Posts tagged classes
A Q&A with Ali Cellini
 

Name:  Ali Cellini

Hometown:  this should be a short answer question but it never is for me! I grew up in Kenya – a small town called Malindi, though now my family is all in Nairobi. That is home, but England has also always felt like home as I grew up partially (on and off) here!

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Training background:  I trained at a school called Purusha Yoga in San Francisco, where we studied in the Raja Yoga tradition – focused on Hatha, stemming into versions like Vinyasa, Yin, Restorative. Studying at Purusha was amazing as Joy Ravelli, the head instructor and owner of the studio, has been training teachers for more than 20 years, and the breadth of her experience, and that of the other teachers there, gave us a really in-depth well-rounded view on teaching, anatomy and the history and philosophy of yoga – enough to know that we were only scratching the surface and there is always so much more to learn!

What is your favourite yoga pose and why:  Downward dog. Well there are a few... but I'm going to stick with downward dog. I love it. It is essential. It is place where you don't have a reason to forget any part of the body – in it I can be aware of all things, and the connection between all things, and simultaneously it is a place of great surrender. I can feel the ground. I can feel my spine's length. It is hard work and then also shifts into almost feeling restorative at times. In those moments it feels like home. The place to return to and feel like everything is right in the world. 

What is your least favourite yoga pose and why:  Hmmm, well I'd say that I actually kind of love my least favourite poses! For example, gomukhasana – cow face pose – is so very uncomfortable in my body, but it offers me the special practice of finding ease in a place of difficulty... and afterwards I always feel better for it. It's also part of becoming more self-aware, and noticing the things you really need (sometimes not what you're naturally drawn to). It's not about feeling good right now, but about the health and benefits (and perhaps good feelings in those) that come over time.

What is one of your mantras?  Something like "Let what comes, come." I think often , in some form, about releasing the hold on things and the idea of control. And letting what is going to be, be. We do what we can, but we cannot control everything. It's about being decisive and also flexible – committed, but fluid. Being here with what is right now.

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Do you have a go-to practice to get you through busy or challenging times?  Music. In any form. I sing, so singing really helps me. But listening to music, being surrounded and engulfed by it, and singing – besides yoga, that has helped me through the most difficult moments and feelings. I could sit and do that for hours in times of sadness. I put the music on and am driven by it in times of busyness. With the right music on, I feel like I can do anything. And tea. And long showers. I find that anything that is a "pause," or that helps to slow down time, helps you in the long run because you realise that everything that needs to get done will, and everything else won't matter.

What can students expect from your yoga classes?  In yoga, I found the ability to clear the space, to not feel surrounded, to release – I strive to channel this experience to others. To me yoga is like a dance; it is an expressive bodily language, and in it we move and search for the "sweet spots". My practice and my classes exist around this opportunity for clarity and expression – they are focused, challenging but accessible to all, but above all they are fun and inclusive. You will hear a lot of music – mostly unexpected! – and you will be provided with a place where you can come as you are (intentional Nirvana reference...). I believe in hard work and creating heat (tapas) where it counts and has purpose, but balancing this with softness and ease.

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Where did you last go on holiday? Did you take your mat? My last holiday was in December and was actually my honeymoon! It was in Malta, was barely planned and was a beautiful, unexpected surprise of a place. I admit I did not take my mat as I was specifically there to have a break from EVERYTHING – we walked, ate, explored, and slept 10 hours every night! My practice in that period was to fully restore, and I'd say it was a massive success!

Something we may not know about you…   Well, there are so many things... I am a big Trekkie. A Star Trek fan. Very big. I love stories in general, fantasy and science fiction above all. And I do not watch TV. But Star Trek is something I will always watch. Next Generation is my number 1. But is followed very closely by the Original Series and DS9. And yes, I have related many, many things from Star Trek to yoga ...and used them in classes.

Live long and prosper.


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Catch Ali teaching at CAMYOGA:

Monday nights 20.00 at Mitcham's Corner. Click here to book.

 

Find out more about Ali on her website here.


 
*New Literary Yoga Classes with Jessica Lawrence
 

You might have been wondering what a couple of our new classes are all about - Literary Vinyasa Flow and Literary Yin Restorative.... We are very excited to announce brand new classes with one of our most popular teachers, Jessica Lawrence, find out more below...


