I fell in love with the practice of yoga as a degree student in 2001. Yoga has helped me enormously as I have grown personally and professionally and given me a more balanced perspective on life. Yoga helped me overcome addictive tendencies and helped me destress during study and work life. I studied to be a yoga teacher whilst working as an advocate for a local charity and gradually gave up working to teach (something I rarely view as work as it gives me so much pleasure).
On my world travels, I delved in many yoga styles traditions and decided to come back and immerse myself in yoga. I completed my first Integral Yoga teacher training in 2004 and am still training and evolving my practice to this day. I completed a 2 year Scaravelli inspired yoga and integrated movement course in July 2017 with Integrity Yoga UK. My current course is with expert structural and Yoga Therapist and Fascial anatomy research professional Joanne Avison studying experiential anatomy. Its so exciting to be on her pilot cutting edge course which is transforming the models of movement and anatomy by its utter inclusiveness of what really lies beneath and goes on within. Besides my passion for all things yoga, I love movement in general. I also love being a mum, biking and walks with my husband and daughter in beautiful surrounds, listening to music, chanting, dancing, getting engrossed in a novel, barefoot walking especially by the seashore, sea swimming and eating Italian ice-cream.
Inspired by my most recent Yoga and integrated movement course and by disciplines such as Natural Ginastica cross disciplinary approaches, I am currently enjoying new challenges in order to build awareness and weave in more integrative movement within the world of Yoga.
About Amba Yoga
My belief that there is a ‘yoga’ to suit every ‘body’ has led me to share yoga in all walks of life with all ages: in nurseries, schools and universities, day centres, psychiatric wards, staff classes, schools, corporate businesses, recovery and drug rehabilitation centres, sports and leisure centres and at festivals, yoga holidays and retreats.
I believe yoga is much more than becoming bendy and even just stretching, (which is usually much more about body type than the practice itself). Yoga is about body awareness and exploration of Self. The practice of Scaravelli inspired Yoga focuses on finding connections to and from the spine, releasing tensions, self observation within the postures, the journey in and out, transitions and developing natural strength in a connected way. The emphasis is on exploring yoga with kindness and finding a beautiful way of moving in tune with ourselves. It is not a yoga of repetition or force but of strength from a much deep softness, aliveness and connection. Yoga is an amazing tool for balancing our nervous system and when balance is restored, we can be in harmony with ourselves and therefore the world around us. Regular practice reaps this reward.
With 14 years experience of teaching Yoga, mainly in Bournemouth and surrounds, I never tire of my vocation and bring passion and a continuing depth of knowledge to my students, allowing them to find a safe easeful practice when working with their body. I have an experienced eye to gently guide and assist so that people can learn to release tension and gain the maximum benefits.
I also enjoy exploring ways that people can bring yoga’s benefits into their daily life, including exploring philosophy. I aim to create in the classes a warm and nurturing easy-going space where people can unwind from the stresses and competition of everyday life, taking time to strengthen physically and mentally and to find the space within themselves from which they can unwind, rest deeply and restore.
My influences and practice
If you are a new student to yoga and are reading this, please don’t be put off by the ‘yogic terminology and names. Like most disciplines yoga has a long history rich with philosophy and spirituality.
There is beauty and diversity in the Yoga world and something for everyone depending on why they are practicing.
There are two main ways of practicing the physical aspect of yoga that has become more popular in the West and most newer styles have emerged from them. Vinyasa and flowing yoga (breath linked movement where you flow from one posture to the next), originating mainly from Ashtanga Yoga and the other is more classical Hatha or longer holds which are focused on alignment and steadiness in a posture originating mainly from Iyengar Yoga. Its not always clear cut and now there are hundreds going on for thousands of variations and scholars who do not all agree on its origins. It can be a confusing journey into what yoga is and as each of us is individual, we sometimes take a while to discover the right route in and may find one practice which we stay with or change and explore as we go along.
To simplify as best I can, most yoga in the West is a form of Hatha Yoga (the practice of physical postures or Asana) and very popular for its physical benefits and mental well-being. The style depends on the founder of the Yoga school and what their influences were and usually includes breath awareness and pranayama, sometimes meditation and relaxation practices. I trained initially with Integral Yoga, a more traditional Indian style of yoga, founded by Swami Satchidinanda. Integral Yoga combines hatha yoga (physical posture and breath and encompasses both dynamic and static movement). There is also a strong focus on yoga philosophy, including devotional practices and chanting (Bhakti Yoga), self inquiry (Jnana Yoga), Karma Yoga (the yoga of service) with Raja Yoga (or meditation) in order to find harmony and union within. I learnt a great deal from my teachers Rowan and Siva and am remain grateful for that path and its influences. http://integralyogadorset.org I also attend silent retreats with Satyananda which has enriched my understanding of yogic philosophy. I highly recommend these to anyone wanting to investigate the deeper aspects of themselves and yoga. www.satyananda.org
For the last few years I have settled with the Scaravelli inspired approach to yoga which continues to transform my own practice and teaching style. Vanda Scaravelli (now passed) was an accomplished ‘yogini’ who for many years trained with two of the most well known eastern Masters BYS Iyengar and Desikachar. Although Vanda did not start her practice until her forties, she refined and embodied a yoga practice with a deep connection to the spine, using gravity and the breath to undo tension within postures. It is a slow explorative connective yoga which I particularly enjoy as it enhances an inner listening and kindness. I have enjoyed the tutorlage and workshops with some great teachers inspired in this way, classes with Mark Allcock, yogawithmark.co.uk and workshops with Christine Borg www.christineborgyoga.com and Bill Wood billwoodyoga.co.uk , Osteopaths and Yoga teachers, John Stirk johnstirk.com and Peter Blackaby, Diane Long (one of Vanda's main students) www.dianelongyoga.com/ and now with my current teachers Dot Bowen and Becky Barkans https://koruayurveda.com
Qualifications and Professional Development
I believe that to be a good teacher you have to be an ongoing student,opening to new ideas and letting go of old. I carry on my love of learning by regularly attending courses and workshops and attending classes with more senior teachers. I am also passionate about excellence in the field of yoga which has led me to seek out the finest leading teachers on their fields and host training events from time to time. If you are student or teacher looking to study yoga a bit more in-depth please see upcoming events and workshops.
Qualifications and CPD to date: