Please Sign up to my mailing list for information on new spaces in classes, new classes and workshops
The style of yoga taught
I teach a traditional style of Classical Hatha Yoga, in Sheffield, S11. The yoga is based on practices handed down over thousands of years but are adapted to be accessible and practical to daily life for us today. I think I have a realistic and pragmatic approach to teaching and practicing yoga and how it can enhance our lives and healthy natural movement. The yoga could be described as “mindfulness” yoga.
I trained as a yoga teacher with Swami Vedantananda in London between 1996 and 2000. My teaching certificates are from the Bihar School of Yoga (Satyananda Yoga) and British Wheel of Yoga and I am insured by the British Wheel of Yoga. I also have further specialist training for teaching antenatal yoga and postnatal yoga with Birthlight, and optimal foetal positioning with Jean Sutton. I trained with Fiona Agombar to teach yoga to people with ME and CFS and have completed a short course with Julie Friedburger for teaching yoga to people living with cancer and have also completed the Yoga for Healthy Backs teacher training. I regularly attend training courses for teachers and yoga workshops to consolidate my learning and for my own benefit! This year (2018) I am doing the Humanistic Yoga course with Pete Blackeby as I am interested in his approach to teaching the physical postures in yoga.
As well as teaching weekly classes I have worked on yoga teacher training and integration courses. I am a qualified assessor of trainee yoga teachers and teachers training to teach Yoga Nidra.
I also teach the Yoga for Healthy Backs Course. This is a 12 week programme and I teach it in a different style to my usual weekly classes. See here for more information: Yoga for healthy lower backs.
Outline of a Weekly Hatha yoga style class
Every yoga class starts lying down for 7 -10 minutes of guided body and breath awareness. The class continues with 45 to 55 minutes of asana practice (yoga postures),15 minutes pranayama (breathing practices), and then between 20 and 30 minutes Yoga Nidra deep relaxation and sometimes a short sitting yoga mindfulness meditation practice. In more advanced classes, there are periods of time when we do longer sitting meditations instead of Yoga Nidras. Guidance is given for developing a sitting position which can be maintained comfortably and time spent sitting is developed incrementally. Cushions, blocks, stools and chairs are all available to use. As classes progress practical mudras, bandhas, mantra, and more advanced meditation techniques are introduced.
How the classes progress and benefits accumulate
All practices are taught systematically and progressively. Instructions are given in stages and time is taken for you to observe the body, so that you can work and develop to your own level each week, learning to understand your body and what it needs to be comfortable. There is an emphasis on awareness of the breath throughout and this style of yoga encourages the development of awareness, or mindfulness. Over time, this awareness, or mindfulness, inevitably becomes part of every day life. Many techniques are taught which provide you with tools to use in daily life, for instance, techniques to help deal with: stress, anxiety, worry, anger, insomnia and change. Practices can also help to develop concentration, focus, balance and self acceptance.
On a physiological level, as well as the more obvious benefits of toning, strengthening, and stretching; in every class, the practices emphasise moving the body through a range of movements which support the natural movements of the spine through daily life. I focus on teaching yoga practices which are useful rather than impressive – so the postures are accessible to most people. Practices improve and support core strength and keep the pelvic floor fit and healthy. Practices also address common ailments such as lower back pain, stiff neck and shoulders, asthma, high blood pressure, rheumatism and arthritis and accumulated tension.
As classes are limited to a maximum of 8 people, special attention can be given to individual needs which may be highlighted on your registration form or in a chat with me before class. Personal circumstances are always catered for, respecting confidentiality and without drawing attention the individual during the class. Yoga can have a major beneficial effect on many conditions, but it does have to be practiced regularly to have this effect! So for those of you who want to develop your own practice at home, I can provide CDs or MP3s of particular practices to support that.
There can also be spiritual benefits to the practice of yoga if you are that way inclined. Students who are interested in this aspect will find that the classes can support you in your own personal growth in this area of your lives whether you are an atheist, agnostic or a firm believer in any religion.
About the different classes on offer and which class will suit you As none of the information below is set in stone and everyone is different, it is best to call me to talk about your individual requirements and any experience you do have. We can then discuss which class will best suit you. If one of the more advanced classes suits you time wise then it may be possible to have some 1:1 tuition to learn some foundation practices, so that you could then join the class. Alternatively, I may be able to refer you to one of my, or another teacher’s beginners class to gain a foundation in the practices. The Yoga for Healthy Backs course and Yoga for Backs workshops are always suitable for beginners to yoga.
Classes in the timetable labelled as “all levels” are suitable for complete beginners to yoga but, as practices are taught in stages, may well also be suitable and sufficiently challenging for people with quite a few years experience of yoga too.
Classes labelled “level 1” and “level 2” are for people with some experience of yoga or perhaps meditation, but you do not need to be physically able to do advanced physical postures in any of my classes as everything is taught in stages. It is the stillness which can be most challenging in the more advanced classes.
The classes labelled “Restorative Yoga” are suitable for all levels of experience. These restorative yoga classes are physically very gentle, but the yoga is still powerfully effective. The emphasis in these classes is on gentle movement, rest and healing and would suit a healthy person or someone recuperating from, for instance, surgery, illness or to assist in living with a condition. They are also suitable for people who are simply very stiff and achy or perhaps with a chronic back condition. Please call me to discuss these classes and their suitability for you. The classes are all taught in an attic up two flights of stairs. If that is not possible for you I will try to recommend another class with better access.
“I rarely miss one of Rebecca’s classes and really enjoy her light-hearted approach to helping us discover what our bodies and minds need. The practises gradually become familiar but there’s always something new to try, so it’s never stale. Challenging if you want but lots of relaxation time to feel the benefits.” JH
“I have been going to a weekly class with Rebecca for a few years now & I just love the variety and planning that she puts into the class. I am still learning & feel I am progressing both physically & especially spiritually with the use of the relaxation & meditation techniques which have helped me develop a greater awareness of self & beyond self just by the act of doing the practices, not through any indoctrination. The atmosphere at the classes is one of shared experience & fun. Rebecca has a lovely sense of humour & a beautiful voice which washes over you during the guided Yoga nidras & visualisations which leads me to a real sense of peace. I feel very blessed to have such a brilliant experienced yoga teacher to go to on a weekly basis.” DR