Yoga: My Yoga Education & Style of Teaching

A brief idea...what is Yoga?

The word yoga comes from the Sanskrit (a language dating back to the Vedas approximately 1200 B.C) and means to yoke, or to unify.

Yoga is a practice that was developed in India over 5000 years ago, which serves to unify all vehicles of the human being: spiritual, mental and physical, towards a state of consciousness in which the practitioner will learn to live with a steady inner balance, no matter what the exterior circumstances may be.

In the West we are accustomed to thinking of yoga as a physical practice of tying our bodies into crazy knots or standing on our heads or on our hands. However, the true essence of yoga is so much more than just exercise or mastering amazing poses. 

Yoga is a philosophy of life and a science and consists actually of eight steps - or limbs, as they are refereed to - that guide us to living in harmony; only one of these eight limbs is actually yoga asana or the physical practice. 

 

My Teaching Philosophy...

Many of my students, when they first came to me, expressed their disappointment with the yoga lessons they had visited.  They found 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 stimulation of, and 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.  

At the same time, 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 miraculousness 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. 

The Style of Yoga that I teach...

I was originally trained in, and was a dedicated practitioner for many years, of Ashtanga Yoga.  This form of yoga consists of various 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.  

However, over the last five years my practice and teaching have developed into a mixture of inspiration from the Ashtanga method, with the grace and creativity of Vinyasa Flow, the preciseness of Iyengar, and the physical rigor of Power Yoga.

During one of my lessons you will move through the flow of a variety of postures: 

Linking your breath with your movements, you will be working 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 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 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.  

I continue to study vinyasa flow and hatha yoga and take part regularly in meditation, pranayama and philosophy workshops.

I am very interested in personal development (certified self-empowerment coach), rooted in the depths of self-discovery!