked about coffee, boundaries on social media and finding your way as a new yoga teacher. I’m really excited to share this conversation with you. And as always, we’d love to hear what you think. So pop us a message or an email. You can find how to contact us in the show notes. Right on to my conversation with Venetia. Hi Venetia.

Venetia Adamson
Hello.

Harriet McAtee
How are you doing?

Venetia Adamson
Yeah, not bad. Thank you. How are you?

Harriet McAtee
I’m well, I’m excited to have you here. Feels like, it’s been a long time coming.

Venetia Adamson
Yes.

Harriet McAtee
So welcome to, In Our Experience, which is the name of this podcast. And every week, I start by asking the guests the same question, which is what’s nourishing you and to help you I will share mine first. And it can really be anything. It can be silly. It can be, you know, deeply profound, if it needs to be. But I will, I will share my nourishing thing with you first, which is I just had a weekend off and I spent a lot of it in bed, reading a book. And it was just, it was so good. I didn’t really want to go anywhere or see anybody. And

Venetia Adamson
It was a stormy weekend as well.

Harriet McAtee
So that’s my nourishing thing, what about you?

Venetia Adamson
Well I’ve already told you that mine’s food based. Always. I just had a really delicious if not too brief, a lunch. It was an Asian rice salad. I didn’t make it. It was full of good stuff. And then I topped it off with like a very sweet lemon and white chocolate cookie. Just to like, make my teeth hurt.

Harriet McAtee
I love a lunch pudding.

Venetia Adamson
Yeah, there should be pudding. I have pudding after breakfast is essential. It’s like,

Harriet McAtee
What do you have? What’s a breakfast pudding?

Venetia Adamson
Oh, it could be anything. It could be very, it could be like a cube of chocolate or it could be like, you know, a piece of cake. Depending on the day of the week and what’s going on? Yeah,

Harriet McAtee
Yeah, I had a lunch pudding today I have my lunch and then I was like, you know, not enough. And then I had like, a pitta bread with peanut butter and maple syrup.

Venetia Adamson
I just knew you were gonna say that. Like, I didn’t even need you to finish that. It’ll be peanut butter and maple syrup. Yes, yes. Yes. Yeah.

Harriet McAtee
Delicious.

Venetia Adamson
Yeah, we’re adults, we can do what we want. That’s the beauty of being 30. Lunch puddings. Yeah. Gorgeous.

Harriet McAtee
I love it. We’re living our best life.

Venetia Adamson
Yeah. Deeply nourished by my decision.

Harriet McAtee
Great. Well. Thanks for sharing that with me.

Venetia Adamson
That was really personal. I feel vulnerable.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah. Well, let’s talk a little bit about you because you’re the guest this week. So tell me a bit about your background and what you do and also like how you would describe what you do.

Venetia Adamson
Oh, gosh, okay. Who am I? I am Venetia. I am I used to be based in Oxford. I’m now based in Hove I’m going to say Hove because there are some rivalry between Brighton and Hove I say and I’m a Hovian. Based in Hove, teach yoga, train with do the lead the trainings with Nourish or at least assist leading trainings for Nourish, dog owner, wild swimmer, that’s all you need to know.

Harriet McAtee
That’s quite there’s there’s a lot there for us to dive into.

Venetia Adamson
I just bought myself a changing rope so I’m getting serious about the the swimming

Harriet McAtee
Which one did you go for?

Venetia Adamson
Can I do a plug?

Harriet McAtee
I mean they’re not sponsored they’re not going to give me money they might give you a rope

Venetia Adamson
It’s the company called passenger so driver interesting that like half the price and recycled and like this really gorgeous like rust orange, which makes me feel like some sort of beacon on the beach that people can see me Yeah, like a really good orange and then when I’m on the beach friends just they can always find me.

Harriet McAtee
We will link to them in the show notes because one that is not the ubiquitous DryRobe

Venetia Adamson
I don’t think you even get the dryers that are sort of sold out.

Harriet McAtee
I also just think they’re obnoxious.

Venetia Adamson
Don’t wear them to the supermarket. They’re for swimming and changing.

Harriet McAtee
I see people I see people walk past the boat constantly with them. Yeah, cuz I’m in the river. And I’m like no, I mean I understand that I’m in a really uniquely privileged position where I get out of the river and into my nice warm boat. Yeah, still there’s something about the Dry Robe where I’m just … they make me want to cry.

