Yoga and Massage Therapy
I am a certified yoga teacher (300 hours in Ashtanga yoga) and a certified Thai and Ayurvedic Massage and Reflexology Therapist.
I found my calling as a teacher and therapist while living in India, where I spent four years teaching and studying yoga and massage.
I take lead from actively listening to my clients to understand their needs, interests and boundaries. I aim to adapt sessions that feel safe and enriching and to support clients to feel relaxed and ready to explore both yoga and massage with playful curiosity.
Where I teach...
I am based in Newcastle, UK, and teach in-centre yoga classes at Shanti Bee studio in Byker.
I teach online classes on Instagram from Jogashala Virtual Studio (@jogashala), as well as leading Zoom classes for private clients.
I work in schools and currently teach primary school children in Heaton.
I also volunteer my services as a Yoga teacher to asylum seekers and other marginalised groups.
They range from pacey and energising to slow and controlled, and support physical awareness and mindfulness. Classes incorporate yoga postures, alignment techniques and mobility training exercises, alongside breathing techniques and relaxation.
You don't need to have practiced yoga before. I can adapt a practice which is suited to your ability level.
Before your class you can book a free consultation with me. This is an opportunity for you to explain any conditions, physical or mental, which you'd like me to be aware of. You can also state any goals you would like to work towards, or the type of class, energising or relaxing, that you'd most prefer.
I offer yoga classes and massage treatments in the form of Wellness Days to businesses.
Building a sense of care within any business can help increase staff engagement and morale. Wellness Days can add value to your business while addressing workplace challenges such as stress, fatigue and shoulder, neck and back pain.
Thai massage is practiced on the floor and involves firm pressure and assisted stretching. Thai massage therapists use all parts of their body to apply pressure; thumbs, elbows and knees. It can help relieve headaches, reduce stress, provide lymphatic drainage, and boost energy levels.
Indian Head Massage
Indian head massage is energising and uplifting. Vigorous strokes around the area of the head and neck to work to relieve headache, overcome fatigue and improve skin condition and blood flow in these areas. Medicated oils are often used to increase the nourishing effects of the massage, though this is optional.
In foot reflexology, pressure directed to specific points around the feet helps to improve organ function, boost blood flow and support deep relaxation.
Yoga for Asylum Seekers
I have been reflecting over the past few months about the accessibility of yoga in the UK and who might be without access who could most benefit from it.
I got in touch with Action Foundation, a charity who work with aslyum seekers upon arrival in the UK supporting them with an English language school and housing project.
I asked if they would be interested in Yoga classes as a service which I could offer voluntarily to their clients seeking asylum. They responded enthusiastically and told me about a group of men, 160 in number, who are staying between two hotels on the outskirts of the city.
They put me in touch with MEARS am organisation who provide accommodation and basic services for asylum seekers. They are working closely with these men.
The men have been at the hotel for the past three months and are being held there according to restrictions put in place due Covid-19. They are not allowed to leave the site. They have meals provided for them but have no financial support. At the hotel there are no activities for recreation. It sounds as though there is a real need for light relief in what I imagine must feel like a very claustrophobic and oppressive environment.
After a recent visit to the hotel to see the space where I will be teaching I am due to attend a focus group in which I will meet with some of the men to describe the classes more fully.
Subsequent to this I had been in touch with Tools for Inner Peace a group of yoga teachers and psychotherapists, former frontline professionals, social workers, and media hands who are working to share yoga with asylum seekers and refugees.
I had asked them for any resources they might be able to share about Trauma Sensitive Yoga. To my surprise they responded immediately with an offer to fund a purchase of yoga mats and props to use during the class.
I am really motivated by the support I have received to do this work. It makes me realise that there is support to make this kind of project happen if the initiative is there.
I am committed to making the classes as accessible as they can be so the participants might experience some of the benefits I know Yoga can offer. I have started course in Trauma Senstitive Yoga, which I will talk about in my next post.