Yoga can benefit the physical body, the nervous system, respiratory and emotional health.
If you are seeking the benefits of a gentle but demanding physical yoga practice - increased mobility, stability and ease of movement and breath - or the benefits of a calmer and quieter mind, please join me, you are all welcome.
The classes I offer are open to everyone*.
Group sessions are held within a container of two specific chants. The first is to welcome everyone to the space and reaffirm our aim of working together in shared enquiry. It is many thousands of years old and yet still recited today as an invitation to work in harmony.
Om saha navavatu
Om saha nau bhunaktu
Saha viryam karavavahai
Om, Shanti, shanti, shanti
Om. May we be protected together
May we be nourished together
May we work together with great energy
May our study together be brilliant and effective
May we not hate or dispute each other
Om, Peace, peace, peace
The chant is led by myself and participants are free to join in, listen or let it go as they wish. The sessions end with the repetition of Om three times. For many yogis this signifies the universal sound of the cosmos and an acknowledgment of something greater than ourselves. For others it may simply be a pleasant reverberation in the body, and, of course, participation is voluntary. However, I think everyone in a group session finds something very nurturing and resonant as a wave of pulsing sound fills a space and brings everyone together at the end of practice. This simple ritual at the start and end of practice gently holds a group within a specific space and time and I feel it allows a very particular opportunity to students to explore their own practice.
Within that container, most sessions will begin with settling the breath and the body, ready for an attentive exploration of movement practices, always working with the potential of the body rather than against it. There is never any forcing or pushing to achieve a 'pose'; rather there is an invitation, a waiting, a listening for the moment when freedom of movement becomes possible, often surprisingly. We complete the practice with relaxation, perhaps some breathing practice, and an opportunity to sit in stillness.
" Do not kill the instinct of the body for the glory of the pose." - Vanda Scaravelli
Like many others, I discovered Yoga by passing through a doorway into a yoga class. What began as a purely physical experience has matured with practice and patience into something much greater. Yoga.
In the fullest sense.
A practice both on and off the mat. Of attentiveness to the movement of the body in the present moment, the movement of the breath, the relationship to the ground and space. The movement of the mind in relation to the body and breath, and what all this can uncover about habitual or conditioned patterns, with the freedom and potential to reform them. To find stillness and non-reaction.
“Yoga is the settling of the mind into silence. When the mind has settled, we are established in our essential nature…” Patanjali's Yoga Sutras 1:2,3
It is a way of being in life, living from a place of non-separation, acting in a way – on and off the mat – that does no harm, from compassion for oneself, for others and for everything on our planet, realising that ultimately there is no difference despite our personal uniqueness.
“We live in the water and function as the wave” - Michael Stone
(*If you have a particular condition that you think may affect your practice, please do speak to me and we can find alternative approaches, either within a group class or in a private session).