Why did you start Yoga?
I was a keen gymnast at school and first took up yoga in my mid 20’s, as I loved the idea of improving my flexibility again (years of riding horses, working in an office and wearing high heels had taken its toll!). Initially I practiced Sivannanda and Iyengar yoga and then 5 years ago I discovered The Power Yoga Company (The Fulham Yoga Shala as it was known then). I instantly fell in love with Power Yoga and have been hooked ever since! I love the way Power Yoga gives you a fantastic work out, calms your mind, improves your flexibility, is fantastic fun and has an incredible power to transform you emotionally and physically.
I decided to do The Power Yoga Company’s 200-hour Teacher Training in 2011, which was one of the most amazing and transformational experiences of my life! Since then, I have resigned from my job after 10 happy years running the hospitality at Queen’s and Wimbledon and I am extremely excited about following my heart and being a yoga teacher full time!
What is your favourite pose and why?
My favourite pose is half pigeon (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana) although it used to be my least favourite! Our hips are like a dumping ground for emotional stress and tension; I love the way in pigeon you can literally feel negative energy and emotions releasing and melting from your hips and out of your body. Sometimes this pose can take your breath away with its depth and make you shed a few tears along the way too!
What do you feel makes a good Yoga teacher?
A good yoga teacher allows their students to enjoy the benefits of a challenging workout, whilst respecting each student’s own unique and special body. Obviously safety is a huge factor but creating a dynamic and fun series of yoga postures, mixed with a fantastic uplifting playlist, and allowing your students to go deeper and explore their edge is key to a successful yoga class.
What other passions do you have?
Aside from yoga, I love horse riding and can regularly be found cantering around the woods in Richmond Park! I also play tennis regularly and love cooking/hosting dinner parties. I am also a certified Yoga Life Coach and NLP practitioner. I am a BIG fan of juicing (breakfast is usually celery, cucumber, ginger, lemon and spinach!) and in September I will be taking a course in nutrition to become a certified Health Coach.
What’s are favourite music tracks to practice to at the moment?
I am having lots of fun creating playlists at the moment! Amelie has kindly downloaded a fabulous CD of songs called ‘Yoga Revolution’ for me that she got from the States!
My favourite tracks at the moment are:
1) MC Yogi: Shanti
2) The Verve: Bitter Sweet Symphony
3) Smoke City: Underwater Love
4) Wah! : Gayatri (Luscious Chill Mix)
5) Hans Zimmer: Tennessee
Number 5 is the soundtrack from Pearl Harbour and is a powerful and uplifting music track for Savasana!
What books would you recommend to help students understand more about Yoga?
For a fabulous introduction to understanding the basic poses and philosophy of yoga, I would recommend:
– Yoga Mind & Body, Sivannanda Vedanta Yoga Centre.
Christy Turlington wrote a really insightful book, which I thoroughly enjoyed and would recommend:
– Living Yoga: Creating a Life Practice.
I also love the daily meditations by Melody Beattie that Ari reads in his class and think everyone should have a copy by their bed!:
– Journey to the Heart
On a lighter note, I have just bought a copy of:
– The Yoga Bitch: One Woman’s Quest to Conquer Skepticism, Cynicism, and Cigarettes on the Path to Enlightenment by Suzanne Morison….I will let you know how I get on 🙂