Venetia Adamson
Yeah, I did. I sort of really had to have a good think about whether I wanted to take the plunge but I’m, I regret nothing. It’s the best purchase of the last year. And it has taken my cold water swimming to the next level. So I went in last night and it was really really quite cold, but I don’t think so.

Harriet McAtee
What’s the water temperature at the moment/

Venetia Adamson
Probably like 12 degrees.

Harriet McAtee
That’s fine.

Venetia Adamson
It’s fine. I’ll keep going until I don’t know what’s the wise thing

Harriet McAtee
the coldest I swam last year the coldest the river got to was like 3, 2-3 degrees.

Venetia Adamson
Oh that’s bitter.

Harriet McAtee
Which is like technically ice swimming. Yeah, yeah,

Venetia Adamson
I’m worried. Well, this is gloves and sock free still. And then we’ll go into like glove territory. And then hat that I might have to get some sort of like light wetsuit. I’ve got like a steamer. But that’s too much. You can’t swim in that.

Harriet McAtee
I wore booties for the first time on the weekend for a swim, but I was swimming. I swam a distance like I was in for like 10 minutes. Yeah, yeah, so booties felt good. It wasn’t just like a splash.

Venetia Adamson
No, no, you need to take Yeah, cuz I need your hands if you do get very cold. Right. But

Harriet McAtee
what do you enjoy about the the wild swimming the cold water swimming because I think everybody comes to it with a slightly different thing.

Venetia Adamson
Yeah. I started doing it when I was in Oxford, and it was like river swimming. And then the rivers never quite as cold. I think it was for just the shits and giggles initially, it’s like, I’m not like an extreme individual. But I do like an adrenaline kick. And it’s just about my level of like, Oh, I feel my endorphins kicking in, I feel kind of alive. But it’s like safe. Like I’m not jumping off a building. There’s a satisfaction that comes with just like marching down to the sea, across the shingles in front of the tourists and other like beach goers. And just walking straight in it feels it feels like it also it kind of I can use some of my you know, I can use my, the experience I have in like pranayama and like breath work. And I can utilise that, ease myself in, stay very calm. It’s also I think at the moment, being very screen based. Because we teach on Zoom a lot. And everything’s digital. It’s like the best, most immediate way to get completely out of like your head. Just brings you into your body. I like it. I like the like physicality of it. There’s no escape. It’s like you can’t just you can’t not know you’re doing it. It’s like a slap in the face. In the best way in the Best Sexy, sexy, sexy salty slap in the face.

Harriet McAtee
Well, I think there’s something special about salt water as well. I miss salt water.

Venetia Adamson
yeah, it feels I mean, that said, I keep an eye on the pollution levels. But in the summer, there was like turquoise clear days. It was very, very therapeutic. Yes. I know. The river swimming is gorgeous as well.We both win.

Harriet McAtee
It’s different. Yeah, we both win. I agree. But well, let’s talk a little bit about teaching because you do do a lot an awful lot of teaching.

Venetia Adamson
Yes, I do

Harriet McAtee
With me. Yeah. And we have worked together for a very long time. I was thinking about this today. I was like, How long have we worked together? And I think it’s got to be like five, five years. Because was it 2016 when you started teaching for Yoga Quota?

Venetia Adamson
Yeah, yeah, we met like the start of that year.

Harriet McAtee
That’s true. Yeah. Wow.

Venetia Adamson
Yeah. And we went straight into the deep end. Like we didn’t even court. We were like, we just like, we like just went for it. Like, be my work wife.

Harriet McAtee
I know. We’re deeply committed to each other. Yeah, I mean, we’ve done we have done an awful lot since then, whether it was like retreat. We’ve done a lot of retreats together.

Venetia Adamson
A huge number of retreats. We know each other’s rhythms.

Harriet McAtee
We do, we’ve shared a bed. In a platonic sense….

Venetia Adamson
Sometimes. There’s definitely spooning. hard, hard spooning. you know we know I know when to get you a snack. You know when to get me a coffee.

Harriet McAtee
We just in sync, basically the same person at this point. Well, let’s talk about the retreats a little bit because I feel like this is something that really stands out for me in our relationship with something I absolutely love doing with you. But also, I think that they’re something that other people do less well than us.

