Nord Anglia Education
Nord Anglia
11 October, 2021

Staff Wellbeing - Yoga with Ms Kelly Mordecai

Staff Wellbeing - Yoga with Ms Kelly Mordecai - staff-wellbeing--yoga-with-ms-kelly-mordecai
Staff Wellbeing - Yoga with Ms Kelly Mordecai

Ms Kelly Mordecai leads a staff yoga class at our Madinat Khalifa campus. We interviewed her to explore how the class has been received and the benefits of yoga. 

Tell us a little bit about yourself

What is your position at Compass? How long have you been in Doha?

I am the Whole School Director of Juilliard and Head of Music at our Madinat Khalifa campus.  I first moved to Qatar in 2010 and taught in Dukhan for 3 years.  I then moved to Beijing in China for a year, followed by 3 years in Bangkok, Thailand, before I returned to Qatar in 2017.  I have been here in Doha since then and I joined Compass in January 2020.

When did you first start instructing yoga?

I started practicing yoga just under a year ago, to help improve my mobility for other sports I participate in (netball, rugby, weightlifting, etc). I quickly fell in love with the practice and was lucky enough to have some amazing teachers at the various studios I attended classes at.  The yoga community here in Doha is extremely supportive and I enjoyed seeing the progression in my practice with the guidance and encouragement given to me.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions I decided not to travel over the recent Summer holiday and instead completed my 200 hour yoga teacher training online with a yoga teacher who used to teach here in Doha.  I have been teaching yoga since I completed this in July.

Do you have any accreditations to mention?

RYT200 (registered yoga teacher with the Yoga Alliance)

200YTT with advanced philosophy (200 hour yoga teacher training)

30 hour Yoga Nidra training

I currently teach the following types of yoga; Vinyasa, Detox Yoga, Restorative Yoga, Power Vinyasa, Yoga Nidra, Stretch Yoga, Yoga Basics.

How did the idea of implementing staff yoga materialise in our Madinat Khalifa campus?

Yoga has helped me manage stress and fatigue through my own practice and I was keen to give back to the community after completing my 200YTT.  When Ms Laura Anderson-Rice heard that I was now a qualified yoga instructor she asked me if I would consider offering yoga classes for staff – which was something I was happy to do.

How long has this been running on the campus?

We began staff yoga at the start of this academic year and it has been running weekly after school this term.

What does a typical class look like?

Classes vary each week, according to staff requests! Some weeks we will do some power vinyasa if everyone is feeling energetic, other weeks we have a more restorative session involving yin yoga or stretch yoga.

What benefits are there to yoga?

So many!  Physically, it improves strength, balance, flexibility, helps relieve back pain, improves heart health, boosts metabolism, and helps you to sleep better, among other benefits.  Mentally, it increases self-esteem, decreases stress, anxiety, fatigue, and depression, and it sharpens concentration and helps create mental clarity. 

Since I began practicing yoga, I have noticed that I now have more control over my emotions and am able to deal with stressful situations in a more calm manner.  I am definitely not calm ALL of the time, but yoga has helped me to let go of things that are outside of my control, so that I don’t continue to carry them with me.  I am also amazed at what my body can now do at the age of 36! Sirsasana (headstand) is a favourite asana (pose) of mine now that I have this in my practice, although it took me a lot of hard work and many tumbles to get there!