Ashtanga vinyasa yoga, Friday Night Restorative, Get into the HotPod
I hope all my readers and listeners are well. It’s June already! Hopefully bringing the warm weather and more chances for us all to spend time outside (although it’s raining pretty hard as I write this!) This month I’ve got more exciting guests on the podcast lined up - and if you haven’t listened to my interview with the awesome Cathy Underwood in the last episode - check it out! I also want to share some workshops and new classes that I am offering in June and July.
The Rough Guide to Ashtanga
As some of you will know, I started off my yoga journey as an Astanga practitioner. I fell in love with this sweaty and challenging practice 25 years ago, through a local gym and a teacher who had trained with, or learned from the late Derek Ireland, the flamboyant ex-footballer-turned yogi who was responsible for introducing a whole generation of Brits (including my main teacher, John Scott) to the practice. Its sweaty, graceful and gymnastic like quality was instantly compelling for me, at first purely on the physical level of its challenges to the body, and later for the change in mental and emotional attitudes, I felt both on the mat and off.
Pre-internet, with no YouTube videos to help with those jump-backs it was all about learning what you could from books/videos, and, like many people I started learning to David Swensons' famous Primary Series VHS (yes, remember those kids?) Eventually, I found my way, as many did to the wonderful teachings of John Scott and Lucy Crawford and through them began to take the practice seriously and began teaching a little myself in 2002 when I moved to Norfolk. In 2006 I went to Mysore to study with S K Pattabhi Jois where I had the most wonderful time, and started to learn the 2nd Series of Ashtanga from his grandson, Sharath.
Remembering a workshop I did with one of the first people to learn the Ashtanga Method, Nancy Gilgoff, she spoke about people she was teaching in their 70’s and about the importance of also balancing the practice with pranayama and meditation. I think it's only when you get to a certain age with yoga, and maybe with Ashtanga too that you begin to understand its profound effects on the body and mind, I'm not so concerned now with can I do the postures correctly, but am I breathing correctly, is my mind with my body? I think maybe 15 or 20 years ago that was way beyond my understanding, I just wanted to jump through straight legs!
Practising in either a counted class or as a self-practice, Ashtanga Vinyasa is a simple unpretentious and effective method that, despite some of the postures seeming inaccessible can be practised by anyone.
On July 3rd, I’ll be leading a series of workshops looking at how to approach the Primary Series in a healthy and lighthearted way. There is also a workshop aimed at total beginners.
Workshop 1 10.30-12.30pm
Total beginners introduction to the practice. Come and learn the basics. If you are a bit rusty and want to brush up the foundations again this one is for you.
Handouts included. 2 hours. £20
Workshop 2. 2-4.30pm
Primary Series workshop. This workshop will be a combination of practice and unpacking some of the more challenging parts of the Primary Series. Rather than flow all the way through, we will be stopping and investigating ways that we can approach some of those weirder bits, where you get all pretzled up in a knot, making the poses more accessible. We may also look at techniques for jumping back and through.
Suitable for those with some experience of Ashtanga or with an established yoga practice. 2.5 hours £25
Both workshops together £40
Held at Happy Ohm Studio, Capitol House, Heigham Street NR2 4TE
Get into the Hot Pod!
From June 28th I’m delighted to say I will be teaching Vinyasa Flow at HotPod Yoga Norwich. This is a brand new studio opening in the Castle Quarter (just next to Moya Bubble Tea) and I’m joining a team of really great teachers who will be working with Kelly and Devon, the equally lovely owners. Come down and see what it’s all about
Do pop along for the launch weekend, I’m teaching two classes on Saturday 25th June at 12.30 and 2.30pm, they are free but you need to make a refundable deposit to secure your spot.
My monthly Friday night classes continue on the 17th June and 8th July at 6.30-8pm (no class in August).
If you’ve never tried Restorative yoga why not give it a go? It’s suitable for all abilities, and ages and is particularly good if you are recovering from injury or just want something very gentle and supportive.
Classes are held at Happy Ohm Studio, Capitol House, Heigham Street NR2 4TE
Looking forward to seeing some of you over the summer, on the mat, in the Pod, or on a bolster! Do get in touch with any questions or comments and if you want to share this post with friends, please do.
As always, all my love