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YOGA WITH FAYE VILLALBA
All too often we practice sport - any sport - by straining, contorting and exhausting ourselves. So at first it seems counter-intuitive to do less, to strive less, to stop all the pushing and pulling, the "no pain no gain" approach. But there is another way, a more gratifying way of working with our body that requires us to listen carefully to it, to be attentive to its needs and to practise in a kind, harmonious, non-violent and non-judgemental way.
Rather than "doing" yoga, or mechanically "making shapes", Scaravelli teaches us to focus instead on creating an environment in which the yoga can blossom as and when our bodies are ready. Through an awareness of touch we are drawn inwards towards the bones. As we free the bones by finding space around them we find an inner support system that does not rely on bracing or putting weight through our muscles. And when we find that support, we can fearlessly let go of tension, of "holding on", and allow the postures to magically and effortlessly unfold.
There is no end result. The reward and excitement is in the journey itself, and the journey is one that will last a lifetime. Each time you come to your mat you will discover something new and exciting. You will become more imaginative, experimental and creative. Your yoga will become a meditation. This might all seem too simple to begin with - although it is surprisingly hard work - but the transformation of both body and mind is profound and deeply rewarding.
Finding the right yoga teacher is part of the journey. There are so many different styles out there that it's really a question of going along to classes until you find the right voice, the right approach, the right style for you. I invite you to come along to one of my classes to see whether I might be the teacher for you!
I teach a gentle but intensely powerful form of yoga that is intuitive, playful and suitable for men and women of all levels, including beginners. Having studied and practiced many different forms of Hatha (or postural) Yoga, my main source of inspiration comes from the teachings of Vanda Scaravelli.
You can listen to me talk about Vanda in this video, or you can continue reading below if you'd rather ...
As Vanda herself said so beautifully: "Yoga must not be practised to control the body; it is the opposite, it must bring freedom to the body, all the freedom it needs."