It’s been a while since I last posted and, contrary to popular belief, my radio silence hasn’t been down to catching up on OITNB (although I’ll admit to enjoying season three immensely). I’ve actually been pretty busy, really busy in fact. Over the past two months I’ve gone from teaching at one studio to teaching at three. And not just any old studios, two of the most successful yoga studios in the region.
With the trusty help of Kirsty (who owns Sweat Studios), introductions were made to studios she has strong connections with, and new opportunities arose. I have now gained three new classes each week, teaching at Absolute Hot Yoga in Gerrard’s Cross and Hot Zen in Bushey. This is in addition to my regular gig at Sweat Studios in Milton Keynes.
To tell you more…
Absolute Hot Yoga is a well-established hot yoga studio with some incredible teachers and a fantastically friendly clientele. The studio originally started out as a classic hot yoga studio, teaching nothing but the Classic 26 (original Bikram sequence) and Absolute 50 (a variation on the Bikram sequence, and the sequence I trained in). Over time the studio has expanded and now teaches a variety of classes including vinyasa flow, yin yang, ashtanga and mysore, amongst others. The studio has a wonderful reputation and will be a great place for me to learn how to be a stronger hot yoga teacher amongst teachers I have so much respect for. I am teaching Tuesday nights (soon to change to Monday nights) at 8:15pm.
Hot Zen is based just outside of Watford, and is a hot yoga and wellness centre. The studio takes a very spiritual approach in the classes it offers on the schedule – chanting, more advanced pranayama and meditation are all important aspects of the Hot Zen experience. On top of this the studio offers a more diverse range of classes such as Rocket and Dharma Flow, often not seen outside of London. Kathy, the owner, is so passionate about yoga and this is palpable from the moment you walk through the front door. Many of the classes on the schedule are quite advanced, resulting in a clientele that are also quite advanced in their practice. Handstand, forearm balance, headstand – childs play for this bunch! At first I was intimidated by this, but as I get to know everyone in my classes I remind myself just how much I have to offer as a teacher. I am teaching a classic hot class followed by a dharma flow (yep I’m now a vinyasa teacher) from 9am to 12pm on Sunday mornings.
Becoming successful at a new studio takes time and doesn’t happen overnight. It’s so important you get to know the studio before you teach at it, attending classes, getting to know the teachers and understanding what makes the studio a success. Each studio will have its own idea of how it wants you to teach and you have to adapt your style accordingly whilst staying true to yourself.
As well as fitting in with the style of the studio, it’s also important you take the time to get to know the people in your classes. You can have the best class in the world but if you don’t like the person teaching it you won’t go back, so building connections with everyone in your classes is just as important as the quality of teaching. A month along at Absolute and Hot Zen and I’m slowly getting to know who my regulars are and what their bodies can do. By year end I’m hoping I have a strong set of regulars I can count on to attend my classes each week.
So I mentioned I’m now teaching Vinyasa. I’ve flown the hot yoga nest and am now teaching an entirely new style of yoga and it’s been a back-to-basics experience for me! To help prepare for the Dharma Vinyasa Flow class I now teach I embarked on some teacher training with Sophie Free throughout July and August. Sophie Free teaches at Absolute Hot Yoga and is generally regarded as one of the best Vinyasa teachers in the area. She’s about as get as it gets when it comes to a flow class – she has a unique and energetic approach to teaching and her classes are always waitlisted. She took myself and the lovely Lucinda (fellow teacher at Sweat Studios) under her wing and taught us everything she knows about Vinyasa Flow. There’s a blog coming up about this so I’ll leave the juicy bits for that, but suffice to say it’s been a huge challenge and I’ve had more than a few sleepless nights!
All in all it’s been a busy few months yoga-wise and that’s not even mentioning the progressions in my own practice and all the amazing things happening in my personal life (fun with my husband Stuart, a holiday to Majorca with my crazy family and my best buddy giving birth, to name a few). I’ve only just touched the surface with this post, lots more coming soon!