It’s a great joy to share yoga with everyone who comes to class, regardless of their age, health or flexibility. Unlike many yoga teachers, I am not blessed with a naturally strong, healthy body that can easily “do yoga”. Consequently, my practice and teaching are focussed on alleviating stress, pain and poor posture. These challenges are partly due to my hypermobility. I love sharing what I’ve learned with fellow bendy people, although I enjoy teaching hypomobile (inflexible) people too!
My first yoga class was at sixth form college in 1988. From then on yoga became a life-long practice. To start off with, I practised at home avidly with the help of Iyengar’s Light on Yoga. I also had a Lynn Marshall Yoga record (yes a yoga LP!) which I discovered in a charity shop. Apparently, Lynn did a lot to spread the word about yoga in the 1970s. She had a programme on ITV, which I missed, unfortunately, I was probably watching Scooby Doo instead!
I continued my regular practice of yoga throughout my teens and twenties. Yoga became my main support for creating comfort in my body and mind. However, it didn’t occur to me to become a yoga teacher until my early thirties. By this time I had developed a keen interest in natural health therapies. I was deeply inspired by naturopathy, which enabled me to recover completely from chronic asthma and bronchitis. Consequently, this led me to work full-time in the Haelan Centre, a whole food store and complementary health clinic. However, I couldn’t decide on which complementary therapy to study and practice full time. Finally, one day it dawned on me that yoga is my therapy.
In 2003 I took the 3-year training with the Inner Yoga Trust with Jenny Beeken. Aged 31, I was the youngest person on the course. As many of my fellow yogis were also working with stiffness, pain and ailments I learnt to teach yoga in a way that way that was very sensitive and adaptable to each individual’s needs. Through self-reflection and group work (which felt like group therapy at times) we developed the capacity to teach yoga in it’s widest sense. The Inner Yoga Teacher Training is accredited by the British Wheel of Yoga, which demands the highest standard in yoga teacher training.
Anatomy In Motion Gary Ward, October 2018
Pregnancy, Post Natal and Mums and Bubs Training, Bliss Baby, November 2015
Hanna Somatic Coach – Level I and II, Align Somatics, August 2015,
Teaching Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs, Alison Trewhela, August 2013
Yoga Nidra Teacher Training – Sitaram at Yoga Campus, November 2013
Meditation Teacher’s Certificate Swami Saradananda (British Yoga Teachers’ Association), June 2010
Yoga as Therapy Intensive Teacher Training “Understanding and Addressing the Sources of Pain” (Doug Keller in association with Yoga Campus), December 2009
Yoga Therapy Advanced Modules, Yoga Campus, September 2008 – November 2009
Cardio Vascular System; Respiratory System; Teaching Yoga to People with Cancer; Musculoskeletal Problems.
Yoga Therapy Foundation Course, Yoga Biomedical Trust, June 2008
The above list is not the whole story. I regularly attend numerous classes, workshops, retreats and teacher training courses. In addition, the following courses influence my approach to teaching yoga:
ITEC course in Massage, Anatomy and Physiology
Gaia Healing Foundation Course
Holistic Lifestyle Coach training with the CHEK Institute
Ainsworth’s Level Two Bach Flower Remedy PractitionerSom