I practise and teach Hatha yoga and Vinyasa flow in Bristol, England. Why not join me for a class?
I have a great passion for helping people feel good in their bodies and minds. As a yoga teacher, my aim is to make this ancient discipline pleasurable and accessible to people people of all ages, shapes and sizes, and at all stages of their yoga journeys. So if you're a beginner, consider yourself unfit or are getting back into exercise after a period of inactivity, you're most welcome to join an Updog Yoga class (Wednesday morning classes are perfect for newbies).
In my classes, safety always comes first. And I'm a stickler for correct alignment. That's why I describe every pose and transition with clear, precise instructions. So what does an Updog Yoga class look like? Typically, I guide students into strong, often challenging poses (asanas) that are sometimes held and deepened, and sometimes linked to form fluid, rhythmic sequences (that’s the Vinyasa part). All movement is accompanied by the steady, controlled flow of breath (pranayama). And music. Because I love it.
My intention is for every class to be pleasurable, meaningful and unique, which is possible only through careful planning. That, for me, is one of the funnest parts of being a teacher. Making things has always given me a buzz, and over the years I've found a litany of outlets for my creativity, from twisting wire into earrings and moulding soggy newspaper into theatre props to decorating cakes and stringing words into short stories. Yoga is my most rewarding creative outlet by far (followed closely by writing, which I also do for a living). I love designing sequences and tailoring them to the needs and abilities of the groups I lead. I believe that by pouring special attention into every class, I'm giving my students the best opportunity to deepen their experience of yoga and to expand their awareness of their bodies' potential.
My greatest wish is for everyone to leave an Updog Yoga class feeling great. As a purely physical discipline, yoga is amazing—it eases pain and makes you stronger, bendier and more toned. But it's not just the body that stands to benefit from a regular practice. Stick at it long enough and you'll be touched at a deeper, more vital level.
Yoga has an expansive quality to it. It adds texture and colour to your day. It enables you to tap into a well of calm that resides inside you (it's there, truly!) making you less reactive, less emotional, less judgemental of yourself and others. Yoga helps you see your thoughts for what they really are—background chatter (not God's truth). Most of all, it equips you to engage more fully with life. All of life. Even the uncomfortable bits.
Through my own practice, I’ve experienced some powerful shifts—changes felt not just physically but also mentally and emotionally. Yoga has been my anchor in turbulent times. I believe it has made me wiser and braver, allowing me to make tough decisions that would affect the rest of my life. It has given me the strength to navigate difficult episodes and to trust that I’d survive and eventually thrive again.
Practising yoga has been an exercise in letting go of all those pesky shoulds (you know—life should be better, brighter, easier, nicer, richer, warmer…). I've learnt that I don't have to 'do battle' with life to move forward—I can simply step into the natural current of my existence, and all will be well. The impact on my general wellbeing has been immense.
My yoga journey has been possible thanks to the work and wisdom of many incredible teachers, sages and friends. A special shoutout to Sarah Powell, whom I count as at least two of those things.