My yoga journey has been a long and colourful one. Since the early 90’s, with a background as a nurse and then dance teacher, I enjoyed tasting some of the different expressions of this ancient art of yoga – the traditional Sivananda, the dynamic sequences of Kundalini, the alignment focusing Iyengar and Scaravelli’s emphasis on the spine – all adding richness to my experience. Then moving on to Ashtanga which I appreciated especially because of its focus on flow, in some ways similar to dance, it was in that form that I did my yoga teacher training at the Practice Place in Goa with Derek Ireland in 1996.
As soon as I started to teach in the little Swedish village where I then lived I realised that I needed to be flexible and adapt my teaching to the people in front of me, Ashtanga being much too demanding in those surroundings! This approach of adaptation has stayed with me since, whether in a full class, workshop or one-to-one session. I have an outline, an idea of focus, to some extent influenced by the season; a summer session may be more expansive than one in the midst of winter. After tuning in to the class I open myself to what is true for that moment, weaving strands from various traditions I have encountered together for that particular session. There is always a blend of posture work – some more flowing vinyasa sequences mixed with held postures – and relaxation, to create a session of harmonizing and nurturing wholeness. There is an aim to balance flexibility and strength as well as alertness with relaxation. The practice is held together by the focus on breath and mindfulness which can open us up to the innate joy and peace at the source of our being.
I have taught regular classes, workshops and one-to one sessions at Harbour House in Kingsbridge and throughout Devon since 2002 when I moved to England. During the past few years I have also run much loved retreats at Bala Brook retreat centre on Dartmoor, often together with senior yoga teacher John Chatterton.
A few comments from students
“It is an oasis of the week that helps me to stay on the right track.” Pat
“ … your teachings of yoga inspire me and make yoga very much part of my life.” Gina
“It is true that the time you give us does help to free our bodies and all those benefits of being quietly in a place concentrating with mind and body. Although none of us have truly hard lives we all have our griefs and compromises which each year can seem to tangle us more, but in the yoga room the skein is gently laid, unmuddled, unknotted and ready for us to begin again to weave our daily patterns.” Clare