My first experience of Yoga came whilst travelling in India more than 20 years ago. I came to India to search the land of some of my ancestors, wanting to see the places that my grandfather had talked about, and discovered a beautiful country steeped in spiritual history and practice. I became interested in these traditions including Yoga and meditation, and whilst travelling in the Himalayas met many Saddhus or wandering Holy men living without material possessions and focusing their lives on the practice of Yoga. I then found a local Swami (one who is one with themselves) who taught me Yoga postures and gave a routine for me to follow. Upon returning to England I continued with the practice and also learnt more from a book I was given (‘Light on Yoga’ by B.K.S Iyengar). This book was a perfect companion on my travels over the next few years, and upon settling in Bristol I began regular classes with Iyengar trained Yoga teachers. I also discovered other styles of Yoga, including Astanga and Satyananda Yoga, and since then have studied with different teachers from a variety of traditions as well as teachers that have no particular lineage.
After 10 years of practice I decided to undertake the foundation British Wheel of Yoga teacher training course with Wendy Teasdill in Glastonbury,and then upon arriving in Sheffield took a 200 hour Yoga teaching training course with Steve Avian of Shama Yoga, which is registered with the Yoga Alliance. I have more recently completed over 300 hours of study in the field of Yoga Therapy and am a fully qualified and insured Yoga Therapist registered with the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC), recognised by the NHS.
I am a student of Yoga and regularly attend workshops and intensive courses with top Yoga teachers, particularly in the field of Yoga Therapy. I have studied extensively with local Physiotherapist and long term Yoga teacher, Lesley Dike, and have also studied with Doug Keller, Julie Gudmestad, Roger Cole, Donna Farhi, A.G.Mohan, Tias Little amongst others.
I have now been teaching regularly in Sheffield for over 10 years, and have experience teaching all ages, from children at schools, to older people in retirement homes. I additionally have a diploma in Anatomy and Physiology, Indian Head Massage, and Nutritional studies.
Other relevant experience.
I have a BA (Hons) degree in Third World Studies + Environment and Society, which incorporated the study of religious and cultural practices of people in so-called ‘developing countries’. For my dissertation I studied about the grass roots movements in India that are opposed to the destruction of their land through large-scale, western aided development projects. I spent time in Gujarat visiting Hindu and tribal villages that were to be destroyed by such projects, and saw first hand the ancient religious traditions and ways of life that were being swept aside in the name of progress, and the non-violent, peaceful methods of protest that people were using to oppose this.
From this experience I became inspired to join in with the environmental protests taking place throughout England, such as that at Newbury and became involved in the battle to protect ancient woodland and other areas of beauty from being destroyed for the sake of ‘progress’.
Some years later I returned to India to visit an Ashram that was founded by Vinoba Bhave, a follower of Mahatma Gandhi. Vinoba was committed to the equality of all people in India’s caste system and spent much time wandering around India, convincing landowners to give land back to the poor.
I am interested in Yoga for its physical, mental and spiritual benefits, and also as a way of living that is in harmony with nature, promotes understanding, compassion and peace, and offers a solution to the many ills of modern society. I believe that the power of transformation offered to individuals through the practice of Yoga can create a very positive effect through the rest of society.
I am inspired by the teachings and actions of Mahatma Gandhi, Vinoba Bhave, J.Krishnamurti, Krishnamacharya, Sri Ramana Maharishi, Mooji, and the Dalai Lama amongst others.