I have been practising yoga for a few years and truly can’t imagine my life without it. I completed my 200hr yoga teacher training with Bryony Hamerton at Be-Yoga Academy which took place in Sussex and Morocco.
The main reason I started yoga was due to mental health reasons – something I like to be very open and honest with as there can be such a stigma attached to mental health. Battling with your mind every day is exhausting but yoga allows us to let go of negative emotions that cause suffering, such as stress, anger, anxiety, fear and sadness and encourages us to live more in the present moment. In my classes you are encouraged to relax and slow your breath, shifting the balance from the sympathetic nervous system (or the fight-or-flight response) to the parasympathetic nervous system. You’ll find that your breathing, heart rate and blood pressure is decreased, stimulating the relaxation response.
I believe yoga is for everybody and everybody! When I first started attending yoga classes I noticed that I would be really conscious of my neighbour next to me and comparing myself to them. As a teacher, I aim to create a safe space for my students and encourage them to really listen to their own body and keep their focus on their own mat. Yoga teaches us awareness. We can learn to respond (i.e. take control of the mind), not react. For example, you’ll notice I like to throw in a tricky balance or two because if you wobble or fall then that’s okay – just like in life! We’ve got you. There are so many tools we can learn in our classes that can then be carried into our everyday lives.
I predominantly teach vinyasa flow. This style of yoga links your breathing with dynamic movements – calming the mind, whilst moving the body. Together we will move through the physical asanas (postures) working to strengthen and lengthen the muscles. A vinyasa sequence takes us into a state of moving meditation, linking the mind, body and breath; resulting in a deep sense of relaxation and rejuvenation at the end of the class.
Regular practice releases fascia (connective tissue surrounding the muscles; which over time, hardens and causes stiffening of the body if not released) which will increase flexibility. You will also notice your posture improve. Poor posture can cause aches and pains all over the body. Yoga re-trains the body how to sit and stand correctly. You’ll keep the spine healthy and the discs supple with all the forward bends, back bends and twists you’ll be doing!