Venetia Adamson
Humblebrag

Harriet McAtee
Well, that’s fair comment, right? We’ve run, you know, at least a dozen retreats.

Venetia Adamson
Yeah, and the teacher training ones which have been about kind of leading people into the next, like the end of their trainings like, yeah, it’s like it’s sort of like a it’s a special thing. Like being that when people are finishing their journey of their teacher training, it’s it’s a it’s a specific thing to manage and like a specific space to hold. But we do them very well. I mean, I think what we do is put food right at the centre of everything.

Harriet McAtee
This is true.

Venetia Adamson
Food and giggles. It’s lots of fun. Food and fire sure the like famous fire marshal,

Harriet McAtee
Fire warden .

Venetia Adamson
Fire warden dangerous around fire, but also very cautious there’s in the interesting dichotomy…

Harriet McAtee
I don’t think I’m dangerous around fire.

Venetia Adamson
There’s like a disregard, but also like a fascination and like a concern for everyone else, like no one come near. We don’t want to fill out a form if you get burned. But also I will stand over this fire and throw things at it for the next six or seven hours. until the bitter end.

Harriet McAtee
Well, I think I have I have a deep respect for fire. But I also like you’ve got a I don’t know… if you show fear. Exactly the fire can sense it. And that’s when I think it’s gonna take advantage of you if you’ve got a like, yeah, you got to show it who’s boss.

Venetia Adamson
Yes, exactly.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah, we do put Well, there’s like the thing about food. And the thing about fires, I guess is that there are ways of gathering people. Yeah, always. Yeah, bringing people together.

Venetia Adamson
It’s a very organic way to get people to get to know each other and open up without it being contrived, or, or like, micromanaged, like, you provide food people sit, they start talking. You can’t not learn something about someone when you see like, how they like how they behave in those situations and

Harriet McAtee
How they use their knife and fork.

Venetia Adamson
oh, my goodness, yes, judgement. Or like, there’s so much like, in why people eat, what they eat, and their associations with food, and then their associations with like, meals, and then you break into like families and like, cultural stuff it’s fascinating.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah, I think one of the things in a sense that we think what happens in a good retreat space is that the facilitators sort of set the stage and create the foundation, but then they have to step back.

Venetia Adamson
Yeah, you were not like the main attraction, we can’t You can’t be the star, it can’t be about us. Because then that’s an unsustainable way of leading retreats, because then we have to be on and like clowning around, which no one wants. We thoroughly enjoy, but no, it no one’s there for that. Also, it puts it it’s not I think like it, it’s not really about us, we’re just like creating like a nice warm environment for people to relax into. But hopefully, like they establish their own. They establish like, connections within those groups. And yeah, they don’t remember us. They remember each other, and the meal times and the fire pits and all the rest of it.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah, that is, that is a really good point. I was gonna say like, I missed those retreat, but also I don’t?

Venetia Adamson
Yes, so much work…

Harriet McAtee
We did so many. There was a point where I think we’re doing four training retreats a year, like one every three months,

Venetia Adamson
and then sort of like our own retreat and day retreats.

Harriet McAtee
We were busy for a while there weren’t we…

Venetia Adamson
So busy. It’s one of those, I can’t quite figure out how to do all of it. Now that my schedules changed dramatically, and like life has changed and still is bit on, it’s not quite gone back to how it was. I had I used to do all of it.

Harriet McAtee
Mate I don’t know, I used to teach 20 classes a week. Yeah. Plus teacher training what was I doing… was I on speed? I don’t know. (I wasn’t on speed!)

Venetia Adamson
What’s going on, when did we sleep? Oh, my god can you imagine? Harriet, founder of Nourish Yoga Training on speed? That explains her productivity. It would have been a mess.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah, not my drug.

Venetia Adamson
No, no. Coffee. That’s how we kept going. I did spend

Harriet McAtee
I stopped drinking coffee.

Venetia Adamson
When?

Harriet McAtee
Have I not told you this?

Venetia Adamson
No, no,

Harriet McAtee
I went on. Well, I went on my own retreat

Venetia Adamson
so that explains why I couldn’t find coffee at your boat.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah, sorry. I didn’t think about buying some for you.

