Co-Founder of Unity Yoga Sheffield
Through my eclectic Yoga and Ayurvedic experience you can expect any class with me to be structured and flowing. I draw in my experiences from all the styles and paths that I have learned from over the years including Hatha, Vinyasa, Ashtanga and Satyananda. I encourage students to find that line whereby they feel comfortably challenged in what they do, I encourage building strength, not strain. Most of all I hope that students can feel a sense of progression and growth that leads them towards their own personal unity. Be it simply between body and mind or something bigger than that.
So, here is a little about my experience. Let's start from the beginning, my personal practice began around 13 years ago. I started doing very gentle Hatha Yoga as a teenager to help me with some back troubles I was having. I was recommended by a physiotherapist to try yoga and pilates. At the beginning I found the very basic stuff hard work, as it required me to focus and find new control and balance that I had never had previously. After a short time the change was amazing, I felt so much better and just fell in love with the practice. Over the next few years I began to notice the way that Yoga works on not just the body but the mind too. I began to practice Pranayama breathing techniques and meditation to help me to relax, focus and overcome issues with sleeping.
A few years into my personal practice I became inspired and started to notice the profound effects Yoga had on others around me. I then realized that I wanted to learn how to use Yoga to help others
Co-Founder of Unity Yoga Sheffield
Each of my classes strive to provide a balance of strength and fluidity, stillness and movement, breath and alignment. I have been practising yoga for over 12 years and teaching yoga for 4 of those years, my practice evolves over time which I'm sure is reflected in my teaching.
We are ever changing beings and for me it's important to share yoga from the heart, from a place of authenticity. In my classes you can expect a slowing down of the transitions between the yoga asanas (poses), moving at a strong and steady pace to cultivate grace and inner strength. I also love to weave a variety of elements into my classes, yoga has a wealth of wisdom, so depending on the week we may explore elements of anatomy, philosophy, mudra and meditation as I aim to share the diversities of this beautifully rich subject.
I am honoured to call myself a teacher as I will also always remain a student; endlessly grateful for the lessons I learn from both my students and the inspiring teachers I continue to train with.
Yoga to me is a lifestyle, a way of living. The asanas, the physical practice of yoga allows the body and mind to work together bringing contentment and balance, connecting you to your true self.
After 5 years of practising yoga, Early in 2016 I decided to do my 200hrs teacher training in India. The course was Ashtanga vinyasa with a strong focus on philosophy and anatomy. I later visited Spain and completed my training in Yin yoga. I feel yoga is so broad and my passion is ever evolving.
I offer grounding and nurturing yoga classes for all levels- using breath led movement with a string focus on exploring your own practise and finding your own interpretation of yoga. As a yoga teacher I feel my style is constantly changing and growing.
"Through daily yoga practice we can become present to our fundamental goodness and the goodness of others" - Donna Farhi
To me Yoga is a life affirming practice that continually connects and re-connects us to who we are, reminding us that we are part of a bigger whole.
Because of Yoga's immense history, I feel as a practice it has become so broad and therefore has the potential to heal and enliven many people, from different walks of life.
As change is the fundamental element of nature, as a student and teacher I am continually re-evaluating what yoga is and has the potential to be. My passion for yoga is ever-evolving despite the ultimate intention remaining constant.
The asanas (postures) to me are a containment for experience, sensation and artistry. In my classes you can expect to develop both body and breath awareness, with a focus on creating supportive and dynamic alignment, as I believe mindful movement is the ultimate giver of presence, empowerment and healing.
"Yoga is the virtuosity of becoming yourself" - Douglas Brooks
Sama (सम), meaning balance or equality of opposites, is at the heart of the practice for me. It begins before we start to move, with the balancing of inhale and exhale through sama vrittibreathing and standing centred in our bodies: samasthiti. Once established in sama, we develop mental focus as we move through the practice finding sama in body and mind from beginning to end. The result is a practice that is light, yet grounded; a mind that is focussed, yet relaxed; a body that is strong, yet flexible; and emotions that are feeling, yet not over-reactive. A fixed sequence of postures allows us to focus on these internal aspects, making Ashtanga Yoga a moving, mindfulness meditation. With consistent practise, we take sama from the mat and out into our daily lives.
