A modern day language and approach for Yoga without sacrificing its timeless wisdom and ideals
Yoga is an ancient yet living and evolving collection of practices linked to physical, mental and spiritual development. Its theory base includes ideas and principles relating to health, fitness, psychology and spirituality. Yoga recognises that health and being at ease with oneself is a multilayered process. My classes explore the main contemporary practices in yoga of asana (postures), pranayama (breathing practices), body centring and meditation as a creative means to bring ourselves to a place of calm and quiet. It is not complicated in one sense , but there is much to explore ! Appreciation of all that it has to offer takes time.
Styles of Yoga
Various approaches to yoga and yoga postures have developed through different teachers and cultural contexts. The varying styles all have core similarities but vary in emphasis. Some posture styles are dynamic and quick moving, others slower and more static seeming. There are plenty of fusions which are part of the creative process of how yoga styles develop. There are some core principles at the heart of yoga which are universal , but how they are expressed is diverse .
My Approach to Yoga Teaching.
Whilst I am respectful of the historical yoga tradition and timeless wisdom that has been handed down to us, I am equally interested in a yoga practice that is realistic and relevant in our current 21st Century context. I wouldn't place myself particularly in one style or another - I teach yoga as I understand it after 25 plus years practice and study, and hence call my approach 'freestyle yoga' . The nature of classes depends on the group, but in general I teach a structured slow flowing approach to the asanas (postures) and variously include pranayama (breathing practices), relaxation, physical and mental centring practices, and meditation.
Yoga, Meditation and Spirituality
Yoga philosophy in essence carries the message that at a deep level all of life is interconnected through conciousness and nature. Meditation, study and inquiry provide the means to directly realise this for ourselves beyond conceptual doubt; this type of practice may in turn influence and support our deepest values and how we choose to live. More on this here
Why do Yoga?
Even those of us who have practiced this for decades find ourselves asking this question. The answer is perhaps best summarised by one yoga teacher wit who in response to the question 'how often should I practice? ' put it: 'you only need to do your yoga practice on the days you want to feel better'.
Here are a few reasons why I think I have stuck with it for over 20 years now.
- It keeps me healthy, fit, strong, centred and tension free in proportion to the amount I practice.
- This gives me more energy to live my life.
- It keeps me in touch with the bigger perspective.
- It gets more interesting the longer I do it.
- I'm not sure I would have learned to surf in my 40's without it.
- It makes dancing more fun.
Yoga for Beginners
As a beginner in yoga it is best to start without too many assumptions , yoga is fun to start for the joy and freedom of movement, to relax or for no good reason at all. But if you decide it's for you, and are prepared to practice, it can really support your life.
Weekly Yoga Classes in Totnes
These yoga classes are possible for anyone to attend who is in basically good health and generally include asanas (postures) pranayama (breathing practices) , relaxation and meditation. Latest class schedule .
Yoga Workshops in Totnes
An opportunity to practice more deeply in the form of an extended class with questions and answers. Workshop schedule.
The therapeutic aspects of yoga are inherent within the practice. That said, some of us with more complex or chronic health issues may require a gentler or more individualised approach than is available in an open class. Feel free to e mail or call 07915 650106 if you want to discuss this.
1:1 Tuition can either be the primary means of learning or a useful addition to yoga learning at various times. In general terms a 1:1 can accelerate the process of learning and/or shed light on an area especially if you feel stuck. In both cases feedback on practice and hands on assistance is more individualised and home practice programmes can be set up. Feel free to e mail or call 07915 650106 if you want to discuss this.
Small groups are another option for learning; you can set up a group with friends, family or work colleagues at home, work or in a centre. Feel free to e mail or call 07915 650106 if you want to discuss this.
Yoga as Part of Staff Training Days or Work Place Wellbeing Programmes
I have run yoga workshops for Devon NHS staff and formerly at Brighton council, Glyndebourne Opera House and Sussex University. If a yoga session could be useful for your workplace feel free to e mail or call 07915 650106 if you want to discuss this. .