As part of my daily practice, I read every morning from an inspiring text, meditate and move my body.
The books that are nourishing my soul right now include Nischala Joy Devi’s “The Secret Power of Yoga”, Swami Satchidananda’s “The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali” and Miranda Shaw’s “Passionate Enlightenment.”
Since I’m teaching to the Yoga Sutras in my Shakti Yoga classes, my practice typically involves an intuitive, multi-sensory and embodied exploration of the Sutra of the week, including reciting the Sanskrit and creating a bespoke play-list (all of which you can find on Spotify).
Tuning in to what is needed moment by moment.
Being open to divine guidance.
Letting the body’s instinct show me and trusting what arises.
And at least once a week, I’ll complement this by practising my way through B.K.S. Iyengar’s “Light on Yoga”: a complete pictorial and descriptive guide of yogic posture and breathing techniques.
I’m on a mission to deepen my relationship with and understanding of yoga on all fronts, so as to keep bringing forth in my teaching that which feels deeply true and integrative.
For me, this means aligning my personal gifts and spirit with every moment of practice and trusting the inner-sourced creativity, intuition and embodied wisdom that flow through me, when I show up empty and let go of any plan, sequence or set posture.
Waiting for my body, as a vessel for divine inspiration, to show me the way.
I know this place well, both from my past conscious dance training, as well as my Priestessing, in which a similar process of embodied channelling occurs.
I wish to empower my students to attain this same level of self-sourced alignment and inner authority, rather than blindly following, pushing, contorting or controlling the body.
I’m here to share a yoga of love and awareness.
And I’m also strongly guided to keep on re-imagining yoga as a practice that embraces passion, devotion, emotion, sensuality, energy, womb, heart, sound, creativity, playfulness, self-expression, grace, music, poetry, nature, cyclicity and beauty.
In brief, a yoga rooted in a profound reverence for the feminine.
Without eliminating or simply tagging on the deep stillness, focus, strength and precision of form offered up by the masculine. But marrying the two in a way that feels alive, juicy and compassionate of our humanity.
What fascinates me, is that quite often the postures my body discovers through its own freestyle play are very similar to those I subsequently open the page to in Iyengar’s guide.
Only I’ve found my way there through a delicious, intimate journey of embodied, flowing oneness; listening all the while for what feels right now and now and now. Taking care to pull back, reimagine or nurture wherever there’s a tender edge, yet equally relishing the moments of intensity, challenge and reach towards today’s greatest level of strength and flexibility.
What really struck me this morning, however, is that, having spent an hour practising asanas a la Iyengar, which was enjoyable enough if a tad dry, I put on a favourite mantra and, letting go of the form, invited my body to simply move as it knows best.
Within under a minute, my body was moving in a devotional, flowing sequence, gracefully rendering the Gayatri Mantra I was listening to in a way that felt so beautiful, I was close to tears.
And it’s there – in the flowering of my heart – that I find the meaning and purpose of yoga.
As Nischala Joy Devi says, in her feminine re-interpretation of the Yoga Sutras:
“Yoga is the uniting of consciousness in the heart.” (Sutra 1.2)
I offer private & group Shakti Yoga classes online.
Group classes are: Mondays, 7-8am - Awaken - to energise Wednesdays, 6-7pm - Decompress to de-stress Fridays, 9-10.30am - Deep Dive - an embodied journey through the Yoga Sutras for women