Whether you have a new interest in yoga, or are an experienced yogi looking for a local class, it is really important to find a style and environment in which you are comfortable and which suits your needs. There are many styles of yoga, and varying teaching approaches, so you might attend two different yoga classes and have entirely different experiences.
I believe it is important to be open and clear about what happens in class, so students can make informed choices, and also (hopefully) avoid being ‘put off’ yoga if they try a class that isn’t right for them. Don’t be afraid to ask the instructor what their class is like and try several classes until you find they one that’s right for you. Teaching yoga is a very personal experience and an instructor will have developed a style that is appropriate for them, but will understand if you need something different.
The notes below are for the benefit of new students. You might also like to visit the Frequently Asked Questions page.
I teach a mix of Vinyasa and Hatha yoga. My specialism is in Vinyasa flow yoga, but my mixed-level classes are generally a ‘slow flow’ style, so beginners can access the exercises comfortably. Flow yoga can be energetic, involve a lot of moving around the mat, and will certainly feel like exercise. There are some great ‘gentle yoga’ or relaxation classes available locally, but this is not what I offer. For those wanting a strong Vinyasa class, I have one weekly class for experienced yogis, and monthly workshops for extra challenge.
I love to use music in class, and this might be some traditional music, but also modern music, favourite tracks, even occasional requests! In some cases, the music might encourage a little more energy, or help us to slow down, but a lot of the time you might not notice the music at all - this is fine! Yoga is generally a quiet and mindful practice, so you won’t find people chatting through class, but likewise I try to keep the atmosphere light and fun, so don’t be afraid to speak up if needed - or laugh at my jokes.
In a mixed-level class, you should expect plenty of description and physical cues to help you reach a position. The yoga I teach is very alignment-based, so you may find you are getting a lot of instructions and find it hard to know if what you’re doing is right. Don’t panic - as soon as you’re doing something unsafe, you’ll be given help, but it is also perfectly normal for poses to feel unusual in the beginning, so be prepared to give it time. If you feel pain or discomfort, ease out of a pose and ask for help - only you can know how it feels for your body.
Every class starts with a guided introduction and a focus on the breath. In some poses, you will be guided through certain breathing, matching the inhale or exhale with a particular movement, but don’t worry if you lose track. The important thing is to keep breathing comfortably throughout class. I don’t use chanting or long meditations, as we only have one hour and this is not the focus of my teaching. Every class ends with Shavasana (our restful, relaxation pose), which is a chance to relax the body at the end of our practice.