MY APPROACH TO YOGA
I share Yoga as an embodied, meditative and spiritual practice for self-healing, self-inquiry & nurturing. I particularly enjoy sharing this approach with women, as Yoga can provide us with a way of connecting with our physicality in a non-objectifying way, as an antidote to so much cultural conditioning; and my offerings are all intended to create a safe space for women. I began a personal Yoga practice back in 1995 and began teaching classes in 2012. My ever-evolving offerings are the natural extension of what I've experienced during the course of my long-term Yoga journey and very much rooted in ongoing explorations through my personal practice. (Learn more about my Yoga experience, training, teachers and ongoing journey here.) Yoga is my anchor and has been a great friend to me over the years!
"Lunar Vinyasa" is the most recent name I've used to describe my mindful, feminine, nurturing approach to Yoga, offering a practice rooted in cultivating awareness of what we are experiencing in our bodies & minds, awareness of breath, and cultivating a balance of flowing movement and stillness. This approach offers sequences inspired by the softer, more "feminine" moon salutes (chandra namaskara) and lunar cycles, combined with slower, held postures - a more "yin" approach - inviting you to cultivate your own personal balance of strengthening and letting go. I will sometimes gently weave in elements of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, as this style has formed one of the lasting foundations of my own practice, along with more traditional Hatha Yoga. (See below for what I mean by "Vinyasa"!)
I often speak about the more subtle energetic aspects of the practice, and how these relate to varying levels of our consciousness and inner balance. Yoga is rooted in a philosophical & ethical system too; I used to teach these more explicitly but these days I tend to allow things to filter through & arise organically in class!
This is a practice for women seeking an embodied, healing, inward-focusing meditative approach to Yogic practices, using postures to develop mindfulness and cultivate states of deeper awareness and self-understanding and compassion. This is not about being "good" at poses or being bendy or strong, it's about being sensitive to yourself and understanding your needs.
I teach with depth and sensitivity encouraging my students to be intuitive, to listen to and be guided by the needs of their own bodies, and find the expression of a pose which feels best for them. I offer plenty of anatomically-safe alignments and variations in my instructions, and will discuss aspects of anatomy to help you understand what you're experiencing in your own body. People consistently report feeling very safe and validated by this approach.
I share a very grounding form of Yoga. Mind & body being interconnected, as we heal those lower back & hip issues and work through old stories and emotional tension which may be stored there - and the corresponding subtle energetic centres - and cultivate greater core strength & stability, we can experience a greater sense of groundedness; in life, we are presented with constantly fluctuating circumstances, so the more we can cultivate stability within, the more we are able to meet life's inevitable challenges with equanimity, trust and serenity. (I find observing and following the lunar cycle a wonderful reminder of this - learning how to perceive the underlying harmony and regularity within the cycle of constant change.)
Classes always end with a relaxation & sometimes a yoga nidra (yoga sleep) so that you can leave feeling deeply rested and nourished as well as energised.
A SIDE NOTE ON WHAT I MEAN BY "VINYASA":
"Vinyasa", in case you're wondering, has at least 4 different meanings: to place in a certain order; a sequence of Yoga postures; the synchronisation of movement with breath; and the usually dynamic styles of Yoga such as Ashtanga Vinyasa (from Krishnamacharya/Pattabhi Jois) and later the music and dance-infused Vinyasa Flow (from Shiva Rea). My use of "Vinyasa" relates to the linking of breath and movement, the sequencing of postures and the influence of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga - particularly the Primary Series, "Yoga Chikitsa". It's also worth noting that I don't use music during the class. (VERY occasionally I will play some during savasana but that's not usually the case!)