Yoga Therapy

“Movement is the song of the body.” Vanda Scaravelli

My approach to Yoga and Movement

My approach to yoga and movement isn’t about achieving or striving for a ‘perfect pose’ but is focused on integrating and making space for the whole of our body and the whole of our being. Giving our bodies permission to move with total ease, in ways that are enriching and explorative. Not pushing or pulling, instead allow the body to find freedom and joy. Exploring the possibility of bring all the parts of the body into better communication with each other, facilitating an open flow of energy through the body. Moving in ways that are expressive, light-hearted and playful, that meet our needs in the moment. By listening, being curious and exploring we can find relaxation and grounding and the experience of being at home in our bodies.

Yoga Therapy for Mental Health

Yoga and movement offers us a way to improve our mental health by working with the body to influence the mind. How we connect with and move our body influences how we feel and how we experience the world.  Movement allows us to come into greater connection with our body and bring us out of the head and into the experience of the here and now. By working with the body we can calm ruminating thought patterns and begin to change our everyday experience. Meeting our bodies through movement in a respectful and sensitive way means we can learn to listen to the wisdom that our body holds, finding support and anchoring in ourselves. Movement gives us the opportunity to release old patterns, find spaciousness and the possibility for change in not just how we move but how we think and feel.

Movement can support us in rediscovering the parts of us we have disconnected from, gradually our attention can rest comfortably in our body. Bringing our attention into the body can feel very relaxing and give a sense of integration, expansiveness or wholeness. However, for some of us there may be times in our life when coming into connection with the body can feel daunting, triggering or even unsafe, especially when we have experienced trauma. When this is the case we need to take extra care in how we begin to connect with the body. We need to be gentle, respectful, listen and respond to what feels right for us in this moment. We can work slowly without pushing or rushing, honouring all the different ways we can create safety in this work and in our lives.

The word ‘yoga’ means union or connection.

 Most traditional Eastern healing modalities recognise that our physical experience and our emotional or mental experience is integrated, linked, one whole system. I use the word ‘mental health’ here but really what I am talking about is wellness for the whole of our being. I see ‘mental health’ conditions such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder etc as valid responses to the world we live in and situations we experience. These mental states often come because of difficulties and traumas we have experienced, imbalances in our system and imbalances in the wider world, our environment and social structures. They are not wrong nor do they make us wrong. They can be incredibly painful to experience yet they can also offer us the possibility to find greater ease, acceptance, release and joy and even become gifts.

My approach is informed by my training in Yoga Therapy with a focus on Mental Health, at the Minded Institute in London. The Minded Institute blends yoga asana and breath practices with Yogic and Buddhist philosophy, meditation and psychotheraputic holding techniques. It draws on evidence from physiology and neuroscience on the specific effects that yoga, breathwork and meditation has on the brain. Acknowledging the differences between mental health conditions and the different approaches needed for these conditions.

My interest in the therapeutic application of yoga and movement began after I used yoga as a tool in recovery from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome fifteen years ago. Ten years ago I completed my first Yoga Teacher Training in India at the College for Yogic Sciences in Rishikesh,  a college focused on the application of Yoga Therapy. Since then, as well as training as  Yoga Therapist specialised in Mental health, I have also trained as a Women’s Yoga Therapist, a Women’s Health Practitioner and a Focusing (Embodied Listening) Practitioner.  What I share and teach draws on the different styles of yoga I have practiced over the years, my meditation practice and my dance and movement practice.

Time, Cost and Place

Sessions are 1 hour and cost £40

*I am currently offering 3 online sessions for £90 with a free 15 minute telephone consultation.

To book a session please choose your day and time by clicking here.

Please do email me if you have questions or would like arrange a time for us to speak: gwen@wholeselfspace.com