“Yoga consists of keeping the mind quiet and wakeful so that one is totally present in what one is doing. Thoughts no longer rush forth of themselves in all directions, but are carefully controlled and directed” from Bouanchaud, B. The Essence of Yoga: Reflections on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, p.5. (Sri Satguru Publications, Delhi 2001).
Anne has been practicing yoga for over 25 years. Like many, she was initially attracted to the discipline for its physical benefits, only vaguely aware that it could also be good for one’s mental health. However, in class, she experienced profound moments of collected stillness – a clear message that yoga is so much more than just exercise!
In Anne’s classes, Hatha Yoga is taught at a pace that allows a student to turn attention inwards and notice the sensations in their body, breath and mind. In class, you can expect to encounter Asana or poses, breathwork, meditation and relaxation. Anne is particularly interested in helping students to experience ways to let go of tension, be kind to themselves and find quietness of mind.
Mind-body integration, or somatic practices are used in class help to calm the nervous system. For this reason, Anne’s classes may suit those who want to really let go and relax. It’s important to Anne to create the right atmosphere in class so that it feels supportive and safe enough to explore movement that supports mentally and physically.
However, it would be wrong to suggest that Anne’s classes are never physically challenging either – though the aim is always that students are encouraged to find safe and compassionate ways to practice that honour their bodies in the here and now.
Anne was also awarded her SCQF level 8 COSCA Certificate in Counselling Skills in 2013. (COSCA is the professional body for counselling and psychotherapy in Scotland). She finds that the training allows her to appreciate issues that students could bring into class, even though they may not discuss them. It also means that she takes informed steps to create an environment and use language that feels supportive and safe.
Completing Yoga Scotland’s life-changing and challenging 500 hour teaching complemented the counselling skills. In Summer 2020, Anne became certified to teach yoga to NHS patients on social prescription – the 10 week Yoga4Health programme. Anne is adding to her education with formal continuing professional development (as required by Yoga Scotland). She also enjoys exploring movement and current developments in neuroscience in her own time.