Life is worth celebrating with Gentle Somatic Yoga
Maria's Yoga Journey To Somatic Yoga
Forty years ago, I was drawn to yoga, attending weekly classes. I discovered it just wasn’t enough, but with two toddlers and a baby, I was not able to do more. My teacher was trained through the Lotus and Rose Trust and was taught by Yogini Sunita, who was tragically killed. My teacher very quickly became aware of my enthusiasm and desire. Offering one to one training, followed by teaching classes under her supervision. I was registered as a teacher with The Lotus and Rose Trust. However, I still desired more and continued to train in ‘Second Movement’ (Advanced Yoga) I was completely hooked, the breathing and relaxation was an amazing asset with three small children. I felt relaxed, inspired and full of vitality.
I woke every morning before the children to spend time on my mat. Life moved on and I came to live in Wales, where yoga of any kind was thought to be a strange pass time. Efforts to hold classes failed, but I continued on my personal journey. With five children under the age of ten, I found my time on my mat was very precious.
After completing my degree, I took the cause of my tiredness and aching to be due to the demands I had made upon myself. I turned for advice and was later diagnosed with osteoarthritis. I believed that was the end of practicing yoga. I became afraid to do anything that might make my pain worse.
However, I began to research and discovered Gentle Somatic Yoga and was inspired and encouraged by James Knight a Somatic Educator in the USA. It was the start of a brilliant journey as I took up studying with the British School of Yoga and was certified as an Advanced Yoga Instructor. However, because of my own experience of coping with arthritis, pain and a total knee replacement, my desire was to reach those with similar conditions and help them to explore the idea that gentle yoga and movement with awareness may help them. I researched deeper into ‘mind, body’ movement practices and found they helped me hugely to adapt and moderate traditional yoga poses. ‘Creative Yoga Motion’ was born. I had a vision, and today I am living that vision. I had faith to believe I was able to share all I learn with those who may also benefit. It has been an awesome passage and the joy now of also sharing with many younger healthy people the ‘Power of Gentleness.’
2016 was an amazing year for me, I feel so privileged to have been able to attend training workshops and teacher training courses, Which began with becoming a certified Gentle Somatic Yoga Practitioner by James Knight.
My appetite to delve further took me to the 'Organic Movement' work of John Stirk.
2017 was the ultimate experience to travel to San Francisco and experience The Anat Baniel Method of training. Returning to the UK and participating in the Somatic Fundamentals training by Tanya Fitzpatrick, Somatic Educator: Align Somatics & also with Martha Peterson: Essential Somatics, completing both Fundamental training and Level 1 Hanna Somatic Exercise Coach.
2019 I was nominated by my students to receive the sponsorship of attending a yoga wellness retreat with Donna Farhi. I also attended a spine & sacroiliac course to support my personal movement journey as I now have arthritis in my spine and hips. Donna's teaching introduced me to further knowledge and more confidence to continue sharing the importance of somatic movement & gentle yoga.