I’m often asked by class participants to define my style of teaching. 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 classes include simple yoga asana, movement with awareness and breath work. My practice and approach to yoga have changed considerably since my first yoga class 21 years ago.
I originally practiced the Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga tradition, developed by the Indian yoga teacher and Sanskrit scholar K Pattabhi Jois, for many years. After a while, I began to look for a softer and more intuitive approach to continue my practice. I discovered a different approach to yoga, sometimes referred to as Scaravelli influenced yoga, with Catherine Annis and Devon based teacher Bill Wood. Vanda Scaravelli, originally a student of B. K. S. Iyengar and T. K. V. Desikachar, developed an approach to yoga that worked in harmony with breath, gravity and the spine. To be honest at first I didn’t get this gentle approach to yoga, there wasn’t enough push or strive. After a while I realised that the body has its own time. If we step back, slow down and follow the breath then the body starts to lead, open and show us the way forward. 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.
Yoga asanas still provide the structure in my personal practice and teaching but now I am more interested in building awareness of 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? 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 with the help of my teachers and class participants that join me in this journey.
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 of modern life and gets us moving. If you want to find out more, come and join in any of the classes listed on the timetable.
What style of yoga do you teach?