WENCHE: THE WANDERLUST YOGI ON A MINDFUL MISSION
They take your trip from brilliant to unforgettable. They are students, teachers, white-collar-workers, some reality-averse and many full time explorers. They are bar workers, your drinking pals, new best friends and second hand tour guides. They have grown up on the other side of the world and you’ve met them somewhere in the middle. You don’t necessarily speak the same language but you don’t really need to. You have nothing and everything in common; brought together by a passion for broader horizons that took precedence over all else when you said goodbye to your friends and family.
They’re the ones you meet along the way. The ones who spontaneously come into your life and inspire you, challenge you, motivate you. Your paths cross and they manage to shape or even change yours, whether you realise immediately or not.
We believe these people need to be celebrated and documented, so we’re introducing you to the ones we meet along the way… just in case they inspire you too.
THE WANDERLUST YOGI ON A MINDFUL MISSION
OUR PATHS CROSSED: THE LAKE DISTRICT, UK
Name: Wenche Beard (pronounced ‘Ven-ka’)
Occupation: Yoga Instructor
Nationality / Place of birth: Norwegian / Farsund
Living in: UK – Eastbourne
Countries visited: 20
Favourite place: For the people, lifestyle, food and climate – Greece. For the peace and beauty – Sri Lanka.
Travel/Adventure highlight: Learning to dive in the red sea and paragliding in the French Alps (“That was a big thing for me!”)
Next on bucket list: South America
If I wasn’t here I’d be in: Greece or Sri Lanka
If I wasn’t a Yoga Instructor I’d be: Something involving travel, movement and helping people (“but I can’t imagine my life without it!)
Best advice: Feel the fear and do it anyway.
“I guess I just always knew I was a bit different,” Wenche says with a reflective smile. “All of my friends in Norway seemed to know what they wanted to do – but I had absolutely no idea”. We’re sitting in my deliciously cosy lamp-lit room at the Yewfield Guesthouse in the UK’s stunning Lake District. The all-vegetarian sanctuary is where passionate entrepreneur Michelle King, Founder of Adventure Yogi, has chosen to run one of her many brilliant retreats. I was fortunate enough to have Wenche – pronounced ‘Ven-ka’ – as the instructor during my Adventure Yogi experience. The ultimate teacher of tranquillity, Wenche radiates an effortless elegance and soothing energy that is utterly infectious.
Always a free spirit to her (very toned) core, Wenche boldly left her village in Norway as an idealistic 18-year-old to chase sunshine in California. There, she worked in Venice Beach’s tirelessly trendy cafés and solidified her love of new experiences. During her five-year stint in The States, Wenche moved back home three times out of self-imposed obligation in what she calls “attempts to settle down”. Each time, wanderlust won and she returned to the City of Angels.
But it wasn’t all rollerblades and boardwalks. At 22, Wenche was living miles away from her family when she fell pregnant with her first son. “I’ve had to make a lot of difficult decisions in my life,” she tells me openly. “There have been some ups and downs. But I’m grateful for all of it, because it helps me relate. It’s the human experience – and that is what yoga is all about”.
Wenche started practicing yoga after the birth of her second son, now aged 16. She was living in the UK at the time and “found (herself) on a yoga mat one day, and things just started to get better”. Needless to say, she hasn’t looked back since. After only a year, Wenche commenced her four-year teacher-training course in traditional Hatha Yoga. Inspired to spread this creative way of moving, she started specialising in retreats. The years to follow would see Wenche set up her own studio, Yoga-Life, and share her love of the Vinyasa Flow in the likes of India, Greece, Tobago, Sri-Lanka and Egypt (just to name a few).
Wenche’s holistic and spiritual approach is entirely enveloping and therapeutic. Driven by a deep yearning to help others and take the principles of yoga beyond the mat, she is unmistakably generous with both her time and energy.
“Make choices life that make you feel happy, healthy and vibrant. Don’t be afraid to make those choices – always follow your heart!
"We all just want to be happy. Make people wonder why you’re smiling.”
To experience Wenche's blissful practice on an Adventure Yogi retreat, head to http://www.adventureyogi.com/