My Teaching Philosophy
Many of my students, when they first come to me, express their disappointment with some of the yoga lessons they have visited. They find them to be either too much focused on the physical aspect and lacking in real substance and sense of community in the group or, on the other hand, too much focused on the spiritual/mental aspect without much challenge to the body.
In my personal practice and during my lessons I try to work towards a balance between strength and relaxation, between action and introspection.
I do not take myself too seriously, since, for me, this practice should be a joy - a discipline yes, but definitely not a dogma. I would like my students to be able to experience the power of what yoga can offer us and feel at ease with being just who they are: natural, without any need to live up to any ideas of who a yogi 'should' or 'should not' be. This, to me, is a process of allowing time and practice to take effect - a process which we experience both together, and individually in everyday life.
The Style of Yoga that I teach
I was originally trained in, and was a dedicated practitioner for seven years of Ashtanga Yoga. This form of yoga consists of a series of asanas that follow a specific sequence. The complete practice of one of the Ashtanga series generally lasts about 90 minutes and is physically extremely demanding even for top athletes.
However, over the past years my practice and teaching have developed into a mixture of the structure, wisdom & strength-building found in the Ashtanga Yoga method, with the grace and creativity of Vinyasa Yoga, the exactitude of Iyengar Yoga and the introspection of Yoga de L'Energie.
Example of how one of our lessons unfolds:
During one of my lessons you will move through the flow of a variety of postures:
Linking your breath with your movements, you will work your muscles deeply and will simultaneously feel the effect of a continuously improving posture. In general, we will hold each asana or posture for about five deep breaths – thus, the flow will not be too fast so that you can continue to breathe calmly, and at the same time it will be active enough for you to feel profoundly alive! True to vinyasa, the practice will consist of a clear start, middle and end - usually following the guidelines from Ashtanga, of standing, balancing, seated and twists, back bends, then inversions.
In my lessons I work regularly on strengthening of the abdominal muscles, as these are often forgotten in yoga practice, but they represent our center both physically and energetically, and serve to keep our posture strong and balanced.
Both fluid and meditative, this practice is intense yet liberating, with a moment of pranayama (yogic breathing techniques) at the start and deep relaxation at the end of each lesson.
My Yoga Education & Teachers
I first started practicing yoga whilst I was at university in England in 2000, just a bit over eighteen years ago.
I soon found that this strange new practice helped relieve me from the bondage of eating disorders, OCD and exercise addiction.
I was trained and received my teacher’s certificate in 2005 in the Ashtanga lineage of Sri K. Pathabi Jois through my teacher Paul Dallaghan. I practice Iyengar and Yoga de l'energie with Jean Lechim, long-time direct student of the late B.K.S Iyengar.
My most intense learning, since the past few years comes through Jean-Lechim in Lausanne and Michael Hamilton at AirYoga Zurich - I particularly appreciate Michael's non-dogmatic way of teaching, his experience in vipassana meditation, his focus on the subtle and energetic body of yoga, and his knowledge of ancient Buddhist philosophy.
I continue to study yoga texts and the spiritual arts and take part regularly in meditation, pranayama and philosophy workshops.
I am very interested in personal development rooted in the depths of self-discovery!