BA (Hons) BWY Dip, Adv. Teacher BWY Dip.
I am a fully qualified yoga teacher with over 20 years teaching experience so you can trust me to know what I am doing and to look after you safely. There are many short cuts to becoming a yoga teacher especially with it’s growing popularity; internet courses of as little as two weeks, going abroad for a few weeks, or even having no training at all. It is an unregulated industry, anyone can teach, so you need to take care when choosing a class to go to! The route I chose to become a teacher enabled me to build up years of experience and learning whilst being taught by varied and highly experienced teachers. This gave me a broad base of knowledge and skill set and equipped me for the huge variance of individual’s needs when teaching classes or 121’s. I therefore have a very flexible and intuitive approach in how I teach yoga, drawing on many traditions and teachings.
I initially trained with the British Wheel Of Yoga for 3 years, then with the growing need to learn more, I trained for a further 2 1/2 years to become an advanced teacher in a style of yoga based on health and healing that is rooted right at the core of yogic tradition. I was lucky enough to be taught by the ‘Acharya’ Desikachar. Whilst doing this training I became more interested in making yoga accessible for children and teens and undertook a ten day training programme with Marc Beuvain. Whilst I have been taught by some very well known teachers, there are also those who are less well known who have been equally remarkable. My thanks and gratitude to all. I consistently update my training through attending workshops, courses and yoga days; too many to mention but all have given me more specialist and conversely, broader knowledge. I am fully insured, have a current first aid certificate and DBS clearance.
I have run many classes in my time; from general hatha yoga to more specific classes such as ‘bumps and babies’, kids yoga, teens yoga, yoga for swimmers and golfers and workshops for runners. I also have experience of running classes for councils, charities, corporate groups such as Goodwood and an interesting and hugely enjoyable experience of teaching at Nudefest! I was the principal yoga instructor at Baliffs Court Spa in West Sussex and the first yoga teacher at The Yoga Garden in Storrington, West Sussex now at Knepp Castle. Being a mother to my children has always been my focus so I have not been interested in teaching too far afield from where I was living, apart from a couple of yoga festivals in Hampshire and then Exeter University, although I did once go further and teach a group of teachers in Estonia!
I have taught people from all walks of life, from octogenarians to babies, from celebrities to people who’ve had a rough start in life... however I’m only ever interested in giving the best experience and most appropriate practices to whoever is on the mat in front of me. I count myself very lucky to have met such varied and truly interesting people on my yoga ‘teaching’ journey. Hopefully and I trust, from the many testimonials I have had over my time as a teacher, that I have made a difference to people’s lives…
I came to yoga as a last resort to help me with an injury I had been suffering with for a number of years. Nothing else had helped; operations, many physio appointments... Yet after the first yoga session I had relief from the daily pain which had left me almost crying in despair. Continuing with yoga practice I became completely pain free and able to move my arm again. It was so life changing that I wanted to share the knowledge...
I know I would have been put off at first by a class that felt too spiritual - the one I initially went to was a class run by a male teacher and was very physically based. I try to use my understanding of how scary going to a class or yoga can sometimes appear and the preconceptions around it to make my classes accessible for everyone, whatever reason they have chosen to try yoga. Doing yoga simply to help your back for instance is a good reason!
My lovely teacher, Tony, taught breath awareness and breathing practices which led me to experience and therefore understand the importance of the breath and it’s relation to health in the body. By ‘body’ I mean all aspects of this; physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. I always include breath awareness and breath control in my classes (if appropriate) as I know from experience that actually this is perhaps the most beneficial aspect of the practice. Without attention to the breath you will not be getting the most from what yoga has to offer.
Often people choose to come to yoga to de-stress. Stress really is, I believe, at the heart of most disease. I very much understand how important it is to become aware of its effects and to work with practices that counter them. Awareness brings change that leads to dealing with those effects more appropriately and positively. In my classes I therefore prioritise de-stressing practices and teach techniques to equip my clients with skills they can use in their day-to-day lives.
I believe that going through tough times gives us learning and strengthens rather than weakens - so the difficulty, or negative, actually becomes a positive. Turning it around is just attitude, or mind (‘asana’ meaning ‘posture’ in Sanskrit the language of yoga, also means ‘attitude’. Thus our posture affects our mind and conversely our mind affects our posture. We work with this in yoga.). Going through difficult experiences can also give one more understanding and compassion for others. Kindness is something I promote in my classes and I am very lucky to have such kind clients.
Learning to accept that you have to let go, leave things in the past and move on is something all humans must do; Being able to do so with ease is hard but to learn to do so certainly allows more peace. Holding onto things too tightly such as resentment, hurts, people, anything potentially, creates tension and pain. Becoming aware of this on a physical level with the postures starts to move into the other layers of yourself and works at that deeper level, sometimes without you initially being aware. There is always a balance to be found in all things for equanimity; that middle ground.
I also like to promote self empowerment: to get away from our endless self criticism or worrying about what other people think or say. I have found that people can always achieve more than they think in a yoga class. I feel very passionately about people feeling good about themselves.
Yoga on the mat is just preparation for yoga off the mat in everyday life. It is a holistic practice equipping one for everyday living and coping with all that life can throw at us. My aim is to encourage each person to develop themselves on all levels to become stronger, more flexible, healthier and importantly, kinder inwards and outwardly, with an awareness of gratitude, all of which leads to greater happiness. Finding contentment and equanimity where you feel at one with yourself and the world around you is the main aim of yoga.
On a personal note, I have three children and border collies. I have a degree in Fine Art and love all things creative. My passions, apart from teaching yoga and getting people to feel great, are wildlife, gardening, design and architecture, being active and family. I'm sure there are many more!
I look forward to welcoming you to my studio.