I'm an Internationally accredited Yoga teacher who has recently relocated to London after almost a decade in Zanzibar, Tanzania, East Africa, where I ran a well known Yoga business holding group classes, kids classes and private classes. I also ran a number of Safari and Beach Yoga retreats in some really spectacular places in and around the island as well as on Tanzania's mainland.
I first sat on a Yoga mat about 20 years ago and since then, it's been in and out of my life but in the last decade, most definitely in. The teaching and practice of Yoga has really shaped who I am today in so many ways.
Two things that I hear often are "I can't do Yoga, I'm not flexible" and "What style of Yoga do you teach?"
So here's the thing, You don't have to be flexible to do Yoga! Yoga is about so much more than that. Of course, you will increase your flexibility but you'll reap all sorts of other rewards too. All you need to know right now is that if you can breathe, you can practice.
As for "style", that really depends on who is in the class and the ability of each person. You might be practising a posture and the person next to you may be taking a modified version or a more advanced version dependent on body type, strength, flexibility etc. I prefer to teach each client as an individual which is why I like to work with small groups so each person gets the attention they need to progress their practice. It's important to understand the foundations of a posture and once that is achieved postures may flow into other postures and the practice may become more fluid should you wish to practice in this way.
As you develop your practice, you may find you enjoy stronger, more dynamic styles of Yoga, such as Ashtanga or a Vinyasa Flow. You may prefer a hot class like Bikram or you may enjoy a gentle Yin or Restorative class, staying in postures for longer periods of time. You may enjoy a certain style for a while and then you may totally go off that and enjoy a different style. Your Yoga will evolve as you evolve.
Personally, I love a strong flowing practice although have enjoyed some Yin practice of late. I love to experiment and push my boundaries with arm balances, head stands and hand stands but at the same time, I'm happy to sit for a long time and feel the benefits of a long, deep stretch in more traditional postures. It really depends on what day and how I feel.
It's important to remember that Yoga is much more than striking a few postures though and some of the more subtle nuances of the practice materialise through the physical practice. Don't worry if you're starting out and it's all a bit new. As a 4000 year old science, it's fairly new for all of us modern day practitioners and that's the fun part, you just keep on learning and growing.
I enjoy leading small groups so I can make sure you've got everything in the right place and that way you'll get the most out of your practice. If you've got any specific areas you wish to work on, you can let me know before the class and I can often weave this into the session. Even if you don't tell me, I'll probably spot it fairly quickly and address it without you noticing anyway!
Registered with The Royal Yoga Alliance with teacher training carried out with Maria Taylor at the Africa Yoga Centre, I have also practiced at the Sri K Phatabhi Jois Institute of Ashtanga Yoga in Mysore, India with Saraswati Jois. I've been leading classes for over 7 years and hope to continue doing so for many more to come.