You’ve had a busy 2017- are there any favorite events/workshops you’ve been a part of?
It’s been non-stop and is still going, with December featuring London, Austria, Slovenia and the English Countryside. August was a pretty big highlight for me; first came the chance to reunite with the Udaya Community and alternate between teaching, practicing, singing and sitting in multiple saunas. Then fellow Udaya teacher, Emma Henry, and I flew straight to a luxury Italian estate to host the most magical of retreats. Beyond the different countries and amazing events, what a pleasure it was to be able to assist my teacher, the globally respected Jason Crandell on his advance teacher training in London; exactly 3 minutes walk from my front door!
We notice you like to focus classes on strengthening the body toward those challenging, frequented poses like chaturanga. Has your personal yoga path been a steady progress or were there ever any injuries or difficulty you had to learn form to move forward?
From a physical perspective, my view is that a yoga asana practice should be as much about strength as it is about flexibility. We need to get stable in the loose bits and more open in the tight spots. We also need to take care to adapt our practice when injuries inevitably hit. In this blog post I talk about all the ‘punches’ that early 2017 threw at me, including a badly broken foot, and how to be a yoga teacher through it all! The big injury was certainly humbling and I’m now working very hard to stabilize all the muscles in my right leg to counteract the detached Lisfranc ligament in my foot! I’ve just built the strength and confidence to revisit and take on ‘float back to chaturanga’, without being scared my foot will fall apart.
As modern yogis we often love to throw our legs around, take them as high as possible and generally follow the route of least resistance in our practice. This is great for making pretty shapes, but not necessarily the best thing for your body, especially in the long term.
In this workshop, our attention will be drawn to the concept of mobility: a combination of flexibility and strength, in a context where strength means control. Through a controlled vinyasa practice, we’ll be exploring the anatomical subtleties of more traditional asana and brining in dynamic movements to find depth and strength around our legs and hips. You might be great at using your arms, or a teacher’s help to get your legs into ‘deep poses’, but how are you at moving your legs into deep positions, solely with the muscles designed to move your legs? In this workshop people will find an answer to that and more.
Any favorite yoga instructor/s you might be learning a lot from currently. Books or music that are currently influencing your practice?
Beyond my regular teachers I’m actually being inspired and intellectually stimulated by my physio. I’ve been lucky enough to be treated at one of the UK’s top centres for athletes (Isokinetic) and the team there know their stuff. I’m forever picking their brains on their point of views on certain movements or postures that are common in an asana practice, researching some of what they have said, and then apply it too my teaching. If you are lucky enough to work with a professional that works with the body, treat the opportunity as a training! And an education!
Top tip book recommendation is Yoga FAQ, by Richard Rosen, one of the most intelligent western minds in yoga.
Looking toward the new year, any big projects on the horizon? Things you’re excited for or any yoga related resolutions?
The year 2018 is already looking rather full, and after an eventful 2017, I’m looking for a smoother ride this year, but still full of excitement and plane journeys! Keep an eye out on my website for new retreats and workshops dates, which should be in the public domain in the first month of the year. See you at Udaya 2018!