Whether beginner or committed student, however good the Yoga teacher you choose is, one thing is certain - they can only open the door, it is you that has to walk through it. Walking through it requires your time and patience, no one can put the hours in on your mat for you because it is through those hours that the process of Yoga starts to take place. Not only does the flexibility and stamina of the physical body improve, but energy channels within the body are realigned, purified, rebalanced. You, as the practitioner, will start to experinece other 'limbs' of the Yoga system (known as the Yamas and Niyamas - ten principles of right living) and an inner peace and contentment will follow as your journey of connecting with your inner self continues
If you are new to the practice, I can help you identify the right way to start, ensuring a solid foundation and an understanding as to why things are done in a certain way.
If you have an established practice, I can help you tune into the finer points, set focus areas and help you achieve them
Working on either a 1:1 basis or in a group setting, my Vinyasa / hatha flow classes have a strong focus on core and moving deliberately with the breath. Typically starting with a warm up through Ashtanga Primary Series A and B, my sequences grow through each repetition, flowing through a blend of movements often inspired by 'primal movements' combined with the Yoga asana. A mix of options offers the student opportunities to incorporate arm and single leg balance as well as inversion against a backdrop of remaining connected to the personal sankalpa the practitioner would have set at the beginning of the practice. As I guide you through each sequence, I will highlight what I call ‘the keys’ – specific areas to focus on to help you reach towards your desired level, sharing with you things I have discovered whilst unlocking my own practice
Yin Yoga is effectively deep stretching, encouraging elongation of the muscles and surrounding tissues as well as restoration/rebalancing for both body and mind. My style of teaching this practice is a combination of the true form of Yin (the muscles are 'surrendered' rather than used) and more dynamic stretching. In both styles we use the support of props such as bolsters, blankets, blocks and belts during this practice, the body is gently encouraged to open up within stretches that reach deep within muscles, down to and through the connective tissues of fascia, ligaments and tendons. Postures are usually held for a period of three to five minutes for Yin or a number of breaths if it is more dynamic stretch. Physically there is a lot of focus on shoulders, chest, hips and hamstrings .... but within this the subtle 'energy' body releases deep seated stress, tension and emotional blockages that are stopping the body finding it's way back to balance
Some may think they are not flexible enough for the practice of Yin/deep stretching, but that inflexibility is often because they don't do it. The best way of understanding the benefit is to experience the practice yourself
Following on from four years as the key pre and post natal teacher at Zen Yoga, I now only teach pre and post natal on a private 1:1 or 2:1 basis.
Pre-natal Yoga is an excellent way of easing the path of pregnancy, both in physical and emotional terms. Working with a variety of postures we will encourage optimal positioning of your baby, gentle opening of the hips and preparation of the pelvic floor, asana to ease backache, release tension, encourage relaxation and use breath work and visualisation to help you as a ‘Mum–to-be’ bond with your baby, feel empowered through your pregnancy journey and prepare for the actual time of birth
Post-natal Yoga helps the body and mind re-adjust and start a different physical journey. I am really passionate about helping new mum's reconnect with exercise which includes the important focus on stabilising the hips, closing the abdominal gap, rebuilding energy, strength and encouraging the new mum to find some ‘healthy selfish time’
Breath is the foundation of the Yoga practice - it is a key that unlocks doors inside of you. Breath is the language our bodies use to relay how our mind and body is feeling, yet many people have no awareness of this subtle form of communication because they have not tuned in to it or been shown how to increase awareness of it. The very act of one single breath reflects a template that we should take through life with us: the inhale represents a time of expansion, of taking on new challenges or adventures, the short pause at the top of the inhale before the exhale reminds us we need to reflect and review, the exhale itself shows us we need to let things go, make space for whats to come, and finally, the pause before the next inhale promotes a time for reflection
Breath not only provides oxygen but it also carries a life force - we call it Prana. By manipulating the four stages of the breath we use it as a tool to impact both mind and body - we call this PranayamaMeditation is about stilling the ripples of the mind: chitta vritti nirodha. There are many, many meditation techniques - through practice and guidance you will be able to find the practices that suit you at this particular time in your life and in your practice