What style of yoga do you teach/did you train in?
I teach Hatha yoga, Restorative yoga, Yoga For Round Bodies, Yoga For Seniors, and adapted Hatha for people with limited mobility. My personal introduction to yoga was through the Iyengar method, and I still rely on the concepts of alignment and use of props that I learned there. The teachers I’ve trained with combine many influences including Iyengar, Vinyasa, and Anusara yoga as well as Pilates, Functional Integration, and Axis Syllabus.
What is your approach to teaching?
My hope in teaching yoga is to help people gain the body awareness and yoga tools that will help them to help themselves. I focus on individual needs and challenges. I maintain small classes to allow for plenty of individual attention, and I offer private classes that provide tailor-made instruction.
My intention in teaching is to encourage you to develop more fluid, stable, and easy control of your own movements within a range that is comfortable and healthy for you at a given time. Knowing how your body likes to move and how to achieve this in an integrated and dynamic way brings a renewed sense of confidence and hope that can be especially helpful post-injury or during recovery from illness. Starting slowly and within realistic and healthy ranges, body tissues are relaxed, stretched, and strengthened to increase both capacity and comfort. Depending on individual circumstances, progress will be gradual but grounded, emphasizing healing at a deep level to develop a strong and stable base that will be sustainable and enable greater progress over time.
How does your background in bodywork influence your teaching of yoga?
I’m drawn to teaching yoga as a way to encourage clients to help themselves. My manual skill in offering hands-on assists and my eye for how clients hold their bodies reflect the skills I gained through many years of practice as a massage therapist, and now as a Thai Yoga Massage practitioner. My knowledge of western anatomy and body awareness facilitates communication of movement, sensation, and posture. These help clients to learn lasting skills for self-awareness and healing.
Will I get a good workout in the Hatha yoga class?
My approach to teaching yoga is to focus on alignment and create a good sound base for each asana (posture); to focus on bringing the breath into the body to build awareness and create space; to build strength, endurance, and flexibility; to offer information concerning anatomy; and to provide context for the postures and actions through examples of yoga philosophy, including chant and Sanskrit terminology. In my Hatha yoga class, this usually does provide a good workout, but more or less as a side effect!
What is restorative yoga?
Restorative yoga is very gentle, and very slow. Only a few asana (postures) are practiced in each class, and they are specifically modified for holding for a long time, supported by props (bolsters, blocks, blankets, and sometimes straps) so that minimal to zero effort is required. The restorative postures bring the body into positions that allow for deep stretching and circulation, and they have a profoundly relaxing and restorative effect.
Is yoga safe for people with illness or injury?
Yes, if it is done correctly – that is, with sensitivity to a particular student’s present reality in terms of injury or illness and needs, and with understanding of how the asana (postures) work. It’s important that you inform your teacher before class of any conditions you may have. This is because certain asana are contraindicated for certain conditions, while other asana may actually be helpful in your case.
Do you offer yoga therapy?
I am not a yoga therapist, therefore there will be limitations to my abilities and I may need to refer a student to another teacher or practitioner. However, within the scope of my teaching qualifications, there is a great deal of help that yoga can provide: relaxation, body awareness, basic anatomical knowledge, pain reduction, movement education, and a renewed sense of well-being through breathwork, meditation, and asana practice that includes yoga philosophy, visualization, and physical explorations.
What’s the difference between therapeutic yoga and yoga therapy?
Therapeutic yoga includes a variety of techniques designed to have a therapeutic effect, and this can be incorporated in any yoga class or private session, or in a stand-alone therapeutic yoga class with or without a specific theme. Yoga therapy is a complex discipline unto itself, and requires specific professional training. A yoga therapist may be trained to offer ayurvedic counseling in diet and lifestyle as well as yoga asana, mudra, pranayama, and meditation.
What style of therapeutic yoga do you offer?
I offer two styles of therapeutic yoga. One is a unique combination of restorative asana and hands-on bodywork. The other adapts Hatha yoga postures to help clients maintain and increase their mobility, body awareness, and relaxation skills starting from where they are at.