What should I wear? What should I bring?
Comfortable, stretchy t-shirt type top, stretchy trousers, and bring an ‘extra layer’ for the relaxation section of the class. Some students bring their own blankets. I have a lot of yoga stuff - this is the aftermath of the once a term 'restorative' class. I have mats, though many students have their own, and I bring yoga belts and lavender and rice bags to put on the eyes for relaxation. Again, some students have their own.
I’m not very flexible. Can I do yoga?
Yes, absolutely. Yoga is a perfect way to build flexibility gently, safely and enjoyably.
I do a lot of running, swimming, gym work. Why should I do yoga too?
The alignment, range of motion and flexibility work in yoga is very complementary to aerobic exercise and makes it much easier to enjoy these things with less joint damage over the years.
What qualifications do you have?
I trained in 1999 and 2000 with the well-respected teacher and teacher-trainer Mary Stewart. I am insured through the British Wheel of Yoga, which whom I hold an Accredited Teaching Diploma. In 2010 I completed a BWY Module called 'Teaching Yoga to People Living with Cancer' and attended 10 days of intensive teaching training in the Yin style with Sarah Powers in London; in 2011 in did a 5 day anatomy course with the American Yin Yoga teacher Paul Grilley and a 5 day silent retreat with Sarah Powers. Every year I spend time working with my favourite teachers, trying to keep learning and passing on my new ideas.
How long have you been doing yoga?
I started ante natal yoga in 1994 with Sharon Honig, and immediately found my back pain eased, so I did some every day, and my arthritic-y knees stopped hurting. I've been hooked ever since. After Sharon I went to Diana Silk in Cambridge and then Catherine James in London, and have been very influenced and inspired by all of them.
Do you practise every day? Should I?
I do some yoga pretty much every day, but the amount does vary. I also meditate every day, but again there is a lot of variation - it's not always at the same time. I know this is not ideal - the ideal is a very consistent practice, in terms of time and place, but this hasn't worked out in my life so far. If you practise every day you will change much more quickly, but you will still notice the effect just with one lesson a week.
What qualifications do you have? What kind of yoga is it?
I did my training with Mary Stewart. She worked with BKS Iyengar in the 1970s and then with Vanda Scaravelli. Working through the London YTTC group, in 2009 I became accreditated with the British Wheel of Yoga.
I think I concentrate on finding your feet, or whatever is your root at the time, on the path of the breath, alignment, and the movement, especially lengthening, of the spine. It's worked for me - I'm more than an inch taller now! I don't really like to define it as one type of yoga, I try to keep thinking and working to find what works for me and my students. The lesson plan will be different each week. There is an aerobic element, but it's not power yoga, and it won't make you thin.
I also work with the Yin style of yoga - there is more information about this on the Yin page of the website.
In 2009 I started working with Julie Friedeberger, who teaches yoga to people living with cancer, and this has led me to develop a new interest in approaches which gently improve strength, circulation, flexiblility and ability to relax in people who are dealing with enormous challenges in their life and who might not be able to attend a conventional yoga class at the moment.