After discovering a gem of a class at a local
gym and practicing for a couple of years, I
liked the sense of calm, peace and focus yoga
gave my very distractible mind. I also enjoyed
less aches and pains as a result of my body
becoming steadier and stronger.
I'm certainly not super bendy or acrobatic and
started yoga after working many years as a postman
and graphic designer before that. So I consider
myself to have a fairly regular body reflecting
a regular working life!
I traveled to Kerala, South India to 'deepen
my practice' (as they all say!) and enjoyed
my teacher training course. I really loved my
experience in the Ashram and knew yoga was going
to stay a big part of my life.
With a genuine desire to help others share in
the benefits of a regular yoga practice, I began
to teach part time and continue to learn. In
2017 after 10 years at Royal Mail I left to
become full time self employed as a yoga teacher.
often ask in my class, what type of yoga is
this? There isn't really a definitive answer.
You could call it a 'Modern, breath
centered, post lineage, postural movement practice.'
I originally trained with a 'traditional' or
'classical' yoga school - the lineage was Sivananda,
known as 'Hatha' which in general is slower
in pace with more time spent in postures (asanas)
and doing breathing exercises (pranayama). Some
element of the teaching and structure of class
I still find useful but I don't subscribe to
any of the 'Guru' led teaching.
classes I have attended over the years have
been focused on Vinyasa, which has more flow
and changes from one posture to the next - sometimes
slowly, sometimes quickly and dynamically. I
take some influence from these enjoyable movement
a few of my teachers have been influenced by
the work of Desikachar. His approach was much
more breath centered and more individually tailored
to the students. To me that feels more modern,
allowing for autonomy, creativity and self expression.
training as a Somatic movement education coach
totally changed the way I practiced and my approach
take a lot of my cues from this training and
other workshops I've done finding ways of releasing
tension in the body and to enjoy more range
and ease in movement without forcing, strengthening
without over striving or harming.
approach now is much more about self enquiry.
You will hear me in class asking quite a few
questions to which only you can know the answer.
You might not know the answer today, and that
is where the learning comes. Some things might
take minutes and some things a whole lifetime.
Often we find the answer by just trying things
out - Of course, I will offer some suggestions
from my own experiences but these will be from
my felt sense and will not necessarily work
for you. This is where we can get creative and
sometimes discover something new.
all might start to sound a bit complicated and
'heady' but essentially I'll offer a fairly
simple regular practice adding in new stuff
now and again to keep it interesting.
thing I like about a simple routine is, that
for my highly distractible (monkey) mind, I
can find some 'quiet' and use the practice like
a moving meditation.
I won't offer any spiritual guidance. I think
that is your business and if you find you do
get curious about this side of yoga I can suggest
a few books. I really enjoyed the spiritual
side to my time in an ashram and I still enjoy
what is known as bhakti and kirtan but I don't
feel it's my place or in anyway qualified to
offer any teaching on this.
also will use very little sanskrit in class.
My teaching experience in the here and now finds
that people relate better to imagery of animals
and nature for example, rather than a beautiful
but rather abstract and rarely spoken 4000 year
old liturgical language. Personally speaking,
in classes I have attended I find it to be a
bit 'exclusive' and inaccessible to use as a
teaching tool for movement and learning about
continue to be influenced by the work of my
teachers, and my teachers' teachers.
TEACHING, TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE
I qualified in June 2018 as a Somatic Exercise
Coach having trained with Lisa
Petersen @ Living
yoga. This line of enquiry changed my own
practice, my teaching practice and approach
and I really like how the practice teaches others
to help themselves.
have now lead yoga asana classes with pranayama
and more mindful movement in Manchester for
over 6 years and have gained over 1000 hours
of teaching experience at my classes at leisure
centres, community centres, an inner city school,
college and university, private offices, covering
at Bodywise in Manchester Buddhist Centre and
on-line on Zoom.
In the busy leisure centre environment my creativity
and ability to adapt and change has proved essential.
In these popular fully rounded classes I like
to create a non-competitive, peaceful, light-hearted,
atmosphere combining the energy of group practice
with individual focus. I try to allow time for
people to absorb what they do, move more mindfully
and encourage a peaceful practice which hopefully
enables folk to continue their day with a sense
Believing in continuing personal development
I continue to attend workshops and further training.
The most recent listed first:
During Lockdown 2020 I've had the opportunity
to learn with some of my teachers teachers and
explore other areas of body work:
Restorative Yoga with Adelene
Laban / Barteneiff fundamentals with Alexandra
Body Mind Centering with the STEM/Embody-Move
teachers and Bonnie
and before lockdown in person:
Intelligent Yoga: A CPD weekend with Peter
Blackaby (March 2020)
The Embryology of Communication: Cells, Blood
and Fluid Movements with Amy
Matthews (Nov 2019)
Somatics CPD: Pelvis, pelvic floor, psoas, sacrum
and jaw theme Lisa
Petersen. (Sept 2019).
Coming Back to the Senses with Donna
Farhi (June 2019)
Gentle is the New Advanced with J
Brown at Triyoga, London. (Jan 2019)
Breath Centered Yoga with Leslie
Kaminoff at Triyoga, London. (June 2018)
Moving from Centre with Gaby Porter.
Somatic Movement Education with Lisa
Petersen, Gaby Porter & Maggie Peasewood.
Embodied Yoga with Amanda
Yoga with Christine
Core stability CPD with GLL and Kirtan.
Yoga Teacher Training 200hr Alliance RYS Sivananda
Yoga Vedanta Centre. (Jan 2015)
I regularly attend Bhakti yoga sessions because
I love the music and I often go to a classes
in person and more recently on-line which inspires
and informs my own practice.
With a background in graphic design, the arts,
and occupational therapy, there’s a lot
stuff I can also bring to the table!