I started my yoga practice in 1999 and for the first few years practised various styles. In 2004, I found Ashtanga Yoga and from the first class knew this practice would be extremely important to me. When I spent three years living far from any yoga teachers, the fixed nature of the Ashtanga sequence gave me direction in my practice. Eventually, I was able to spend time in India where I qualified to teach Hatha Yoga in the Bihar lineage at the Yoga Vidya ashram. I also spent extensive time with Rolf Naujokat and Marci Chiu-Naujokat refining my understanding of the Ashtanga system. Since returning to the UK I have taken further certification with Yoga Alliance UK, and worked with inspirational teachers such as David Swenson and Chuck Miller. I now visit Joey Miles regularly in Leeds. I respect his deep understanding of the lineage, combined with his pragmatic approach to its outward expression, allowing the system to be tailored to each unique practitioner.
I hope to be able to share what I know about this practice with the same dynamism as my teacher. My experience as a Massage Therapist at Massage Therapy Sheffield informs my yoga teaching. I have also recently embarked on the journey of studying the Anatomy Trains modality of bodywork, which teaches how fascia affects movement and how bodywork and yoga can help restore its proper function.
It is with the greatest respect that I pass on what little I know of this great system to anyone who finds my classes beneficial.
“Do your practice and all is coming” - Shri K. Pattabhi Jois
I started practicing yoga when I landed in university back in 2008. In amongst the intensely busy, burning the candle at both ends life I was living, I found a sanctuary in which I could explore relaxation more deeply than ever before. It brought about an unravelling within myself that had a profound effect on the rest of my life in ways I almost didn't notice happening at the time. Along with this, I felt my physical strength increase and my intrigue towards new ways of being, grow. My teacher inspired an entirely new way to interact with the world and with myself, and those first few classes felt like jewels that had been placed on my life path for me to treasure and to keep following.
The sessions I like to offer are mindful, introspective and meditative, with an emphasis on treating the body with kindness and respecting the subtle flows and changes in energy levels that we each experience. The phrase "no pushing, no holding back" is one that I like to keep in mind when practicing and teaching. I love to see people practicing in a nourishing way, enjoying being in their bodies, challenging themselves into new depths of movement, without feeling the need to push it into a point of pain and discomfort. My classes are both enlivening and nourishing. Some are much steadier development of stronger poses and others being more about the meditative flow of movement. I love to create classes which reflect and incorporate the changing seasons, bringing inner nature into play with outer nature. Music can be a wonderful addition to creative movement, setting a tone and enticing out a range of feelings. I love to incorporate complimenting melodies into my classes too.
Rebecca Lee Close
Yoga is a balance for me, it is a place where both strength and softness, hot and cold, masculine and feminine can meet in harmony.
While living and working abroad and at sea from being 18, yoga was a place I could go to create calm and steadiness while working in a very unstable and hectic environment.
After working to a point of poor health both mentally and physically - even though I hadn't realised it at the time - I was able to commit to a more regular practice in a studio with teachers who could guide me further into my practice than I had ever been before. This is when the true love for yoga began to shine through even brighter than before. When my husband and I decided to make the transition from working at sea to working on land, I found myself in a situation that was very stressful and at times found myself to be in a place of depression and anxiety. However, those dark days brought me to a yoga teacher training with the perfect teachers for my situation who were able to help me deepen my practice further, and enable to me the skills to share that gift.
Now living and teaching full-time in Sheffield, I find my practice and my teaching to be a fluid experience, changing as I continue to learn, age, and grow, yet I maintain a focus on it being a personal practice for each individual where the true teacher is your own mind and body, and the real practice is often when you're not in a studio or on a mat.
I am privileged and honoured that students seem to enjoy my classes enough that I have been able to send myself for further training to specialise in yoga for sports, yin yoga and hatha and anatomy yoga skills and teaching.
Expect warm flows and focused work, sometimes soft and slow, sometimes strong and steady, I aim to help you get into your breath and your body.
"It's a constant practice and I'm grateful for the love and support to show up more and more with all of me"
- Christine Price Clark