Teaching is my passion! I used to be a school teacher, but after having children of my own, I decided on a change so trained for two years as a classical hatha yoga teacher with Friends of Yoga (FRYOG). Since then my own style has evolved, having explored many different forms of yoga… and taken what I think are the best bits of each! I was particularly influenced by time spent doing yoga in America practising vinyasa flow with several renowned yoga teachers including Shiva Rea and Janet Stone and the amazing experience of bhakti yoga (yoga to live kirtan). I find music can transform your mood and believe that the right music can have a wonderful effect in a class.
My classes are very breath focused. The breath has a powerful effect on the mind and the body, and is, I believe, what makes yoga stand apart from any other form of exercise. Breathing incorrectly can cause anxiety, depression, a poor immune system, heart disease and so many other problems. It makes your body tense and tight which can also lead to many physical issues. Changing the way we breathe can change the way we feel. If there is one thing I hope that people can take from a yoga class, it is learning how to breathe in a healthy way.
Over the years I have developed a fascination with anatomy and how the body works in yoga postures. I can’t stop booking myself onto workshops in my thirst to gain more knowledge and understanding so that I can help my students get the most out of every class….which gets expensive!! (Julie Gudmestad, Donna Farhi and Pete Blackaby have been particular inspirations) Although my classes are fairly strong and dynamic, I put a strong emphasis on the breath, alignment and safety in all postures and like to explain what effects the postures are having on the body. I give stages of difficulty with poses and stress the importance of listening to the body and building up to the stronger poses only when ready. (Probably a bit like a broken record!) I aim to enable students to take what they learn on the mat and use it to improve their day to day lives.
I always end each class with a relaxation session, often taking everyone on a visualisation journey. I just love seeing the peaceful smiles on everyone’s faces at the end of each lesson! I also often include sankalpas (positive affirmations), which students choose for themselves. Repeating affirmations when your mind and body are totally relaxed can have a profound effect.
Having trained as a yoga therapist, I give private yoga sessions to those looking for a more therapeutic class.
I also run a small weekly nurturing class (for older students or those needing more attention) tailored to those suffering from just general aches and pains to osteoporosis, hip replacements and other issues which might prevent them from wanting to join a general class. Teaching these classes is incredibly rewarding and I have learnt so much from my students. I am often blown away by how much yoga can achieve and how transformative the effects of yoga can be on people’s lives. I feel so lucky to have discovered yoga myself and be in the position to help others with it.
I am also trained to teach pre and postnatal yoga , having completed a diploma course with appleyoga (Katy Appleton). Katy Appleton has always been an inspiration. Her classes are guaranteed to put a smile on your face the moment they start. Yoga in pregnancy and afterwards can be hugely helpful in maintaining one’s sanity in a time of change as well as keeping the body healthy and strong.
Once a month I teach a group of people with fibromyalgia in Abergavenny. Yoga can be a huge help for people suffering from this and this group gets together weekly for support. Please contact me if you would like to know more information on this.
I run a small ‘Bloga’ class, a yoga class for men who prefer to be in a group where they can work on their flexibility with others who have more similar strengths and weaknesses. So many people say that yoga is for supple people. This is so not true! Yoga helps you to become supple as well as strong. Footballers, rugby players and athletes are discovering how much yoga can help their ability to play and extend their time as professionals. When you are supple as well as strong you are so much less likely to injure yourself in whatever sport you play, as my ‘Blogis’ are discovering. The calm that yoga brings is often a surprise to those who have never done it before.
I run small twice yearly yoga weekends in an old farmhouse in South Wales. Set in stunning surroundings, these weekends are warm and intimate and as active or relaxed as each person feels the need for. Yoga weekends can also be booked and tailor made for groups of friends. I love doing these weekends. They often seem to feel like having friends to stay with some yoga thrown in, and it gives me so much pleasure to see the relaxed happy expressions on everyone’s faces at the end of the weekends.
I also teach yoga at ‘Yoga and Dressage‘ weekends at a wonderful farm nearby.
I feel deeply honoured and touched by all the wonderful comments people have given me about my classes…which can be found in my testimonials page. Thank you to all my wonderful students for their kind words!
“Smiling is contagious; you catch it like the flu. When someone smiled at me today, I started smiling too. I walked around the corner and someone saw me grin. I immediately realised I had passed it on to him. I thought about that smile and I realised its worth. A single smile like mine could travel round the earth! So if you feel a smile begin, don’t leave it undetected. Let’s start an epidemic, and get the world infected!”