Helen’s background and philosophy in the form of an interview for a recent FRYOG magazine

How long have you been practising yoga? I have been involved with Yoga for over 39 years. I enjoy practising Yoga as often as I can during each and every day.
What or whom influenced you to start practising yoga? I am lucky enough to come from a family with a yoga background. My father influenced me the most as he was so enthusiastic about the benefits. I quickly joined him and was hooked from the start.
What made you decide to start teaching yoga? I have been teaching Yoga most of my adult life. For me it was a natural progression to make, enabling me to share my love of and enthusiasm for Yoga.
With whom did you train? We moved from Lancashire to Matlock in 1978. I immediately joined a class and was asked if I’d ever thought of teaching. Derbyshire Adult Community Education were not only looking for Yoga teachers but were also wanting to fund their training with FRYOG and the rest is history. I trained with a lovely group of people and we were very privileged to have Wilfred Clark, a founding member of FRYOG and BWY, oversee our training and regularly take sessions with us.
What style of Yoga do
you teach?
My style can best be described as comprehensive and holistic Yoga with a smile. I currently teach classes in my local area as I work for DACE, WEA and run private classes. I also teach one to one sessions as part of my business ‘Serenity’ I teach mainly mixed ability classes which I think has many advantages, not least of which is it allows ease of movement between classes. But of course each class retains its own unique character and dynamic. I enjoy the challenge of tailoring each class to meet the varied needs, interests, and abilities of all the participants. Yoga is for everyone, my students tell me they enjoy and value the inclusive nature of the classes.
What does yoga mean
to you?
Yoga brings balance and joy to every aspect of my life, allowing me to connect with my inner self and find peace.
Do you feel you have made a difference, either to the people you teach, the community you live in or to your family for example? I have seen countless people blossom and develop on many levels through experiencing the benefits of Yoga. My students tell me that they know that their general health and wellbeing have improved and as one of them eloquently put it ‘Yoga has helped me weather life’s storms with a positive attitude’. I am glad that I have been able to spark their interest and open the door to the possibilities that Yoga can bring.
Where do you see your yoga taking you? I intend to continue teaching for many years to come as there are lots of areas of interest within Yoga that I would like to pursue including my work in schools and Yoga for people with limited mobility. I still view my own personal Yoga practise as ‘work in progress’, content in the knowledge that to paraphrase Dr H P Shastri, ‘the path is beautiful and so is the goal’.
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