My yoga journey started in 1990 when I attended my first yoga class at the local gym. I was immediately attracted to the slow reflective nature of the practice. For the next few years I attended various classes with several teachers in Durham and then in Cardiff. All these teachers were from the Iyengar tradition with a strong emphasis on detail, precision and alignment in asana. In 1998 I decided to become a teacher myself and qualified as British Wheel of Yoga Diploma Teacher.
Over the years I have regularly attended workshops and courses given by teachers from a variety of styles of yoga and my practice has been influenced by many of these. A big shift in my my approach to yoga happened in 2002 at the British Wheel of Yoga Congress when I experienced yoga taught by Chloe Fremantle in the Vanda Scaravelli style and this immediately struck me as making absolute sense. For me the essence of this style of yoga is to discover how the body naturally responds to the breath and to gravity. In doing so we can move into postures without bringing extra tension into the body. I have continued to work this way ever since attending workshops, courses and classes with other teachers working this way whenever I can. I have gained much inspiration from the way that Peter Blackaby approaches yoga.
At the BWY Congress (again) in 2015 I discovered Hanna Somatics as taught by Tanya Fitzpatrick and after just one session my neck and shoulders which had recently been troublesome, felt released.
Hanna Somatics is a program of neuro-muscular re-education designed to bring habitually contracted muscles under our voluntary control. It is a simple but powerful way of alleviating pain. I have since qualified as a Somatic Movement Exercise Coach (Align Somatics)
Both yoga and somatic exercise can return functionality to the body by unlearning non-useful patterns of moving and thinking.
Our bodies reflect the life we have lived but if we can learn to move more freely, that in turn will have an effect on our minds and perhaps make life a little easier – and be reflected in our bodies.