So, what style of yoga do you teach?

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I’m often asked by class participants to define my style of teaching. One of my regular class participants described my classes as ‘practical, no-nonsense yoga’. I think that’s a good way to describe them. My overriding interest is with the human body, how it is designed to move and the potential that can be found in terms of movement. My practice and approach to yoga have changed considerably since my first yoga class 19 years ago.

I practiced the Astanga Vinyasa tradition for many years but after sustaining injuries trying to fit my body into some of the advanced postures or asanas, I began to look for a more intuitive approach. I discovered what is often described as Scaravelli influenced yoga with Bill Wood about 8 years ago. To be honest at first I didn’t get it, there wasn’t enough push or strive. After a while I realised that the body has its own time. It can’t be pushed. If we step back a bit, slow down and follow the breath then the body starts to open up. There is no use comparing our abilities with others using asanas to benchmark. It’s always our body we bring to the class, not someone else’s. Our bodies hold their own beautiful and unique record of life experience and genetics. They are not comparable.

The asanas still provide the structure in my personal practice and teaching but now I am more interested in what my body is doing in the asana. Do I fit that pose? How does that individual movement relate back to the innate structure of the body as a whole? Am I ready to put my leg there? Perhaps yes, perhaps no. You will find a mixture of body awareness, focussed ‘stretching’ and posture/alignment work in my classes. The breath weaves this eclectic mix together and often shows us alternatives to pushing through. My practice is constantly evolving, as it should.

So why practice yoga? It gives us a chance to be present in the moment and work towards acceptance. I’ve witnessed yoga working wonders, building confidence in physical/mental ability whatever stage/walk of life we are in. It helps to counteract the aches and pains (often self inflicted) of modern life and most importantly gets us moving. If you want to find out more, come and join in any of the classes listed on the timetable.

Gossypium Ambassador Independent Yoga Network