I'm here to share teachings of yoga, meditation and art; practical techniques that can be applied by anyone, to clear away distractions so that you can realign your life with the deeper pull of what you truly love to do. What you truly have to give. We all have the option to live a life of freedom, purpose and impact, we just need the clarity and courage to show up as a leader and take ourselves there.
From my experience and practice in yoga, meditation and art, I have come to see that different techniques can lead to the same experience of mental clarity and deep inner listening, which is the gateway to understanding who you are and how to conduct a life that comes from the soul. By getting out of the head, reducing the noise of the mind, it is easier to see what is right for you.
Stress, anxiety, depression and frustration come from an internal resistance caused by a lifestyle that is not serving your ultimate potential. We can feel trapped and restricted if we limit our actions to stay within the belief systems that the mind has collected, the old rules and expectations that we often cling to but then feel bound by. In any circumstance, the only thing that is binding you is how much control your own mind has over you. Anyone can step out from underneath that control, those feelings of helplessness, to gain access to the inner potential that we all possess. Everyone is capable of living a life of authenticity, confidence, success and purpose. These techniques are a way of washing the mind; peeling back the layers and habitual thought-patterns that hide that seed of potential, so that we can realign to the teacher within and build confidence to show up in the world with impact and grace.
How Does it Work?
There is never just 'only one way' to get to that place. We're all individuals, and to some degree it will take individual effort to discover who you are. Anyone can learn how to do that, how to be themselves, but it's hard to know where to start. And this is why we have traditional teachings, ancient methods that have survived the years because if applied correctly, they work. They stand the test of time for a reason.
We can use the efforts of those that have come before to take the best of what was discovered, and implement it into our lives. Both yoga and visual arts are a great way to begin a practice of meditation because they offer the mind something physical to focus upon. A practical method, something that can be applied.
Yoga asana (breath led movement, postures, kriyas and mudras) focuses the mind into the experience of the body, reducing the noise of the mind and bringing us to a point of experiential concentration. This focus creates awareness of our individual nature; how the body moves, the natural rhythm of the breath. The focus becomes more subtle as we start to see the nature of the self underneath the surface of the postures. Commitment to the practice will strengthen familiarity with the self, whilst the postures and kriyas work to strengthen aspects of our character such as willpower, determination, humility and devotion. Ultimately enabling us to become the best version of ourselves.
Yoga is not about becoming great at gymnastics; it's about becoming YOU.
In a similar way, an art practice can rewire the mind to see beyond the limitations of our usual routines and ways of thinking. All humans were born creative, it is the very means by which we are brought into the world. Connecting back to creativity allows us to let go of stagnant thoughts, identities and belief systems, and get back to our source. Anyone can be an artist.
I teach Indian Miniature Painting not because I think everyone should be great classical artists, but because if used as an active meditation it is extremely effective at highlighting any disconnect between the body and mind. The technique is so delicate that to achieve the fine line-work of the style, the body needs to first be very still and then each stroke is executed with precision and control. If the mind is not concentrated, if many thoughts are coming up, then the brush strokes will become jerky and the mark in the paint will reveal that break in concentration. The effort that is required to paint finely and produce the image will therefore train the artist to calm the mind and control the body; a technique that creates enough stillness to allow the mind to perceive each thought clearly. Over time this results in an awakened state of self awareness; the ability to direct your thoughts and your energy more finely until all thoughts are dropped. In that moment when the thoughts disappear you are simply yourself. There is a glimpse of freedom as the restraints that the mind creates drop away. And from that place you can step into your truth and greet the world with intention, grace and service.
Born and raised in England, I took my first yoga teacher training with Bristol City Yoga in 2013 (following a 5 year career in Ocean Science and Cartography). Although I come to yoga from the Ashtanga lineage, I took my first teacher training in classical Hatha yoga which gave me a solid teaching foundation and sparked my enthusiasm for yoga philosophy and traditional practices. In 2014 I spent half a year in India, exploring techniques, teachings from different lineages and furthering my certification by taking another 500hr TTC in Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga. Since then I have remained close with Abhijna Yoga School in Kerala, and have mentored other students on the course, as well as assisting and then guest teaching on several Ashtanga 200hr teacher training programs.
Since moving to BC, Canada, I continue to further my own study under the guidance of my mentor Tiaga Prem Singh (owner of The Dharma Temple, Vancouver) to deepen and broaden understanding of meditation, kundalini kriyas and mantra. This work has enabled me to step into a role of teaching and promoting self-practice; using a broader understanding of yoga experience to be able to offer delicately designed practices that are of most value to each individual. I have also studied philosophy with Mahesh Chandra, taken advanced asana immersion workshops with Edward Clarke of Tripsichore Yoga and been fortunate to practice with many other excellent teachers around the globe.
I continue to teach public and private classes in Vancouver and on Vancouver Island, and also run Ashtanga Vinyasa workshops and immersions designed to promote self-practice and to guide students into a deeper understanding of the technique.
During my visits to India I became enchanted by the people, characters and stories that hold together a land of such colour and contrast. As a practicing artist, I began to focus upon portrait art and sketches and paintings of the people that I met on these journeys. In early 2017 a chance encounter led to one-on-one art tuition with Sri Ramu Ramdev, a master Indian Miniature Painting artist at Jaipur City Palace. This experience was extremely influential in my own art practice as I was able to shift the way that I was experiencing art, and open up to a meditative approach to creative pursuit -something that I had been trying to find for some years. I continue to study with Ramuji and am currently in Jaipur, working daily with the royal artists in the Pink City of Rajasthan.