Hatha, Classical and Restorative Yoga
What is yoga for?
I believe yoga is there to support you in your daily life, helping you be more fulfilled, happy and relaxed.
How are you?
Is your lifestyle causing you back problems? Or perhaps aching and stiff shoulders? Do you suffer from head and neck pain? Many different kinds of occupations result in stressing the body in a way it does not like, whether that is sitting working at a computer all day, spending much time driving, lifting heavy things repeatedly, or having to hold the body in a certain position for long periods of time.
Sometimes it is leisure time pursuits which leave muscles overworked and joints overloaded. During gym workouts, marathon running, rowing, sailing, aerobics, playing football or squash, birdwatching, photography, painting and pottery, the body is used in a certain way which, over time, can create imbalances in the muscles, tendons and ligaments and joints.
It is not only lifestyle, but simply the fact that we age that leads us to places where we can no longer do what we used to so easily when we were young. Weight problems are on the increase and more and more people suffer from stress, eating problems and find relaxation and sleeping well difficult.
So are you having back problems? Shoulders aching and stiff at the end of the day? Is head and neck pain troubling you? Are your muscles overworked and joints overloaded? Do you find it more difficult to tie your shoelaces? Do you find your balance is deteriorating? Are you experiencing restrictions in your joints? Is it difficult for you to unwind and are you feeling stressed frequently? Are you battling with your weight or having digestive problems? Is the quality of your sleep not how you would wish it to be? Do you lack energy and vitality? Do you have the mental stamina to overcome difficulties?
How can yoga help you?
Practising yoga can help with all the above conditions and many more. It is a way to redress these imbalances and restore the body to its natural state of balance, alignment and vitality. A balance of strength and flexibility is the body's natural state. The joints and the spine can be compromised if there is too much flexibility without the strength to sustain it, equally if the muscles are overdeveloped, they can limit the optimum range of movement of the joints and spine.
Uneven wear and tear of the body can result in joint problems as we grow older. Yoga can help you to appreciate how your unique structure affects your function and how to replace inappropriate and unhelpful patterns with ones which serve you better.
Scientific evidence supports findings that incorrect breathing impacts negatively on our being. Unhelpful patterns can be replaced, resulting in a quiet sympathetic nervous system, (the one where the body and brain are on constant alert), allowing the parasympathetic nervous system to take over, bringing about a quiet, relaxed, peaceful mind and body with a healthy immune system.
This journey, to improved posture, functionality, enhanced health and well-being, increased self-awareness and confidence, whilst not always smooth, is worthwhile. Encouraging the mind, body and breath to work together leads to physical and mental relaxation, the benefits of which extend far beyond the mat, into our daily lives. Practising yoga can enable us to develop greater inner strength and equanimity.
What`s yoga about?
It is a process of transformation on many levels.
It's not about trying to tie yourself into impossible knots, ( I don't, nor do I wish to!) or stand on your head for hours on end, it's about finding a pathway that will help support you to live your life. You don't have to be super bendy to be able to practice, quite the opposite, practising reduces stiffness.
Through a series of dynamic and static asanas (postures), pranayama (breathing exercises) and relaxation, increased mobility, strength and flexibility and a deep sense of well-being and relaxation can be developed. Yoga can help bring balance back into the body that has been lost along the way. Physical, and mental knots are untied leaving you revitalised and in a state of calm.
For me, the joy of yoga, is that it has much to offer to suit individual needs. People practice yoga for different reasons. For some it is the asanas, others pranayama, relaxation, meditation, spirituality or the philosophy. Initially, I came to yoga because I was interested in what it had to offer me physically. To quote one my favourite teachers, Donna Farhi, practising yoga postures ‘is simply one of the most direct and expedient ways to meet yourself. It is a good place to begin. ’ I have found through practising and teaching yoga that it facilitates being more in touch, and in tune, with your inner self. Being in tune with our instincts, intuitions, feelings and insights comes about through being in our bodies, rather than living in our heads, disassociated from our bodies. With developed awareness, old, unhelpful patterns of thinking can change, altering how we see ourselves, others, and the world; this heightened awareness can enhance our relationships with ourselves and others.
Why I continue to study and teach yoga
My experience of practising yoga has been good health, vitality and regaining mobility after several sporting injuries and operations, including a hip replacement. I've been practising for over 35 years and have a specialist background in teaching sport, dance and back care. At a young age, I had spinal problems, which has resulted in my lifetime interest in safeguarding the health of the spine, both in myself and students.
Having taught, played and participated in many individual and team sports, I have an in-depth understanding of how to breathe correctly, and the anatomical and physiological impact, of postural habits and sporting activities, on the body. This knowledge enables me to assess imbalances, and unhelpful holding patterns, not only in the breath, but in the muscular skeletal system. I then develop individual maintenance and rehabilitative practices, re-educating the neural pathways, for sports men and women and for those whose posture causes them problems in daily living.