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NEW
Literary Yoga Classes

with JEssicA LAWRENCE

 

"Growing up I could never quite contain myself to single areas of learning; I was a certified bookworm with a love of foreign linguistics and a penchant for dissection and astronomy, with an intense sideline in ballet. I studied Classical Greek at university so that I could understand myths and verbal morphology better and then went to work in publishing so that I could read other people’s ideas on everything from Baedecker to bike couriering.

What I am trying to say is that I have always found the world to be too huge to avoid being multi disciplinary.

So I decided as soon as I knew that I wanted to be a yoga teacher that I would want some help along the way from voices far more eloquent than mine. Combining my lifelong love of literature with my classes made complete sense to me from the beginning; the basic principles of yoga and a yogic life are a blueprint for making the most of human nature - and human nature is what almost every piece of literature deals with. Bringing two of my disciplines together has expanded both for me and aids in communicating complex and subtle lessons to my students, with the help of the beautiful words of the world’s best and wisest authors and the greatest tool any of us has - our bodies. 

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In my classes students can expect to explore elements of yoga philosophy, using novels or meditative non fiction as a thematic framework and the ancient wisdom of yoga and the physical manifestations of this in asana as a practical method of application.

The first of my Tuesday evening classes - Literary Vinyasa Flow
is all of the above with dynamic, creative, dance-like flows and more than a bit of levity, because one thing I take from my multi-disciplinary approach to life is that nothing should be taken too seriously.

The second class - Literary Yin Restorative will use its slower pace and quieter mood to explore one short story or poem within each 75 minutes. Working somewhere between yin and restorative and building up to and down from one single vinyasa we’ll have the time and the space to follow and absorb a simple philosophy from a short piece of literature, using the words as a metronome for peaceful sequences of poses. 

My aim in life has always been to expand my understanding in every direction and I hope you’ll join me in my classes for the ride."


Join Jessica for her NEW regular classes at Great Shelford

Literary Vinyasa Flow
Tuesdays 18:30
Book here

Literary Yin Restorative
Tuesdays 20:00
Book here

Can't make Tuesdays?
Jessica teaches a flow class every Sunday at Great Shelford. 18.30 Book here.


 
Welcome to the Team Andy, Gemma & Julie - Meet Our Newest Yoga Teachers

Andy's Class Schedule:

Shelford:

Tuesdays @ 18.30 Jivamukti

Buckden:

Saturdays @ 10.00 Jivamukti

You can also catch Andy teaching some Friday Nights at Shelford & at our monthly Kirtan at Central

Andy Nathan

I'm a 300 Hour Certified Jivamukti Yoga Teacher based in the beautiful medieval market town of Saffron Walden - close to Cambridge and less than an hour from London.

My classes have a strong, playful dynamic with attention paid to meaningful connection with students, disciplined practice and positive intention. I teach a number of regular weekly public classes, co-host kirtans in and around Cambridge, offer private tuition to individuals, groups and businesses and assist my teachers both locally and in London.

I'm also proud to be part of the Yoga for Syria team with some hugely inspiring beings, which puts on a yoga festival regularly and donates all the proceeds to an amazing grassroots organisation which takes aid direct to the mothers and children in need.

Find out more about Andy here.


Gemma's Class Schedule:

Shelford:

Tuesdays @ 13.00 Yoga Flow Open

Buckden:

Mondays @ 10.00 Yoga Open

Wednesdays @ 18.30 Yoga Open                                  @  20.00 Yoga Beginners

Gemma Skells

I was a keen fitness enthusiast. Weight lifting was a large part of my regimen. I tried my first yoga class in 2008 after reading an article in a fitness magazine called stretch for strength. I wanted to improve my Olympic lifts, flexibility and reduce muscle hardening so I began attending one hatha class per week at my local leisure centre.

