At Upala-Haven Yoga, we bring a unique approach to teaching and healing — one that is focused on self-inspiration and which embodies the physical, spiritual, and emotional aspects of wellbeing. Let us show you the way to your best self.

My Story

Hi... I'm Angela McHardy and pre- Parkinson’s Disease diagnosis, 3 years ago, I had a husband, 2 children and a high-level job in Education. I live in West Kilbride. My husband and I had our share of challenges over 18 years but got through them. Life was motoring along. I enjoyed the gym, running, other activities. I was a black belt in karate and I competed nationally. Annoyingly, my leg had a tremor which developed over a few months. It appeared every time I woke and throughout the day. I became unwell. I ended up having a month off work. At this time, my father had end-stage PD. Fortnightly I travelled the 200-miles to my parents who lived further up North in Scotland.  Life was stressful.

The professionals decided what was wrong. Stress, workload, hormones, discs…. everything got blamed. Three times I asked ‘Is this PD?’ ‘No ‘I was told, but I knew they were wrong. Three years on, the lovely Dr Tyagi who is now my regular neurologist diagnosed PD. My husband was at my side, I never imagined I’d face this myself. In the space of nine months, I’d lost my dad, got diagnosed with PD and discovered my husband was having an affair which he conducted when I was at my lowest. Life in multiple traumas.

My family and friends saved me, but what gave me hope back was yoga! Time for me to take control and not let this disease or other’s actions define me. I needed to place myself in the driving seat!

I go on my yoga mat and I feel like the PD melts away. My yoga teacher took a leap of faith in me and trained me as a yoga teacher! Relinquishing my career was another source of loss but I have built up this yoga business, ‘Upala-haven Yoga’, practising with various clients. People are surprised when I say I’m a yoga teacher with PD but come to classes and seem to love them.  I am restricted to a few poses, but I am originally a ‘teacher’ so can teach any pose, even if I can’t demonstrate. I’m now opening my own yoga studio//PD info’ hub/pop up charity shop in West Kilbride next month. If anyone had said 3 years ago, to me I’d be doing this I’d have laughed.

The main improvements in my symptoms through the medium of yoga have been:

  • Improved walking/gait. 

  • Improvements in posture created by attention to detail sees me steadier on my feet. My teachers message is slow things down and focus. My yoga guru uses the car analogy well: If a car is going too fast it quickly goes out of control. The opposite is also true.  I’m walking more slowly, taking time with my movements as well as yoga. The emphasis on patience

  • Alleviating brain-fog. Yoga allows space to truly reflect on situations, I feel my general clarity of thought much improved. This has also been helped by the focused breathing and posture work transferring, from the body to mind.

  • Less rigidity. The flexibility aspect of any yoga training programme has established space in my spine and joints. My joints feel more fluid.

  • Strength: The highly motivational way of increasing strength by holding poses longer each time has really worked. Focussing on my ‘personal bests’ improved my emotional and physical strength.

  • Detaching from toxic situations. My broken marriage had been difficult to overcome, but the yoga philosophy of attachment made sense. I feel ready to detach Yoga avoids fluctuating towards feelings of anger or injustice

  • Return of weakened movement skills I was amazed that when in Mysore, India, studying yoga intensely, I was able to re-establish my ability to swim! I’d be disappointed to lose this skill but it has now returned!

So that’s my yoga story! come to Upala-haven Yoga and start yours.

The name Upala-haven Yoga - The word upala means stone in Sanskrit (yoga language). My Dad is from Stonehaven… so the name of my business is dedicated to my beloved Dad, who also had PD!