“Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray” Rumi
Gwen Williams IPHM
Qualifications and Experience
Certificate in Yoga Teacher Training Undertaken at The College for Yogic Sciences at Jairam Ashram in Rishikesh, India in 2010. I was lucky to be taken in to study at Rishikeshs oldest Ashram. Despite no teacher training course being run at the time the schools Guru Yogacharaya Lasmi Narayan took me under his supervision I was taught one-to-one by two of his students. It was an incredible experience, both gruelling and transformative and beautiful.
Yoga Therapy for Mental Health In 2012 I completed this 18-month training with Heather Mason and the Minded Institute. I learnt to work with different types of mental health conditions, the physiology and neuroscience behind the conditions and the practices proven to be most helpful for these. This included yoga asana, pranayama (breathwork), Buddhist meditation and philosophy, as well as psychotheraputic holding techniques. During this time I gave birth to my first son which inspired me to write my 5,000 word dissertation on attachment and how we can support attachment with the therapeutic application of yoga.
Women’s Holistic Health Practitioner In 2017 I completed this year long journey guided by Master Herbalist Amanda Rayment and Dominique Sakoilsky. I learnt how to use gentle psychological, spiritual and physical inquiry for healing, as well as herbs, nutrition, body work and movement. I also began my journey learning about menstrual cycle and the life phases of women and how to harness the innate power of these. This work has become a fundamental part of my life and I have a great passion in sharing this.
Well Women Yoga Therapy Bridging my love of the healing power of movement and my love for women’s holistic health, In 2017 I trained as a Well Women Yoga Therapist with Uma Dinsmore-Tuli.
Focusing Practitioner Training (Ongoing) Having fallen in love with this inner listening practice after attending 7 weekend courses and a year of practice I moved on to embark on the practitioner training. My particular area of exploration is around whole body listening and movement.
My personal Journey
I first encountered yoga in 2001 when I undertook my first six-week course in Hatha yoga. This gave me an insight into connection with my body when I was in a place of near total disconnect and in a fairly chaotic period of my life having struggled with mental health issues for the previous few years. My journey with healing modalities deepened in 2004, when I became ill with chronic fatigue. Mainstream medicine was unable to offer any support with this so under the supervision of a Complementary and Integrated Medical Doctor I used nutrition, lifestyle changes, yoga and movement and was lucky enough to recover quickly.
Following this I practiced Iyengar Yoga for five years before going to India where I completed my first Yoga Teacher Training Course. The following year I returned to Asia spending 10 days on retreat in the mountains north of Chang Mai studying Thai Yoga Massage. Then spending two months in Sivananda Ashrams in Kerala and Tamil Nadu immersed in ashram life. During this time I completed Reiki Level 1 training and level 2 Practitioner training in Kerala.
Since then I have spent time practicing Sivinanda Yoga, Kundalini Yoga and most recently Scaravelli inspired Yoga. I practice 5Rhythms dance and this passion for dance, free spontaneous movement and music also influences what I share in my classes. I am particularly interested in exploring music as a tool to enable greater connection with ourselves. To help grant our bodies the permission to move freely as feels good and is healing, beyond ideas of right and wrong. I am also influenced by my meditation and Buddhist practice, which is grounded in my involvement with the Triratna Buddhist centre, which I have been attending since 2015.
I am a mother and live with my two gorgeous sons who are six and four. In my working life I have set up a Rape Crisis Centre, supported older people with mental health issues and worked in the homeless sector for six years. I am trained to work with women who have experienced sexual violence and have undergone training around self harm.
I love working with people and am passionate about listening to, acknowledging and honouring peoples experiences. I welcome the whole of each and every person. I value the vast, rich, uniqueness of each of us that gives us our gifts and feeds into the greater interconnected whole. I value both the parts of our life that have brought us joy and the parts that hurt and have suffered. I aim to provide a space where the whole of us can be heard.
I am a registered with the International Practitioners of Holistic Medicine and am fully insured with Balens and have regular supervision to support my work.
“Let the beauty we love be what we do.” Rumi