Venetia Adamson
I stumbled out I staying at Harriet’s boat FYI. Yeah, for the listener.

Harriet McAtee
Really Venetia looked after my cat

Venetia Adamson
I looked after Pickles and I was staying on Harriet’s boat and I woke up early early in desperate need of caffeine and there was none to be found.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah, I’m sorry. No, I stopped drinking it.

Venetia Adamson
I started crashing about Ah, congratulations.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah, I feel liberated.

Venetia Adamson
What was the what was the kind of initial

Harriet McAtee
Well, yeah, I went on retreat with Nev.

Venetia Adamson
Yes. Oh, of course. You’re not allowed to have coffee in those two weeks.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah, so Venetia, and I share teacher and I went on retreat with him for two weeks over the summer. And there’s no coffee. And do you know what? I really thought I was gonna miss it a lot. And I just didn’t.

Venetia Adamson
Interesting.

Harriet McAtee
And I was like, Ah, I’m obviously like, it’s one of those things where, like, I was clearly ready to give it up. And then I came back and like, you know, a couple of times a week, I’ll have a decaf. You know, I was I was that person having like, two cafetieres at home every morning.


You used to have, like, quite a scary amount of Yeah, yeah, like a capacity just to put it away.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah. And I’m just like a much more mellow person now that I don’t, and I didn’t think it ever really affected me in terms of like, you know, anxiety or mood, but it’s quite it’s been quite a substantial shift. And it’s been like, nearly four months now. I don’t know, it’s because you don’t live here anymore. You abandoned me.

Venetia Adamson
Maybe the last time we had a coffee. You didn’t say decaf oat flat white. And I was like, interesting. Maybe she’s having an off day. No, no, it’s a new life decision.

Harriet McAtee
Well, the thing that I’ve always conscious of is whenever I go out with any of my friends, and they order a decaf I’m like they’re pregnant.

Venetia Adamson
Yes. Pregnant. Oh, yeah. Something something’s happening.

Harriet McAtee
Like, honestly. But not pregnant.

Venetia Adamson
Not pregnant. Just just making different decisions

Harriet McAtee
Just decaffeinated.

Venetia Adamson
Oh, gosh,

Harriet McAtee
But I’ll still I’ll still bring you a coffee.

Venetia Adamson
Ah, lovely. Yeah. I mean, I’m still Yeah, I’m still very much an addict. And yeah,

Harriet McAtee
I mean, it’s delicious. I love it.

Venetia Adamson
I could have. So I went on that same retreat with Nev, but I cheated. I know. This is a break. This is like a an exclusive. I took coffee.

Harriet McAtee
I cheated but in different way. I took chocolate.

Venetia Adamson
Are you not allowed chocolate? I made chocolate for everyone. And I made like a vegan chocolate thing.

Harriet McAtee
Well, I think it’s like it’s like a it’s like a sugar thing. Not

Venetia Adamson
It’s a stimulant as well. Yeah, cacao.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah. I mean, I made hot chocolate for people one day, but yeah, it was like

Venetia Adamson
sugar free one?

Harriet McAtee
Yeah, I think I put honey in it. So no. But anyway, I had like a stack of like Lindt that I was working my way through. Look I needed I needed I needed I needed something.

Venetia Adamson
You need something you need something to like, because it’s such a quiet retreat. And like, I love it. With long sits. Yeah. And it’s gorgeous. But it’s also if you are used to more kind of like piggy stimulating kind of peaks and troughs of the day. And it’s all sort of one level. Yeah. It’s obviously very good for you. Oh, but it’s also such a transition. Yeah. Yeah. No, I definitely cheated. I took coffee. I wondered if people could like, smell it on me. I was like, it’s so bad. It’s like when I was like, ashamed of myself was I failed myself. No one else no one else knows. But then I really also, like nah, didn’t care that much. Yeah, I like care about certain things. I kept everything else pretty like, yeah, under control. I was sleeping a lot.

Harriet McAtee
It’s interesting. Yeah, I slept really well in retreat. I mean, we’re also doing like, eight hours of practice a day. Yes. Yeah. So, you know, a little bit of coffee or chocolate I don’t think is the end of the world.

Venetia Adamson
Oh I know. It’s all about perspective.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah. I agree.

