About Me and My Style of Yoga
I teach a gentle yoga which isn't really a particular style, more a reflection of the kind of thing I have been learning, practicing and training in myself over the past three decades. I suppose it is a mixture of gentle hatha, yin and flow - plus, as a yoga therapist, my approach is naturally sensitive and therapeutic. The key themes are relaxation, gentleness, kindness (although I will occasionally find myself adding a plank position or two!)
I have always felt that my own yoga practiced was transformed into something much deeper and lovelier when I stopped trying to "use" it for physical fitness, and let it become more a practice of relaxation and mindfulness. (Basically I became brave enough to join a gym and used that to sort out my bum, tum and thighs - which in turn freed up my yoga practice to become more meditative, slower, deeper). Of course yoga is great for the physical body too - but when I see this more as a side-effect and less as a focus, my yoga practice is far more profound and enjoyable.
I truly value the holistic, healing power of yoga.
Like many people, I struggle. And through the emotional ups and downs of life, through periods of depression, anxiety and addiction - yoga has always offered me support and healing.
When I'm feeling down, there is real power in an uplifting practice. When I'm feeling tired and worn out, a soft and restorative yoga session can help. When I'm feeling anxious and lost, there is calm and reassurance in a breath-based meditation.
Of course it is not a magic bullet, and I get frustrated when I see adverts for yoga offering a 'quick fix' and instant transformation. But it helps, it really does. And there is always a move towards wholeness and happiness in rolling out my mat.
I am definitely not one of those springy lycra clad yoga teachers you see all over the Internet these days. I am naturally a fairly calm and quiet person, and I hope this comes through in my teaching.
I have been teaching yoga since 2014, and practicing for nearly three decades. My first ever yoga class was on a Friday evening in the autumn of 1993. I was a student at York University and had signed up to try something new.
I still remember my first yoga teacher, and the warm calm atmosphere of those big classes in a student union common room. I used a bath towel instead of a yoga mat (not recommended, but quite normal in those days) and loved the peaceful 'time out' nature of that hour on a Friday night.
Since then I've had many inspiring teachers and my love of yoga has deepend and evolved. I've stretched, breathed and smiled my way through hundreds of weekly sessions - in lovely warm yoga studios & in draughty village halls. And in recent years I've developed a more formal meditation practice too - nothing complicated, just taking some time out each day to sit on a cushion and calm my mind.
I live in Herefordshire with my partner and our house rabbit Ralph (who is often spotted joining me on the yoga mat).
And when I'm not teaching yoga, I work as an addiction recovery practitioner and also run a small online toy shop Cottontails Baby.
I considered yoga teacher training for about 10 years before I began, not wanting to turn something I love into a living, but eventually took the plunge in 2014 and began studying with Real Yoga, an amazing school where trainee teachers are encouranged to develop into safe, thoughtful, kind, supportive teachers.
Certificate in Yoga Teaching - I obtained a 500 hour qualification fully accredited by the Independent Yoga Network (IYN).
Diploma in Yoga Therapy - from 2016 to 2018 I undertook an additional two year training in yoga therapy
Certificate in Counselling - during the lockdowns of 2020 -2021 I studied online for a Level 3 Counselling training with Heartwood Colllege of Counselling & Psychotherapy
Neal's Yard Aromatherapy - not professional qualifications, but for personal development, I have attended many aromatherapy trainings with Neal's Yard
I continue to add to my training, attending regular workshops and additional teacher trainings.
Two or three times a year I attend silent meditation retreats which definitely inform my yoga teaching, as well as help to keep me calm and grounded.