About Amanda"My passion for Ayurveda goes hand in hand with my yoga journey" - Amanda Graham
It is my amazing life experiences and travels since the 1980’s, living, studying and working in Africa and Asia, the Middle East and now France that have given me the confidence and knowledge to realise my dream and offer a place for retreat. My wish is for people to find what it is they need at Chez Vallée… whether it is peace and quiet, fun and laughter, support and therapy.
A common thread through all of my experiences has been my Psychotherapy and I have had the privilege of working with some amazing mentors in the UK and Asia. The study I have done over the last 20 years doesn’t come close to the experience my clients have given to me while they have been on their road to recovery and self realisation and for this I am truly grateful.
My career began 25 years ago working for the UK government helping people with drug and alcohol issues. I spent several years helping people with learning disabilities and also mentoring ex-offenders with alcohol and drug problems. I then moved into private training companies working with the same demographics but also helping women returners to return to the work place after several years of absence.
I developed and ran courses for these people to build confidence and help them believe in themselves once again. These courses were a huge success! In more recent years I began taking referrals through schools and from a Psychiatrist in Kuala Lumpur. My client base then became much more family orientated and the problems very much related to the expat lifestyle, both young people and families.
My yoga journey began as a result of a series of events in my life which forced me to take a look at my own work life balance, but I also soon realised the benefits yoga could have on my clients. Having been a relatively late arriver to the yoga community (I was in my 30’s before I did my first downward dog) with the help of the right yoga teacher in the UK it soon became a daily practice. I am a great believer that there is no such thing as coincidence… we forge our own destiny… and on arrival in Malaysia with my family, during one of the most challenging years of my life, support came in the form of two of the most amazingly gifted and modest teachers I have come across.
For the next few years I had the privilege of studying yoga, pranayama and Ayurveda on a one to one basis with both of these yoga masters, slowly being encouraged by them to begin to teach and share my love and knowledge with others. What they taught me was that it was not about knowing everything but about your attitude and ability to share what you do know well and with total modesty. Life to me is a continual learning process. Yoga therapy became a passion to me, being able to make a difference to someone who is suffering through the gentle use of yoga and pranayama.
To see the difference that yoga can make to helping one take control in a situation where one might feel totally lost. What excites me now about our retreat centre here at Chez Vallée is being able to welcome some amazingly gifted and experienced yoga teachers, that I have had the privilege to meet over the years, to bring their knowledge and experience, love and light to this amazing place.
My passion for Ayurveda goes hand in hand with my yoga journey. The two are intrinsically linked. My love of the great outdoors, nature and all things organic began in my childhood. My father, Jack, was my mentor. His love of nature and his passion for teaching me all he knew about it then made me realise that studying Ayurveda was a natural progression from what I had learned during my childhood. I studied with the Ayuveda Pura college in London for one year to secure my basic knowledge.
It was the opportunity to study privately for the next 2 years with an Ayurvedic Doctor, Dr Suresh Kumar, at his centre in Malaysia, that then made me realise the importance of Ayurveda and its attributes. How Ayurveda can aid in recovery from illness or accident or simply help maintain health, with an awareness of your own personal body type, and how it lives in harmony with nature and the world around. It is with Dr Suresh’s ongoing support and mentoring that I bring Ayurveda and its wellness to Chez Vallée, applying its philosophy to daily life, whatever the challenges are. We also hope one day to invite Dr Suresh to join us here for workshops and retreats.
If you have read this far it is probably because you have an interest in what we do here at Chez Vallée and hopefully you are interested in joining us for a retreat, a workshop, some yoga or maybe just to relax in our peaceful environment.