Venetia Adamson
I’m so happy for you.

Harriet McAtee
Thanks babe. So let’s talk a little bit about teaching yoga, because I think all of the like, we’ve had a lot of conversations about teaching yoga and practising yoga. And I think you always have really, sort of interesting and insightful and also quite particular views about things. Yeah. So yeah, so like, talk to me a little bit about that, particularly like what you see. I think one of the things I really notice and I really respect about you is that you have a degree of professionalism that I think is quite unique in the industry, you really show up, you work really hard. And, you know, you’re incredibly experienced because of that.

Venetia Adamson
Yeah, I really, I did not give myself a break. When I first started teaching. I went straight from a 200 hour in like Ashtanga vinyasa to a 300 hour in Ashtanga vinyasa, like with little to no space, which I like I taught a bit between them. I’d been teaching a little bit beforehand, you know, unaccredited just dipping my toe to be like, do I really want to do this? But for I remember holding myself this incredible standard, even when I was doing my training, and we were expected to teach members of the public at the yoga shala, like people would show up they wanted to do classes with the trainees like we were very well trained. And so you know, it wasn’t like we were shortchanging them of anything but yeah, I put a lot of pressure on myself did a lot of homework. Just never felt. This is perhaps what people now call you know, what’s it called? Intruder.

Harriet McAtee
Imposter syndrome?

Venetia Adamson
Imposter syndrome. Yeah, I didn’t even know the word for it. But like, I didn’t ever think that that applied to me. But I think that’s what it was. I just didn’t think I was. I didn’t have the experience. I didn’t have any right to be teaching. Like, why would people come to my class when I hadn’t? You know, I was so new in my journey.

Harriet McAtee
It did take me a long time to convince you that you could teach on the teacher training as well. Yeah, I think I nagged, you for like three years. Yeah, I was like, Oh, I don’t know. I just, I think I’m so I don’t hold I don’t pedestal anybody. But I am also like, in, like, I have a huge amount of reverence for the teachers who I have and the decisions they’ve made in their lives and the commitment they’ve made to their practice and their teaching and like, how authentic it all is, and how much of their lifestyle it was, always questioned myself as to whether I was doing enough or being enough or was I real, you know, and also, I didn’t really, I didn’t really come to teaching with like, a gimmick. Like, I didn’t come to it as like a performer, or a musician, or some sort of visual, you know, art, like, I didn’t have a thing which I attached to teaching like a, an auxilary kind of passion or project that I felt, you’re not a hyphen

Venetia Adamson
I’m not a hyphen, I will become I have become a hyphen. But I wasn’t to start with and then all my training everyone was, and I was like, Oh, they’ve just got more to offer than I have. So I think I just put myself under pressure to work really hard, and do as many trainings as I could, and like, do my homework. And then when I first started teaching, I just didn’t really want people to pay me, I was like, no, no, I’ll pay you. Please just come to class, I need to get experience. And so I that attitude of like, I need to take every opportunity because it you know, this is I’m like, I’m riding a wave of good luck. I don’t know where it’s going to run out. I don’t know if I really like I need to prove myself to myself and everyone else. Like that took a long time to shake. That was years of like, I thought maybe after a year of teaching, two years of teaching three years of teaching that would that would fade. But actually, I kind of put more and more pressure on myself to do more and continue to train. But ultimately, it’s, it’s been for the best, even if I’m driven myself a little bit insane, doing endless trainings and working mad hours.

Harriet McAtee
So how’s it softened somewhat now.

Venetia Adamson
Yeah and that’s probably just age. But I also think the last 18 months has taken the I was going at such a pace I was teaching six days a week. You know, teaching back to back classes, I would start early in the morning, finish late at night, and drive around the countryside. I do the trainings at the weekend, we do retreats, I remember coming back from retreats and doing two or three classes the evening off the, you know, last day of retreat, like there was never any respite. And then I go off and do some more training. And then last year, everything stopped. And it was just teaching, there wasn’t the opportunity to run around like a headless chicken. And now I like and then I lost momentum for a second. And now I’m like slowly starting to like build back up, but it’s probably a better pace and more sustainable pace at this point.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah. I don’t know about you. I really find myself I just have so much less tolerance for the rushing about.

