When you listen to yourself, everything comes naturally. It comes from inside, like a kind of will to, do something. Try to be sensitive. That is yoga.
What is Yoga?
Yoga has been practiced for thousands of years as a way of encouraging self-awareness and cultivating inner calmness. There are many ways to practice yoga but the one most people are familiar with in the west is the physical practice (known as asana or sometimes referred to a hatha yoga).
There are many different styles of physical yoga, some follow a set sequence whilst others incorporate different postures into each class, they can be physically challenging or slow paced and reflective – the common tie between all of them is the focus on movement and breath to bring a strong inner connection.
Yoga is often seen (and sometimes taught) as a movement practice that stretches, tones and opens the body to boost physical and emotional wellbeing. Whilst these benefits are often experienced, they are not why we practice yoga. If all we wanted to do was be flexible and strong and feel good, we would go to the gym!
It is important to know that the ‘shapes our bodies make’ are not the yoga, instead they are tools that we use to practice yoga.
I studied Ashtanga, Vinyasa and Kundalini and was taught how to take the fundamentals of these very different physical practices and apply them in an accessible way. Through continued study I learnt more about the science of functional movement and how to utilise this to teach yogic wisdom.
No two bodies are the same and so, no two yoga poses should look the same. I encourage all participants to explore their own range of movement, making wise decisions that work well for their body, so that they can find their own balance between stability and ease.
What happens at a class?
Classes are your sanctuary, an escape from the hustle and bustle of life.
Since re-opening after lockdown, I ask that you bring your own mat to class (if you don’t have one, I can loan/sell you a pre-used one that has been sanitised). Sometimes we use blocks or straps, if they are needed for the class, I always bring a supply with me – but feel free to bring your own if you have them.
Wear clothes that enable you to move freely and that you feel comfortable in; during cooler months you may like to bring an extra layer and socks to keep you warm during the relaxation part of the session.
Each class begins in a seated position with a practice that increases body awareness and regulates the nervous system, we then begin to warm and prepare the body with mobility exercises before transitioning to standing postures, seated kriya and a breathing practice before ending with relaxation. Throughout the session our aim to keep our movements mindful so that we can stay present and learn more about ourselves.
|Monday||9.30 – 10.30||Yoga||Coronation Hall, Bleadon and on Zoom|
|Wednesday||10.00 – 11.00||Yoga||On Zoom|
|Friday||10.00 – 11.00||Yoga||Banwell Village Hall and on Zoom|
(2nd Sunday of the month)
|1.30-3.00 Mindful Mobility||3.15-4.30 Stretch & Relax||The Radio Wing, Locking Parklands|
- Unlimited access to zoom classes £20 - £30 per month (based on number of classes you plan to attend per month and your personal circumstance)
Private Teaching for individuals and groups
Personalised sessions give you the opportunity to practice in a way that is very specific to your needs. The philosophy of yoga remains an important part of the practice (awareness, acceptance, autonomy).
Reasons why clients choose private sessions
- Prefer to practice in the privacy of their own home at a time that suits them.
- Like to ask questions and gain a deeper knowledge of yoga.
- Are focusing on stress reduction and want to get a greater understanding of what works best for them.
- Want to address a mobility challenge and are using yoga to identify their movement habits (and their beliefs about their body) and introduce new physical patterns and thoughts.
- Take part in another physical activity (dance, golf etc) and want to improve their proprioception (their awareness of how their joints and limbs move) so that they can gain better control of subtle movements and learn how to hold some physical tension whilst remaining mentally calm.
Sessions cost £30 – £40 per hour for 1-1 sessions depending on location. Small Group sessions are also available, the cost is dependent on numbers and location.
Absolutely not, we all have different body structures and how far we can stretch or twist the body has no relation to the benefits we gain from our practice. There is no such thing as being ‘good’ at yoga, it is true we can advance in our understanding, gaining greater self-awareness and becoming more astute at choosing how we move – but that can only be known on the inside – paradoxically, it may even be choosing to not touch our toes, even if we can! If you want to find out more on this topic click here for a link to an article by one of my amazing teachers. Alex Crow.
Yoga is not religious and is practiced by people of all faiths (from Christian to atheist). In yoga the aim of the practice is to connect to yourself in the present time and feel the essence of who you are. Some people might label this as spiritual as they feel connected to their inner spirit, in the same way that marvelling at a sunset or touching the face of someone we love brings us a sense of joy and connection.
Yoga transforms on many levels, our practice on the mat teaches us things about ourselves that we can carry into our everyday life. This could be as simple as becoming aware of tightness in the shoulders and reviewing current stress levels, through to observing an unhelpful thought whilst in a posture and realising it is something we automatically say to ourselves many times a day.. Yoga encourages a positive relationship with yourself, increasing awareness, acceptance and advancement. You will also notice physical some improvements, such as a better regulated nervous system and improved mobility and stability.
The short answer is no – I would describe these poses as ‘exclusive’ meaning that they are way beyond the functional range of movement for most people. Although Instagram often shows these types of postures and defines them as ‘advanced yoga’ they have little to do with an authentic practice. Whilst self-awareness and dedication can often enable us to move our body in new ways, the truth is that these types of poses can only safely be achieved by a minority of people. There is absolutely nothing wrong in wanting to learn them, but I would recommend that you seek out a gymnastics coach who can focus solely on the physical techniques and drills needed to practice them safely. If you want to find out more on this topic click here for a link to an article by one of my amazing teachers. Alex Crow.
Yes, in fact many people come to yoga with a desire to improve their physical and emotional health. I strive to deliver a physical practice that is both challenging and accessible. If you want to make me aware of the injury/health condition before you arrive in class I can offer additional suggestions, over time as you advance in your practice you will feel confident creating your own expressions of the pose.