In our yoga practice we seek to unite and balance the body, breath and mind, following a tradition dating back to 6000 BCE. Hatha yoga uses postures (asanas) to create balance by developing both strength and flexibility according to individual needs and to bring specific physical benefits by stimulating the function of the internal organs. Steady, co-ordinated breathing helps us to move in and out of the postures mindfully and to focus our attention on the matter in hand. As a result, yoga can also help to reduce stress and anxiety, improve concentration and lead to greater self-awareness.
A British Wheel of Yoga qualified teacher, I have been practising yoga for some 19+ years and teaching since 2006. Over this time, I have tried several different styles of yoga and find that, for me, a more mindful approach is best; it allows me to really focus on my practice and to work in a way that is of benefit to me both physically and mentally. I practice mindfulness meditation as a way of connecting myself to the moment and creating space in my life. Since qualifying as a teacher, I have gone on to study meditation further with Maarten Vermaas and have now completed his BWY-approved Meditation Modules at levels 1 and 2, which are based in Tibetan Buddhism. Over the last year (2016-7) I have competed the Mindfulness Association Practitioner’s Certificate Course, which explores mindfulness in a secular context.
During my studies for the British Wheel’s Teaching Diploma I was introduced to the style of yoga set out by Vanda Scaravelli, which emphasises freedom of the spine and a more ‘feeling’ approach to practice that I find to be extremely mindful. I aim to further my yoga training and development in this area by continuing to work with my Diploma course tutor Gillian Russel and with Bill Wood, a Scaravelli-influenced teacher based in Devon.