Venetia Adamson
Yeah, I don’t think any of us can, like our nervous systems have changed.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah, we’ve like, recalibrate,

Venetia Adamson
We’ve recalibrated, and we’re like, I look at my old diaries. And I’m like, what was going on? Yeah. So but then also, I’m so grateful that the you know, the first sort of five or six years of my teaching career was so jam packed, because it’s put me in a very good position to know that I’ve got the capacity to do a huge amount. I don’t have to do that amount anymore. But I can do it. I can I can step up and I can. I can really like show up when I need to. But yeah, it’s sort of stepping into a different phase of teaching now.

Harriet McAtee
A more mature phase?

Venetia Adamson
I’m maturing. Yeah, it’s like the second trimester now.

Harriet McAtee
I think that’s a really that’s a really good way of, of looking at it. I think I had a similar experience of my early years of teaching, which is why I think we, we resonated a little bit at the I think I’ve been teaching couple years longer than you but yeah, yeah, I think that first year first 18 months that I was teaching, I just said yes. To everything. Like literally somebody wanted me to teach, you know, like whatever anybody wanted. I said yes to Which I was in, I think I was really lucky in that I was in a position where I was able to, like my life enabled me to say yes to everything. And like you, I was teaching like six days a week, and I would often teach my first class at 6:30 in the morning, and my last class would finish at like nine o’clock at night.

Venetia Adamson
It just casual like 16 hour days.

Harriet McAtee
I mean, it was in Australia, so it was a bit better paid than it is here.

Venetia Adamson
I think that’s also a very real aspect of like, why do new teachers, teach as many classes they do well, quite often we get paid less, we get like a lower rate. And we’re told that we should be getting paid less. Because when you’re teachers, and it’s quite hard to like, know when you’ve levelled up? Yeah, but also the like, you know, a lot of studio work is not, it doesn’t work in the favour of the teachers, it works in the favour of the students and the owners. The teachers sort of absorb some of the costs.

Harriet McAtee
I agree. I mean, this has been a persistent frustration of mine for years. It’s like, no matter which way you slice it, it’s not students that lose out it’s not studios, it’s not venues, it’s always teachers who absorb the…

Venetia Adamson
You know, we don’t get sick pay. No, we don’t get any holiday. If we want to take a week off, we have to pay for it twice. Yeah, you know, you have to work it. You work that week, you add it in somewhere. That’s perhaps also, you know, the fact that I haven’t been travelling as much recently, I think I used to sort of work such a crazy schedule, because I’d be like, well, if I want to have a month off this year, even if it was split into like two or three trips. Yeah. I have to work and extra month.

Harriet McAtee
You were always travelling actually, I forgot about that.

Venetia Adamson
Yeah, I usde love it. Now I’m like mmm. I can’t even get on a train. I don’t want to there’s no rush? No, it’s quite nice. Like just being and sitting still for a bit. But yeah, the travel was like a major draw to this kind of world as well. Because Yogi’s love beautiful places, we’ll like find the most like exotic like gorgeous location, and we’ll set ourselves up there.

Harriet McAtee
Where’s your favourite place? You’ve been your favourite place?

Venetia Adamson
Oh, gosh. It’s probably there’s so many places that I love. And they’re all completely different to one another. I actually love Costa Rica. But then I love places like Vancouver and the two could not be further apart.

Harriet McAtee
And of course you did Bernie Clark’s Yin training in Vancouver?

Venetia Adamson
Yes. And yeah. And then I sort of spent another couple of weeks just sort of backpacking almost around there. I was hitchhiking a lot, hitchhiking a lot around Vancouver. Yeah, and go to different islands on ferries, and there’s all these kind of little yoga pockets over there. The kind of grassroots studios and stuff. I don’t know what the scene is now. Because I know some of those studios didn’t fare well in the pandemic. Yeah, but it’s a really interesting place and the teachers are all just like really high calibre of teacher over there, very down to earth, very affordable. Like it didn’t seem like inaccessibly priced any of it, but perhaps that’s the conversion. So really like Vancouver? You know, I really love Yeah, places you know, like Central America, but that’s a much more. That’s much more about the the, the typography and the the climate and the slowness of their, their day to day. Everything just takes a bit longer those parts of the world.

Harriet McAtee
I quite like that.

