The success of yoga does not lie in the ability to perform postures but in how it positively changes the way we live our life and relationships.
Hi, I’m Mark and I’m passionate that yoga should be inclusive and accessible to every 'body', regardless of an individuals age, gender, level of fitness, flexibility, size etc. Yoga is often portrayed as being for slim, super flexible young women. This is absoultely not the case. By being male, middle aged and far from skinny I hardly match what many people would describe as their stereotypical yoga teacher but would like to think that the yoga I teach is accessible to all and would encourage anyone to come along and give it a go and hopefully experience the physical and mental benefits that a regular yoga practice can give.
Over the many years that I have been practicing yoga, it has been invaluable in giving me a means to remain calm and grounded in the busy, demanding, hectic world in which we live. It was my desire to share this with others that initially inspired me to undertake my Yoga Teacher Training which I subsequently completed (500 hrs) with Sadhana Mala yoga school. I have also recently completed a further 500 hour training in Individual Yoga Teaching (Yoga Therapy). I am registered with the Association for Yoga Studies (AYS) and continue to develop both my studies and my own practice with my teacher Dave Charlton from Living Yoga while also regularly attending weekly yoga classes with Chantal and Gareth, Senior Yoga Teachers from Cheltenham Yoga.
As a yoga teacher I absolutely love that anyone really can practice yoga and I really enjoy helping people discover the multiple benefits of this ancient tradition. There really is so much more to it than just touching your toes - actually it really doesn’t matter if you can’t!
Please do contact me if you have any questions or queries at all about yoga and I hope to perhaps meet you on a yoga mat soon.
The style of Hatha Yoga I teach is sometimes referred to as ‘Viniyoga’, coming from the Sanskrit term 'Viniyogah', meaning special application. It is very much concerned with adapting the practice to suit each individual. As we are all unique and coming from different starting points our yoga practice subsequently needs to be person centred and reflect this individuality. In my teaching, I consequently strive to offer alternatives or modifications to postures so each person can achieve their own potential and have an experience that is unique to them.
Classes typically last for 75 mins and usually start by drawing attention to the here and now and encouraging the student to let go of their days’ activities. Through focusing the mind on the breath and undertaking a series of physical yoga postures (asanas) during the class, this prepares the body for relaxation and focused breathing towards the end, aiming to leave the student feeling calm, refreshed and relaxed.
Despite being one of the more gentle forms of yoga, at times, the classes can equally be physically challenging! Therefore, during the class if something doesn’t feel right please stop and let me know. (The classes are really not about bending into impossible shapes and tying yourself into knots.) It is really important to listen to your body and work within your own limits. Please do not strain or force the body, or perform any exercise that you feel is not appropriate or painful for you. Rest and take extra breaths when you need to. Alternatives or modifications to the poses can usually be given. Additionally, please always let me know of any new health conditions or injuries before the class starts.
During the class it’s usual to wear comfortable clothing which will not restrict your movements. People often wear layers in order to add / take off layers depending on the heat being generated from the yoga practice. Traditionally yoga is undertaken barefooted and it is customary to remove shoes before entering the room where yoga is practiced.
If possible, I would ask that you bring your own yoga mat, although a mat may be able to be provided in the interim period. Non slip, reasonably priced yoga mats are now readily available in many sports shops and even supermarkets.
It is important not to get cold when practising so it is advisable to bring a sweatshirt or jumper for the more static parts of the practice.
As with most exercises, it is advisable not to eat a meal for at least 2 hours before practising yoga.