Little did I know that four years later I would have almost completely swapped the gym for the yoga mat. Like many other people, I started to notice the "feel good" feeling. Not just the physical benefits of a regular yoga practice but also the more subtle (and not at first obvious) improvements to my health, well being and sense of self worth. These are just a few of the many beneficial aspects which have fed my interest and love for yoga ever since. So much so that I began my journey of becoming a teacher in November 2013 with the British Wheel of Yoga. My goal is not only to deepen my own understanding, but more importantly to help others facilitate their own "feel good" feeling.

Find out more about Gemma here.


Julie Davies

Julie's Class Schedule:

Central:

Fridays @ 13.00 Yoga Flow Open

 

From a very young age I have found solace and enjoyment in physical activity.  For most of my younger life this need was met by high impact aerobic type exercise and many gym memberships. I came to yoga in my late thirties when I found an amazing teacher and over time have developed an abiding love of the practice.

I discovered through the regular practice of yoga a strength and agility of body and mind that had been elusive.  As the years have passed I have been inspired to share the practice of yoga by the many excellent teachers I have had the pleasure to work with.

My personal style is eclectic.  Some days I need a highly energetic and dynamic yoga and will look to a strong flow practice.  On other days I find joy in a gentler approach. My desire to teach arose spontaneously from the pleasure I found in my personal practice and my wish to share this with others.  My teaching style therefore aims, as far as possible,  to be specific to the students on any given day.

Find out more about Julie here.

Get to know Camyoga Student, Jessica Ashby

Get to Know Camyogi: Jessica Ashby

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Name: Jessica Ashby

Age:  21

Occupation: Unemployed

What brought you to yoga?

A friend suggested I tired yoga as a way to deal with stress and just improve my general wellbeing.  My previous job meant that I was always stressed, exhausted and had left me with little motivation to do anything.  I could never have anticipated the positive impact that coming to yoga would have on my life.  It has given a real sense of self-worth, as well as the courage to make some drastic changes to my lifestyle.

What do you do when you are not doing yoga?

Anything creative! I’m always drawing and I try to carry my camera with me everywhere.  I enjoy travelling and meeting new people, but I also spend a lot of time with my family.

What is your favourite yoga pose and why?

I don’t think I’ve been coming to yoga long enough to have a favourite pose but I enjoy most of the standing balances I have tried so far.  I feel like they really connect my mind and body.  If I begin to wobble it’s usually because my mind has started to wander.  As soon as I bring complete focus back to the pose I see a real improvement.

What is your least favourite yoga pose and why?

Equally, I don’t think I have a least favourite pose although I do find poses like Dolphin Plank (not sure if that’s the correct name) very challenging.  I definitely need to work on strengthening my core!

What is one quality you have taken off the mat and incorporated into your daily life?

Not to compare myself to others.  I have often judged myself and my abilities against the success of others, and for me that usually induces feelings of resentment and inadequacy.  It became clear to me from my first yoga lesson that yoga is about finding what is right for you, and that principle can be applied to any aspect of life.  There is no point looking to the person on the mat next to you and thinking ‘I wish I was that flexible and strong.’  Equally there is no point in looking to your next door neighbour and thinking ‘I wish I had a big house and an expensive car.’  It is far more productive to focus your energy into being the best version of yourself that you can be, whether that is on the mat or just going about your daily life.

An interesting fact about Jessica that you may not know is… I have a terrible fear of flying!

Yoga for Beginners

Open Yoga

Workshops

Day Retreats

But I am Too Stiff for Yoga

Are you considering Yoga but not sure yet if it is for you?  There must be scope for a t-shirt with this statement on the front and on the back answering ‘This Makes you Perfect for Yoga!’’ Some-one considering  Yoga might be concerned  they would not fit in a class of nimble adepts and in a worst case scenario they imagine it would be more like an audition for Cirque du Soleil.  In reality there is a very wide range of people that practise Yoga and in class the teacher will help you to focus on your own practise so that you very quickly forget what is going on around you.  If you are starting out a beginners course and then a basics class is a great place to start. Every pose has an accessible version and the teacher will offer modifications and props and ways of building up. After the course try out a number of different classes and teachers to find one that works for you. The key is to ask yourself  did you feel better after the session than before? Yoga is for every one and Every Body.

Beginners Courses and Classes that you can attend:

Yoga for Beginners

Ashtanga for Beginners

Yoga Basics