I'm a yogi. This doesn't mean I just tie myself in knots up in neon coloured lycra, it means I encompass all of the eight limbs of yoga, which is why Ashtanga Yoga speaks to me the most.
Ashtanga yoga constantly reminds the practitioner that there is more to yoga than asana (postures) - there are morals, ethics, breath, concentration and meditation to work with both on and off the mat. Over the past 7 years of practice, I have found the art of yoga in many things; gardening, chanting, observation of moods and energies, passing on a smile, teaching, developing better relations with others and being true to myself. To me, being an authentic yogi means integrating what you've learnt on the mat into real life with sincerity; for honest, independent wisdom via experience will always shine through.
I understand that the Ashtanga yoga method isn't for everybody's mindset or constitution. There are days myself where practicing it can be adding too much rajasic (active and fluid) energy, so I also practice Yin Yoga (slow, passive yoga) to balance out my gunas (qualities) for a holistic approach to yoga that is conduce to a sattvic (balanced) mind and body.
I have 200 hours of teacher training in the Ashtanga method and a seperate 200 hours of teacher training in the Hatha method. Both of which were studied whilst living in the motherland of Yoga: India. (These studies have since been authorised by Yoga Alliance UK). Whilst in India I retreated for 8 weeks in Rishikesh to develop a Mysore style practice, observing silence, studying texts and meditating. Whilst here I was also blessed with the opportunity to practice under the guidance of Usha Devi who is a highly respected student of BKS Iyengar. Her knowledge and no-nonsense approach led me to respect the Iyengar method, which I still study to this day to keep my knowledge up to date, comprehensive and complementary to Ashtanga and Yin.
I have studied under Paul and Suzee Grilley to understand the fuctional approach to Yin Yoga as well as appreciating the art of slowing down, relaxing and being soft to ourselves when life can be particularly hard.
I have also trained with Brian Cooper for Thai Massage techniques to implement in my yoga classes to help students open up, soften and find ease with relaxation or preparing for challenging asanas (postures).
Completing a course with the Prison Phoenix Trust has been a highlight on my Yoga journey so far. This was completed with a long term view to teach Yoga in prisons to people who need this skill the most. Plans are hatching to make this possile in the Bristol area... wish me luck!
Over the years I have had many opportunities to practice with international teachers such as Kino McGregor (ashtanga), John Scott (ashtanga), David Swenson (ashtanga), Tim Feldmann (ashtanga), Michael Stone (ashtanga), Joey Miles (ashtanga), Matt Ryan (ashtanga), Donna Southwell (ashtanga), and Roger Cole (Iyengar)
I'm a firm believer that no philosophy is 100% true in of itself. To teach to students from all walks of life, one must be able to tap into lots of wells which draw from the same source.
"You have a good eye for posture & you know when something is right or wrong but, more importantly, what to do to put it right. You have a good firm, yet gentle approach and you have what John and Lucy Scott refer to as 'good hands'. That means you place your hands well on the body and you transmit the movement you want to create in the student through them."
D. Pugh, teacher & student, Manchester
"Amazing knowing @EleanorYogaUK over the last 18 months I am a better person for knowing her" A. Wheatley, student, Manchester
"@EleanorYogaUK you've taught us so much that will stay with us forever. The best of luck and thank you" L. Taylor, student, Manchester
"...you have been an exemplary student and teacher" Matt Ryan, KPJAYI teacher, Manchester
"Just a wee email to say I think the Sunday evening yin yoga classes have been exquisite.They are such a source of light. Thank you for all the thought and intention you clearly put into them." L.D. student, Bristol