After my hip replacement, I was not able to practice any asanas and I experienced my journey back to strength and mobility very much as if I was a complete beginner, as if I had had an incapacitating injury and as if I were someone whose mobility had decreased with age. This experience gave me much insight into the challenges of practising yoga for those with reduced strength and mobility. It was a humbling experience and one which I believe has given greater depth to my teaching.
Keeping current with the latest research and development in anatomy and physiology, and applying it in my teachings, is important to me so that my students benefit from the very best ways to practice safely and with ease. The latest understanding of the fascia, the connective tissue within the body, underpins my teaching and has had a huge impact on my own practice. As well as learning from the teachings of others I draw upon my own inner teacher to guide my practice and my teachings.
Enabling others to develop flexibility and strength, to move their bodies with greater ease, and to develop their ability to relax, inspires me to teach yoga. Also, enabling my students to become their own inner teacher, so that their practice suits their own particular needs, mentally, physically, and spiritually inspires me. Each individual's journey is different and being sensitive to this, and acting as a guide, is how I see my role. I encourage students to find what works for them through direct experience. What works for and suits one, does not necessarily resonate within somebody else.
Personally, I have become increasingly empowered, through my studies and daily yoga practice, to care for my body, in such a way that it imposes no restrictions on how I like to live my active life. I appreciate how, through my studies of yoga philosophy, breath control and meditation practices, I feel more relaxed physically and mentally, more fulfilled and contented.
I am much
indebted to many teachers who have shared their wisdom and knowledge with me on
my yoga journey, particularly Simon
Details of classes and 1-1 tuition
Beginners Class St. Laurence Church Hall,
Wed every month 6-7.15pm all other Wednesdays 6-7.35pm. Small car park and no
restrictions parking on
Classes suited to those who have never practised yoga before, or those who feel they would like to return to the foundations of their practice.
Classes £8.00 if an 8 week block payment is made in advance (non-refundable). Classes £8.50 if an 8 week loyalty card is purchased in advance-classes must be used within a 10 week period. Class drop-in price £9. Introduce a friend who signs up for a block and you receive 1 class free.
April 10, 16, 24
May 1, 8, 15, 22, 29,June 12, 19, 26
July 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 Aug14, 21, Please note the class on Wed 28th Aug has been cancelled. My apologies.
Sept 4 , 11,Oct 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, Nov 6, 13
Nov 20, 27, Dec 4, 11, 18
For those with a minimum of one year`s experience practicing yoga.
Drop in classes at Heene Community Centre,
Free car park behind the centre, entrance on
A more dynamic class to improve strength, stamina, posture, address imbalances in the body, further develop flexibility, develop the breath, quieten the mind and enable you to relax much more deeply.
April 9, 16, 23, 30
May 7, 14, 21 June 11
June 18, 25, July 2, 9
July 16, 23, 30
August 13, 20, 27 Sept 3
October 1, 8,15, 22,
Oct 29 Nov 5, 12, 19,
Nov 26 Dec 3, 10, 17
Each block is for 4 weeks and costs £8 per class in advance (non-refundable), £9 drop-in.
Each class is
‘stand-alone’ so you can join anytime. Introduce a friend who signs up for a block and you receive 1 class
Gentle Yoga Drop in classes at Angmering Community
Centre, BN16 4FU Tuedays 9.30-11.00am
A gentle class, to ease that stiffness, whatever your age, 20 or 100! A gentle practice to maintain and increase mobility in the joints, improve joint alignment and posture, strengthen the muscles, improve flexibility, develop the breath, calm the mind and improve the ability to relax fully.
This class no longer running, depending on numbers may resume in 2014
General Yoga Splashpoint ( new swimming complex in
New for 2013! Monthly Saturday workshops 10-1pm
NOW BOOKING! Few places remaining !
Saturday 27rd of April 10-1pm
Also includes 1 hour of Restorative Yoga –an opportunity to experience this relaxing and revitalizing practice. £20 (Non-refundable)
Saturday 23rd February ‘10 Years Younger ! Revitalising and Rejuvenating Rotations.’
Saturday 23rd of March 10-1pm ‘Liberating the Front Spine- and Keeping Your Head on!’
Watch this space for further news!
If none of the class times nor venues suit you, then please do contact me to let me know your preferences, as more new classes will start according to demand!
1 to 1 sessions, Hatha, Restorative or Yin yoga . Practices are designed to meet your individual needs. Your place or mine. Tailored, written practice for you to follow can be provided. £40 for one hour.
British Wheel of Yoga Accredited Teacher
Specialist Physical Education Teacher- Liverpool University Institute of Education
British Wheel of Yoga insured