Chavutti

with Jules Templeton

My Yoga Journey

I first discovered Yoga in 1998 and it has been part of my life ever since.  Initially I felt the benefits of Hatha Yoga as a release from the stress of my demanding job. The stilling of the mind that comes with the practice of Yoga and meditation is necessary in the busy modern world that we live in.

I have tried most styles of Yoga and can see the benefits of all of them, coming to the conclusion that Yoga is individual and very personal. That is the beauty of Yoga, we can adapt our practice to how we are feeling, today, in this moment.  It is truly being in the moment and accepting our bodies as they are that helps us accept ourselves and with acceptance comes peace.

I trained as a Yoga teacher with Brenda Brown, a teacher for FRYOG (Friends Of Yoga) who has since set up and runs her own school of Yoga, Chekira Wholistic Trust. The course was two years long, and during this time I was fortunate enough to find myself at the foot of Glastonbury Tor, farm sitting. I had time to study, beautiful surroundings and the bonus of many many different styles of Yoga classes to attend and be inspired by.

Some time later I found myself living in Devon, by the coast. I had become very interested in the late Vanda Scaravelli.  Luckily for me Bill Wood, who teaches at The Forge Yoga Centre in Totnes, was not far away and he is also inspired by Vanda Scaravelli.  So I joined his year long course as further development in my studies.

Vanda taught her students to bring awareness to the internal aspects of the practice of Yoga, with an emphasis on feeling what is going on inside the body, rather than the external appearance of the postures.  This approach uses gravity as a friend, and encourages the practitioner to allow their weight to sink down into the ground through the base of the pose, which in turn helps to create space within the body, in particular the spine.

This approach to Yoga is also very accepting. Accepting of where we are today rather than forcing ourselves into strange postures that our bodies simply are not ready for.  In short, we are working with the breath, using gravity as our friend, to create space in our bodies and in our minds and hearts.

Chavutti Thirumal fits in well with this style of Yoga, and I enjoy giving a treatment almost as much as receiving one! During my training from Emma Field (The Soma Intstitute, London) I also learnt some Qi Gong, in the Taichiwuxigong style which helps keep my body clear of energy blockages, all enhancing the massage.

I am a keen surfer and find that practicing Yoga and Taichiwuxigong definitely helps my surfing and all aspects of life. I enjoy helping others discover the joy and benefits of practicing Yoga.

I love travelling and have recently returned from New Zealand where I was lucky enough to partake in a workshop with Peter Sanson, who studied for 21 years with the late Guruji, the founder of Ashtanga Yoga. Although I was previously a little wary of this more dynamic style of yoga I learnt a lot in a short space of time. Peter teaches in the traditional Mysore style, allowing each student to work at their own pace. It was an enlightening and humbling experience.

I would like to thank all my teachers and especially my first Yoga teacher and dear friend Hilary Dearden who helped me discover the true spirit of Yoga.

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