Best For Boys: Nick Higgins of Hot Pod Yoga (www.hotpodyoga.com)
How long have you been teaching: 2 years
Why do you love yoga: It’s amazing how my relationship with yoga has changed. I tried hot yoga initially to sort my back and knees out which had come from playing a lot of sport when I was younger. That had an impact almost immediately, but then I began to enjoy other benefits – benefits, i’m still discovering. Not only has it had a big physical impact on me, it’s also now a huge part of how I feel mentally. In short, I love it as it make me feel how feel I should – clear, balanced and buzzing, both physically and mentally.
Favourite pose: Half Pigeon.
Favourite type of yoga: Hot Vinyasa Flow
Yogi Mantra: Do what makes you happy, and find a balance in life to fit in what’s important.
Best For Experience: Jane Kersell (janekersel.com)
How long have you been teaching: 20 years
Why do you love yoga: It gives me the complete “juice” that no other activity has ever delivered so far for me. It works on all levels – mentally, physically, emotionally, energetically and spiritually. It’s also taught me so much about how to love and honour myself.
Favourite pose: Any hands or head balance.
Favourite type of yoga: It changes depending on my needs – if i’m feeling my life is too fast then i’ll slow it down and do a practice with lots of alignment to keep my mind quiet and focused, if i’ve been doing lots of sitting at a computer all day i’ll turn the heat up high and do a big flowing, breath led practice to get the stagnant lymph that has been pooling in my legs and butt moving.
Yogi Mantra: “Har Haray Haree Wahe Guru” is a beautiful mantra for creativity. Often we block our creativity because we are just too busy thinking, doing things, that we don’t make the space to allow creativity, new ideas to germinate. Har means the seed potential of infinite creativity. Haray means the flow of the creative energy. Hari is the manifestation of the creative energy. Wahe guru is an expression of joy and wonder at the beauty of the process of creativity. It’s like repeating to yourself “I’m ready, bring it on, here it is”.
Best for Ease: Emma de Mornay Davies ([email protected]>)
How long have you been teaching: I first qualified with Sivananda Organisation in 2008 and have been teaching ever since! I started by covering friends classes and then began my own regular weekly class in Hackney in 2011. In 2012 I moved my classes to Holistic Health: a lovely little alternative health centre on Broadway Market in Hackney. I’ve been teaching there ever since. It was in 2012 that I also started teaching privates. My clients range from all ages and across all abilities. I teach dynamic challenging classes or hatha yoga which is slower and involves more stretching and breath-work, depending on the needs of my client.
Favourite pose: It’s hard to say what my favourite pose is as I love all of them and my relationship with the poses changes from day to day! I’d say my old favourite has to be downward dog. It may not be one of the more glamourous poses! But you can never stop aligning yourself in downward dog. There is always somewhere further to go in this pose.: Are my hips floating up to the sky? Are the tops of my arms rolling out to help draw my shoulders down my back? Is my stomach engaged to create further lift in the pose? I love it!
Favourite type of yoga: My favrourite type of yoga would be a dynamic challenging vinyasa class. I love to get sweaty in a class and have my boundaries really pushed by my teacher. You may not think it but dynamic classes can have a spiritual aspect too. By challenging our body we are learning to deal with pain and difficult situations. We are pushed past what is comfortable for us. Life sometimes does this to us also and yoga is practice in which we can learn to deal with these challenging situations in a more graceful way.
Yogi Mantra: Practice, Practice, Practice and all will come! – This was Pattabhi Jois’ saying. He was the founder of Ashtanga yoga. The Vinyasa style that I teach was born out of Ashtanga yoga. Vinyasa means ‘To flow in a special way’ and a typical vinyasa flow class will lead you from one pose to the next in a graceful flowing sequence. This mantra is so important because it is so easy to get caught up in the theory of yoga but it is in the practice that we learn and grow. It is also reassuring to know that you just have to keep going with your practice and all will come to you!
Best For Philosophy: Julie Montagu (www.juliemontagu.com)
How long have you been teaching: Since 2009 , so nearly seven years.
Why do you love yoga: With 4 kids between the ages of 7 and 15 and the chaos that brings, I need space, time and healing for me and only me. Yoga gives me just that. When you listen to the heart and you hear that pause before the beat, that’s the heart actually feeding and taking care of itself before it pumps the blood around the body in order to take care of and feed the entire body. The heart is an amazing example to follow! If I don’t take care of myself first, I can’t take care of those around me.
Favourite pose: Hands down, Natarajasana (dancer pose) – I’m literally obsessed by this pose. When the hand and foot connect, it reminds me of relationships in my life – equally amounts of energy and love needs to be given both ways or, well – you’ll fall out.
Favourite type of yoga: Vinyasa Power Yoga. I’m all about moving a lot, breathing a lot and sweating a lot!
Yogi Mantra: Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
Best For Stress Busting: Rachel Giffin (www.purebalanceyoga.co.uk)
How long have you been teaching: 3 years 4 months and I love every minute.
Why do you love yoga: Seeing the positive impact yoga has on my students lives, both on and off the yoga mat, is incredibly rewarding. When it comes to my own personal practice, I love the way yoga is so good at cleansing my mind and body, building strength and flexibility. It creates space to be a little calmer, more intuitive, have a greater clarity. Yoga shows me how to be a little more enquiring, it trips me up when I get ahead of myself. Yoga keeps me on my toes, grounds me, lifts me, leaves me feeling whole; complete and a better kind of neighbour/partner/friend. Yoga helps me to shine a light on my best self and how to accept my worst self, that’s why I love yoga!
Favourite pose: Urdhva dhanurasana. (To you and me that means wheel pose with one leg lifted off the ground).
Favourite type of yoga: So hard to decide as I love to mix it up and practice different styles depending on my mood, vinyasa usually , sometimes Jivamukti, or Dharma mittra, just recently I’ve started practicing Forrest yoga, which I love and I will always have a soft spot for Sivananda which is a complete balm for the senses.
Yogi Mantra: Approach life with extreme enthusiasm, don’t be afraid of failure and smile at strangers!