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My Yoga Teaching
My lessons will be physically challenging, as the asanas require you to hold progressively stronger stretch positions. It is not necessary to be flexible or fit to start doing my yoga classes, as most people are not so when they begin. I do however need to be informed of any injuries or conditions you have, so that these are not aggravated in any way.
Most of my classes will follow a similar basic structure:
- a short seated meditation/relaxation at the beginning
- a gentle warm up
- the body of the session, with practice of the yoga asanas and sometimes vinyasas (flowing sequences)
- cool down
- savasana (a lying down relaxation)
As your teacher, I will guide you through the session, with demonstrations and verbal explanations. I am fascinated by human anatomy and will often give information about which muscles you should be targeting or activating in the asanas. Sometimes asanas will be repeated in each session and other times completely new ones will be introduced. In group classes, I will usually offer different options for those with differing ability levels. The overall goal of my teaching is to help you to realise the potential of your body in terms of strength and mobility and to consequently improve your general state of well-being.
My yoga classes are performed barefoot using a yoga mat (an inexpensive one such as this is completely fine), which provides a bit of cushioning for the knees and lots of grip for the hands. Women usually wear leggings and a sports top, men wear sports shorts and a vest.
Sessions are not normally very cardio. Physically speaking, there are lots of strong static holds (mainly pushing type motions) and mobility work (controlled movement through the range of motion of the joints). There are both passive and active stretches. Several of the asanas involve spinal twists. Almost every muscle of the body can be stretched with yoga! If any of the yoga postures make you feel pain or discomfort, the important rule is to simply stop and inform me, so I can offer alternatives or variations.
Regular practice of yoga can help to keep your body and mind in great shape. Why not try a Matt’s Yoga session?
My Personal Yoga Practice
I am continually fascinated by the new challenges and insights which yoga brings to the practitioner. I have been practicing yoga for four and a half years and teaching regularly for three of these (I decided quite early on that I would love to teach it). I gained my 350 hour level 1 diploma at Triyoga London under Jeff Phenix and Susannah Hoffman in 2016. It was a rigorous training spread over two years and covered in-depth study of postures, anatomy and the yoga tradition.
A highlight of my yoga teaching so far has been spending six weeks teaching public classes at sunset on the beach on a Greek island. During this time I worked with students of all ages, nationalities and ability levels, sometimes teaching whole family groups!
I would describe my practice and teaching style as generally Hatha/Vinyasa. Currently, I attend Forrest yoga sessions which I have found to offer an interesting new perspective on my practice. My overall approach to yoga is progressive and open-minded and I like to bring in influences from other yoga or body movement forms if I feel this is appropriate, to keep things fresh and original.