I have been living with the principles of yoga practice for over 40 years, influenced by many traditions and people including Iyengar, Ashtanga, Shadow Yoga, “Scaravelli inspired”, the Core Strength Vinyasa Yoga of Sadie Nardini, Pranayama with Philip Xerri, Yoga Philosophy with Peter Connolly, various vinyasa flow practices, and time in India. Significant for me was initiation into Surat Shabd Yoga in 1984 – a primarily internal, meditation based yoga practice. A key principle of this, like many internal practices, is ‘practice and see for your self‘.
I started my journey of teaching yoga in the 1980s and qualified with a British Wheel of Yoga Teaching Diploma in 2001. I also achieved a diploma in both naturopathy and osteopathy in 1996 – from the College of Osteopaths in London. The problems that I saw as an osteopath, and the factors underlying those problems, reinforced for me the value and importance of the principles of yoga practice – you need strength and flexibility.
Most recently I have been developing AntiFragility Yoga. This is coming out of principles I encountered in Osteopathy and naturopathy, years of practising and exploring yoga and my own ageing. I am finding I can do things now in my late 50’s that I could not do in my 20’s and 30’s. What I am doing now has a significant thread of “toughening up” – body-fabric needs work to maintain strength. I am working toward being strong and robust in my old age, working towards a physical body that can handle what life throws at you. Ageing does not necessarily mean becoming frail. Frailty is all too often a consequence of activities that are not health or strength inducing, a consequence of life choices – irrespective of age. All in a context of personal responsibility, common sense and a recognition that progress happens best with regular steady practice, and results will always be in proportion to the practice we put in.