Venetia Adamson
Yes, lovely. You could spend all day just sort of going and doing like a grocery shop. Yeah, cooking a meal could take five to six hours, you know, depending on the weather. If it’s stormy, it might take you longer. Yeah, you have to go and get things and then you know, all of our but there’s also gonna be the sunset, we have to go to the sunset. And then, you know, suddenly like life slows down.

Harriet McAtee
Just sounds delicious.

Venetia Adamson
Yeah. So, yeah, all of those places. I mean, hopefully, I’ll be able to go back to them soon,

Harriet McAtee
I’m sure you will. I’m coming back to this, like down to earth-ness that you were mentioning in, you know, teachers that you’ve seen elsewhere. I think that’s also something I really appreciate. Appreciate about you and your teaching is that you’re a real person.

Venetia Adamson
Not an avatar.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah, but you know what I mean, you’re not like,

Venetia Adamson
oh, no, I Yeah. I’m not curated

Harriet McAtee
One of those sorts of teachers. And I say that with love, but there are that, you know, currated is a really good word for it, actually. Yeah. You you sort of show up with your whole self.

Venetia Adamson
I don’t know if there’s any other way to be. I

Harriet McAtee
not in a sustainable way. I don’t think.

Venetia Adamson
I wonder if it you know who it benefits firstly, perhaps it’s sort of like a survival mechanism to initially, you know, initially we perhaps put a mask on when we’re teaching, but um, it didn’t really. I think I was too embarrassed to be anyone other than who I was. Also, when I initially started teaching, I was teaching people who I knew. So I was like well I behave, how I behave with you, like, I’ll be friendly and light and, you know, keep things easygoing, and you know, it’s yoga. We’re not going to pretend it’s anything else, like, you know, how can I make it accessible to, you know, the people who I know in my life who are just starting off. So? Yeah, I also think there’s such a big I find I’m not not very present on social media, you might be aware of this. My reluctance is, it’s noted. But what I find very jarring is when I meet a teacher in person, I really connect to them, I think, great. They’ve got a great way about them. That’s like a warm, an openness. And then I see their social media. And it’s it’s not them. And that to me is a very discordance there, is very upsetting. I find it I’m very sensitive to it. And I don’t know if I will be less sensitive, less sensitive to it if I just spent more time online. But because I spend so little time online, when I feel that there’s a disconnect between what I’m being sold, and what I’m seeing in the person, like something in me becomes weary or cynical. So

Harriet McAtee
I hear that yeah, this is something I often wonder about me, as well. I don’t know like, like, because you you’re like you’re in yourself, right? Like you can’t see it from the outside. But, you know, I’m very conscious that. Like, I enjoy Instagram. And I have ever since it began, whenever it was, but I, you know, it’s become more and more work for me, as time has gone on. And I was I was actually like, looking at my Instagram profile today. And I was like, Is this me? And it’s so funny, because every time I post something, it always feels genuine. Like I don’t post anything in an inauthentic or contrived way. Like I’m not. You know, like, when I write something, or I post a story, it always feels very real in that moment. But then like, looking back over a collected history, in a sense, which is what it is, I’m always like, oh, you know, but I guess it’s just like one lens on somebody’s life, isn’t it?

Venetia Adamson
It’s like us rereading an old diary. I mean, like, oh, I don’t feel that way anymore. But I did at the time. It just, it’s more public. So we’re constantly broadcasting what was previously private.

Harriet McAtee
That’s true.

Venetia Adamson
I think maybe I sort of hold myself to standards, I don’t hold other people to like I don’t, I would think far too long and hard about everything that I put up online. And I admire the sort of freedom in which you can share very real aspects of your life. I mean, like, this is an insight into who I am. And here’s my home, like, this is my life. And people obviously really love it and connect to it.

Harriet McAtee
Who doesn’t love seeing Pickles?

Venetia Adamson
adorable little spotty bellied kitten? Delightful.

Harriet McAtee
I don’t know. It’s so interesting to me. Because at this, like, it’s interesting hearing you say that, because I do really enjoy sharing, sharing pictures of my home and things like that. But at the same time, I’m very aware that there are things that will just never, they will never appear on social media for me.

