YOGA / MASSAGE / SOUND
Vinyasa Yoga is a dynamic form of yoga where the practitioner pauses shortly in a pose before flowing into the next. The physical postures and breath work develop strength, flexibility and stability. They also help to improve mental resilience as the postures are tools for energizing, focussing or calming the mind. The rhythm of one’s breath dictates the pace of the practise. By focusing on the breath and body awareness, vinyasa yoga can be experienced as a meditation in motion.
My yoga classes are best described as ‘slow flow’. Great for beginners and advanced practitioners alike, my sequences are creative and infused with precise cueing. I advocate alignment, but I preach principles. Principles allow you to technically interpret your way into a yoga pose, finding what feels nourishing and sustaining to the body. This is reflected in the way I build and lead my classes, offering plenty of options and variations to find space and 'freedom in the form' for all different body types and levels.
Yoga is so much more than a bunch of postures. It is a way of carrying oneself in the world. To honour this tradition, my classes always include meditation, pranayama and a dash of yoga philosophy to encourage students to ground into awareness and a sense of union with all that is.
THAI YOGA MASSAGE: ALCHEMY OF TOUCH
Thai Yoga Massage (nuad boran) is a unique and powerful healing art that combines acupressure, stretching and assisted yoga to stimulate the free flow of energy, facilitating the homeostasis of body, mind and soul. It is performed on a padded mat on the floor, and the receiver remains fully dressed.
Traditionally, Thai massage was offered on the grounds of Buddhist temples and was an extension of spiritual practise, particularly meditation. The emphasis is on deeply listening and responding, rather than doing or fixing. The act of listening invites me to continuously respond to meet the client’s specific needs in each moment. This means that there is no set format for the massage itself, so no two Thai massages are the same. The treatment may be slow and relaxing or faster and more invigorating, using different techniques depending on how your being responds.
I work intuitively, using a fluid, rhythmic touch, evoking the breakthrough of systematic patterns and tension. The approach is holistic and energy-based which I like to describe as an alchemy of touch.
Many ancient cultures and indigenous people believe that Sound is the creative, generative force that brought the universe into being. In Hindi tradition, ‘Ohm’ was the sound intoned by the deity Brahman that initiated creation. Western modern science has provided convincing evidence of the power of sound to not only create, but also shape and transform matter. This is the basic theory behind its healing potential. We know that everything in the universe is made of vibrating atoms. It follows naturally then that if our bodies are a vibrating mass of atoms, they are likely to be affected by vibrating stimuli like sound.
Healing means returning to wholeness. When we sing or play an instrument, we are facilitating this return to the harmony of our origin. An origin that is free and spacious. As a child, I often felt lonely and (unconsciously) used singing as a tool and portal to connect with myself in a very simple yet profound way. Over the years and a rock band later, I started playing ukulele to accompany my singing. Disliking the typical plinky-plonky ukulele sound, I adjusted the strings and standard tuning to optimize a harmonizing effect. I acquired a gorgeous hand pan for this same reason. Other instruments I use for sound journeys are a shruti box, a rain stick, a Solfeggio tongue drum, a shamanic drum, a thunder tube, a tuning fork, an Innato flute, a tuning fork and chimes. My intention is to bathe listeners (myself included) in the enchanting vibrations of sound so that it can both bring us a moment of connection with ourselves and God, great spirit, universe - whatever name you want to give it.
What I sing and play depends on the context. Sanskrit mantra’s, medicine/kirtan songs, shamanic chanting, call and response but also folk/pop/jazz/soul covers are part of my repertoire.