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MIDLIFE JOY CONVERSATION WITH MIGNONNE DE SILVA - ENGLISH/MATHS TEACHER & MIDLIFE WARRIOR

3rd November 2023 by Nina Garcia


Nina: Welcome Mignonne, the intention behind my blog was to create a space for honest, unfiltered, at times difficult conversations with women that inspire me and my community. So, thank you for taking on the challenge and being the very first one to join the Midlife Joy Conversations.

Let’s dive in.


Q1. Nina: I’m trying to pin point when and where exactly we met first time and I think it was when you join my Barre classes at Sweaty Betty store in Chelmsford. Would that be correct?


Mignonne: Yes, you’re right! I remember that you always smiled and that warmth radiated to me, despite the workout being so tough! I felt great afterwards and earned my breakfast of a stack of pancakes!


Q2. Nina: How yoga came into your life?


Mignonne: Firstly, in my teens. My Mum had a book by Lynn Marshall and she encouraged me and my sister to do the yoga moves which she knew were very good for us. I remember the death pose, the cat pose and the face yoga, pulling angry faces. I liked that last one, but, to a 15-year old, much to my Mum’s disappointment, yoga was a bit of a non-event!


Since then, I’ve done the odd yoga class and a few videos…but I decided to take the plunge and join your class! It’s a fair distance I travel from Chelmsford, but something made me decide to come….maybe because when I met you at Sweaty Betty, I thought, that lady’s a taskmaster, but she’s very nice with it!


Q3. Nina: And a bit deeper as our readers love the detail! - what does yoga bring into your life?


Mignonne: It’s very hard to describe ….I’m not sure I know fully the answer! But I feel it might be the focus and the discipline. I dare not give in, which is something I’ve historically normally done in sport and in life. I don’t normally push myself too far, but this yoga class makes me do it! It also puts me in tune with my body – something I haven’t always felt. Running makes me feel frustrated with my body; yoga makes me appreciate it.


Q4. Nina: You have been taking part in my Yoga For Midlife programme since February 2023. How did the programme impact your well-being and outlook on Midlife?


Mignonne: I like what I can achieve in this programme! It makes me feel strong – empowered. I don’t feel that I have an ‘old body’. The programme has made me see how far I can push myself. If it was too easy, I don’t think I’d enjoy it – it offers the right challenge for me. I feel like a warrior when I leave! And I love the yoga community of like-minded ladies. We could all talk for hours afterwards! So I’m making friends, too, there, which is always such a nice thing.


Since I got into fitness in 2020, I haven’t looked back. This year, the YFM programme has allowed me to see that my body is strong. All I need to do is keep challenging it, and it will perform for me. I always wondered what the term, Mind, Body, Soul meant, but now I get it……when you work on your body and are in tune with it, you harness you mind and get to see inside your soul. I’ve had a few insights in the last year about my relationships and my life in general, and I wonder if yoga has played a part in that….


Q5. Nina: You are a very reflective person, so I’m sure you’ll fly through this question - knowing what you know now, what would you say to your younger self?


Mignonne: You’re right – I am reflective!

These are the things I’d say to my younger self:-

  • Throw away fear – face it head-on like a warrior, and turn it upside down. Chase the f***er away – it’s a bad friend that will hold you back!

  • Move your body every day, and connect with it if you can through meditative and slower practices.

  • Know that the more you feel uncomfortable emotions, the more you’ll find them a breeze to deal with – not the more uncomfortable you’ll be.

  • No matter how trapped you might feel, you never know what’s round the corner to free you … so live your life the right way, and wait to see what the universe has in store for you…


Q6. Nina: My community is a group of brave, sassy, open minded women who rebel against the Midlife Crisis. Instead, they strive to go through Midlife with ease, acceptance, freedom and joy. You obviously belong to that incredibly supportive tribe, so please share one practical way that helps you own the Midlife.

Mignonne: It’s all about the little things in life –I never knew that joy really lives in these things. That also relates to being grateful for the smallest things – we all have so much to be grateful for…Ahh, the wisdom that comes with Midlife!

Q7. Nina: And finally, what makes Mignonne unique?


Mignonne: My upbringing and sensitive nature (a thing that’s half good and half bad!)


Nina: Mignonne, you are truly the one and only. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on midlife, mindfulness and life in general with our community. I’m honoured you agreed to be the first guest on my blog. Thank you again for this nurturing and inspiring conversation.



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