What can often happen with blogs, and has done here, is sometimes there can be large gaps since the previous post. Firstly, I apologise profusely and I promise you I haven’t been slacking. A mammoth photography trip to New Zealand has kept me rather busy for the last month and therefore a tad rubbish in the blog department. Although I did manage to squeeze in some excellent yoga classes on my trip despite the countless sunrise shoots I had to wake up for.
New Zealand is truly a fantastic place though. My partner Paul Reiffer and I were running a photography workshop out there and the extensive opportunities for shooting are simply breathtaking. I feel like I have aged about ten years with the late nights and early starts and was sometimes grumpy with the lack of yoga, but it really is a place that should be on everyone’s bucket list. If the scenery can’t convince you (see pictures) then the food and wine has to.
Now for some exciting news. Drum roll please! Next week I begin teaching at the Dorchester Yoga and Therapy Centre. I am running a 5 week course that will focus on TAV and Restorative Yoga.
TAV is an abbreviated term for Therapeutic Alignment Vinyasa and is one of my favourite styles of yoga to practise and teach because it allows you to explore poses a little deeper than a faster-paced yoga class. The idea is that by focusing on alignment you can connect more to each asana and become more aware of space and your place in it. Your practice becomes easier and a lot stronger.
Restorative yoga is perfect for those who want a break from their hectic schedules and need to take time out for themselves. This style of yoga takes you on a journey of deep relaxation where the focus is on the breath and calming the body and the mind. Only a handful of poses are performed during the sequence as they are each held for an extended period of time – sometimes up to 10 minutes a pose. While the poses themselves are not physically difficult and can be done without too much muscle strength, the challenge is staying in the present and allowing yourself to relax. Classes can help relieve the nervous system, improve focus and release muscle tension – basically a spa treatment without the expensive bill at the end. Bonus!
I am really excited about teaching at such a fantastic venue. The Dorchester Yoga and Therapy Centre has such a lovely vibe about it, and the smell of incense as you walk in is like a big hug. The studio is extremely spacious with lots of natural light and there are plenty of mats, bolsters and other yoga props available. There are also some other really great classes on the timetable – lots of variety so there really is something for everyone.
I am a teacher who likes to plan, and these days you will find me in my office/studio furiously scribbling down sequences and exercises. I like to be prepared. I like to know that a class I have planned is balanced, challenging and has an intention. To be honest that is probably the hardest part for me. I know in my own practice and classes I participate in, I like to be pushed beyond my limits and love sequences and exercises that are outside the norm, but not everyone is like that.
Everyone has a different idea about what they want to get out of a class. When I first started going to yoga classes my intention was to improve my flexibility so I could kick ass in my dance classes. Now, I find myself not giving too hoots about that and focused more on facing head on the poses I once feared. That for me is what’s so exciting about yoga. There is always an extra step you can take and the learning is constant.
My 5 week course that starts next Tuesday will focus on a different aspect of Therapeutic Alignment in each class. While I will use more than one alignment cue for every pose, the idea is that by focusing on one aspect per session, by the end of the course students will be well versed in a number of alignment hints and be practising each one as if it were second nature. Thus, improving their own level and ability. You will become more focused, more aware and connected deeper to your practice.
More details and prices are available on the class page and also check out my previous blog post if you haven’t already, about what to bring to a yoga class and how to prepare.
So what are you waiting for? Come and join me for a fabulous yoga journey!
(Thank you to http://yogatrail.com/yoga-poses for use of a selection of their images)
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