Yoga gives accident survivor a new life and career

PUBLISHED: 08:16 24 July 2020 | UPDATED: 18:45 20 August 2020

Colette Alderson practises the techniques that have helped her recover Photo: Paddy Alderson

Colette Alderson practises the techniques that have helped her recover Photo: Paddy Alderson

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Croatia road accident survivor Colette Alderson, of Bowdon, has new life and career thanks to yoga

Colette Alderson practises the techniques that have helped her recover Photo: Paddy Alderson Colette Alderson practises the techniques that have helped her recover Photo: Paddy Alderson

In 2013, on a holiday to Croatia, the minibus Colette Alderson and her nine young friends were travelling in crashed into a barrier, overturned and skidded along a motorway on its roof.

All 10 young passengers, including seven former schoolfriends from Loreto Grammar School for Girls in Altrincham, were rushed to hospital – many with serious injuries ranging from broken bones in their backs to cracked ribs and head injuries. The group were on their way to Zagreb airport to fly home to Manchester when the accident happened. Witnesses said the Cheshire holidaymakers Sophie Gallimore, Cesca Tillyard, Victoria Morris, Imogen Farrell, Rosie Smith, Anna Tratalos, Dom Visser, Aron Cheema, Max Davies, and Colette, were all lucky to survive. Five emergency teams raced to the scene of the crash on Croatia’s A1 motorway between Karlovac and Ogulin. Colette, then aged 20, had many broken bones with 12 vertebrae in her spine.

After a period of immobility and months of physiotherapy back home in Bowdon, she began to recover, but couldn’t go back to her beloved dance.

“Not being able to do the exercise I had always enjoyed, especially dance and ballet, had a big impact on my physical and mental health, which both started to decline in the next few years, she says.

Then, in 2018, Colette joined her first yoga class, putting her on a path to recovery that has led to setting up her own business: “I have seen my physical and mental health improve drastically thanks to yoga, and I want to help anyone else on their yoga journey,” she says. “I started yoga while I was travelling and then joined Yoga Life in Altrincham, which is now the Narali Yoga Studio. They helped me truly fall in love with yoga and they are fantastic teachers.”

Colette Alderson practises the techniques that have helped her recover Photo: Paddy AldersonColette Alderson practises the techniques that have helped her recover Photo: Paddy Alderson

Colette had planned to go to India this November to study yoga and gain her teaching qualifications, but lockdown and the ensuing halt to her freelance teaching persuaded her to study and complete her qualifications online. “It was very intense and challenging but absolutely worth it. I have loved helping others during lockdown too, offering donation-based weekly classes since March on Zoom to my friends and family in Cheshire, so we can all focus on our mental wellbeing at a time when it may be tested.

“It’s been particularly rewarding to see many of my parents’ friends (aged 50+) join and take part from the comfort of their own homes and fall in love with yoga, where they may have previously been too self-conscious about attending a class in a studio.

“There have been challenging times too, particularly to try and keep momentum and motivation when everything was on pause, says the 27-year-old.

Colette, who now has a Yoga Alliance certification in ashtanga vinyasa from the world-renowned Sampoorna Yoga School, is offering vinyasa, ashtanga and slow flow classes for studios, one-to-one sessions in the Manchester and Cheshire area, and online classes at her new website. Find out more here about earthtoneyoga.co.uk

“All classes provide a safe haven to explore movement and see change physically and mentally, says Colette, who donates 10 per cent of her proceeds to environmental causes. Classes are held via Zoom, and in person, in line with government guidelines.

Cheshire Life - September 2020 issueCheshire Life - September 2020 issue

Colette Alderson makes the cover of our September issue.

The photo, taken by Paddy Alderson, features Colette at one of the county’s most-visited summer hotspots, the sunflower field at Little Heath Farm, in Dunham Massey.

You can some more photos of the field in the latest issue, on sale: 28th August

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