Venetia Adamson
Of course, well, yeah. I mean, the version I know of you is not the different version to the social media version. It’s just that it’s you+, it’s like you and a good way to think about it. Yeah, it’s just that you’re not you’re giving a lot, but you’re not giving everything. And then if we that’s the distinction, I think, which is important, is that it is always just like a snapshot. We can’t know someone fully nor should we, because that’s an intimate thing. That’s that’s for to happen on a very micro level, not the macro, it wouldn’t be like sustainable for you to connect.

Harriet McAtee
No, and I don’t want to take over the world. You don’t want to take over the world. Like

Venetia Adamson
I can’t be arsed.

Harriet McAtee
Who’s got the time.

Venetia Adamson
I’m too lazy. I just I the number of times a day like that can’t be bothered

Harriet McAtee
somebody somebody recently asked me and I was like, oh, earnestness of this question. It was beautiful, I nearly laughed. But they were like, What do you dream of doing in life? Like, that’s a that’s a big question. What do you dream of doing in life? And I was like, I just I just want to live like a small life.

Venetia Adamson
A happy, small life

Harriet McAtee
Yeah, I want to do my work and make a difference where I can but I’m not interested in taking over the world.

Venetia Adamson
You don’t want fame and fortune power, influence.

Harriet McAtee
I don’t know I have a podcast now, so…

Venetia Adamson
I met you can take the best bits, I guess it doesn’t have to be as binary as you know, it’s one or one or the on the other way. Yeah, yeah. I mean, the teachers who I really connect to the most are these sort of, I guess they become, they’re less and less typical now. And as much as they’re off grid, like, in like in a online sense, they don’t have a digital footprint. And what I see for those people is that they, there’s so much less time taken up by things which don’t really work, like don’t serve them to use, you know, the parlance of our times.

Harriet McAtee
And it takes time to sort of figure out that as a new teacher, and then also just, I guess, in life in general,

Venetia Adamson
I think my I never wanted to be on social media, and it was a real.

Harriet McAtee
I know, you were dragged kicking and screaming,

Venetia Adamson
I was just, I remember the first teach training I did, I was so like, I was so uncomfortable that everyone was posting, this was also in the early days of Instagram, when it was definitely not what it is now. I was aware of it. I didn’t really use it myself. And I was like, do I Is this necessary? Like, am I am I going to be able to do this without it? Or am I being incredibly naive?

Harriet McAtee
I think you’ve done pretty well.

Venetia Adamson
I mean, I’ve sort of I’m a full time teacher, and I’ve joined Instagram this year. I feel like it’s a success. But I also I realise

Harriet McAtee
I’ll make you a badge.

Venetia Adamson
I also realised that it’s like moments in time and like things shift and then like, you know, I’ll have to kind of play the game for a bit, at least for a while. Things will swing back. I don’t want to be resisting, because actually the resisting becomes quite tiring in itself. And then you become cynical. I was becoming cynical about social media.

Harriet McAtee
And then I think it’s important,

Venetia Adamson
so much good that comes from that as well.

Harriet McAtee
Finding your way of doing it. I think is quite useful.

Venetia Adamson
Boundaries. Just finding a boundary. Yeah. Which I think is how people do it. Well, yeah. When there’s distinctions,

Harriet McAtee
Well, speaking of social media, we are reaching the end of our time here. It’s just flown by. So where can where can people find

Venetia Adamson
You can’t? Sorry! No, I do have an Instagram, which is @venetiayoga. We’ll link it and a website, which is probably more up to date. Um, I also got email me guys. I’ll chat. venetiayoga@gmail.com. No, I mean, yeah, Instagram websites. Also Nourish is probably one of the best ways of sort of see what I’m doing.

Harriet McAtee
I’ve got my paws on you.

Venetia Adamson
Yes, I’m very much in the fold.

Harriet McAtee
Your’re, my work wife.

Venetia Adamson
Yes. And quite right.

Harriet McAtee
Well, thanks so much for coming and chatting with me today. I love you so much.

Venetia Adamson
I love you too!

Harriet McAtee
Bye

Venetia Adamson
bye!

Harriet McAtee
Thanks for listening to In Our Experience. Don’t forget to subscribe, rate and review the podcast. We love hearing what you think and it makes a really big difference. In the meantime until the next episode comes out, why not check us out on our Instagram account @nourishyogatraining will pop us an email via our website. See you soon!

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