a yogabelle journey...
Prompted by ongoing backpain since teenage-hood, I first stepped on the mat in my early 20's (my mum took me to my first class taught by a lovely 60+ Scottish lady in a church hall who surprised me by folding completely in half ! Thank you mama:) I discovered a positive shift not only on a physical level but also on a mental, emotional & deeper plane: like a bubble of oxygen rising up though turbulent waters (which often manifested as depression), yoga helped me gain clarity to take the next best step forward - sometimes immediate clarity, sometimes not so immediate! But with regular practice, it always delivered.
Over the years on the mat & beginning to teach in 2003, I have studied & practiced across a broad range of traditions with wonderful teachers who have guided my way & inspire me to continue sharing through teaching. In 2013, I qualified as a Yoga Therapist (Yoga Therapy Diploma, Yoga Campus) & in 2015 as a teacher in the Satyananda Bihar tradition - both to specialize further to safely adapt & tailor-make practices for people with compromised health & for whom individual or small group classes are more appropriate. This most often includes addressing a combination of physical/mental/ emotional issues for which the latter's deeper classical teachings offer up many wonderful tools & benefits, especially useful when the ability to practice asana (postures) is more limited.
Previous training & practice include Sivananda Vedanta with whom I originally trained in India (TTC & ATTC), Iyengar, Scaravelli & Astanga Vinyasa (which I discovered with John Scott in '96 & journeyed some 7/8 years of study & self-practice.) As my practice moved away from the Astanga system, a softer, flowing integral Hatha practice emerged which continues to inspire my teaching amongst other influences. Practice & training continued, including with Faustomaria (founder of Innergy Yoga, where we enjoyed magical musical Kirtans over the years & now continue nomadically!) & regular study at SYC, London in the Satyananda tradition, having found the sensitive & profound approach to yoga such a rich seam to mine. Alongside my daily Buddhist practice of some 17 years, I found this tradition deeply beneficial to my personal journey after the loss of my brother who took his life 8 years ago, & an approach I endeavour to share, especially in my yoga therapy teaching.
~ Belle's formal TRAINING includes: ~
Satyananda Meditation, Swami Pragyamurti Saraswati, London (March 17- Nov 17)
Satyananda Yoga TTC, Swami Vedantananda Saraswati, London & Portugal (May 14-July 15)
Yoga Therapy Diploma, Yoga campus, London (Feb 12-Nov 13)
Sadhana Intensive (Pranayama) Chateau du Yoga Sivananda, France (Aug 10)
Yoga Nidra TTC, SYC London, London (Jan-June 09)
Teachers Intensive (Iyengar) Aadil Palkivala, London (Nov 09)
Yoga Therapy Foundation, Yoga Biomedical Trust (Sept-Nov 08)
Foundation to Teaching Prana Vinyasa Yoga, Siva Rea, London (June 08)
Antenatal yoga, Sitaram Partnership, London (Oct 05)
Advanced TTC, Sivananda Vedanta, Kerala, India, (Feb/March 04)
Teacher Training - TTC, Sivananda Vedanta, Kerala, India (Jan/Feb 04)
From a career as a professional singer, my shift into yoga teaching increased steadily over the years, teaching weekly classes & workshops in London where I am based. Since 2005, I have regularly both organized & led groups on retreat both in the UK & worldwide - (see list below.) To date, I have had the privilege of leading & co-leading over 50 groups of very diverse & wonderful people together across the UK, Europe, India, Africa & the Middle East ! Many of these are through fellow teacher & friend, Sue Pendlebury's company, Yogaonashoestring
Early on in my teaching journey, a desire for more in-depth study of anatomy & physiology lead me to more hands on therapies: Holistic Body Massage (ITEC) & Indian Head Massage (ITEC) in 2005 & Facial Rejuvenation Massage (LCICI) in 2006, also known as Natural Face Lift Massage (it works!). It has been a wonderful way of learning more about body structure, people & energetic healing work. I have continued to massage regularly since & hold a weekly clinic at Siobhan Davies Therapy. I also enjoy combining massage & teaching whilst running retreats, which allows me to connect individually to students within the group during our time away.
And of course, my ongoing yoga practice helps me to explore my voice. Having gigged & sessioned internationally, I am continuing my musical journey developing song-writing, studying guitar & working on recording a collection of songs in London. I also enjoy leading Kirtan chanting, teaching voice workshops & the simple pleasure of voices joining together in song!
...and underpinning what you've read on this page & which also coincided with my shift into teaching yoga, is my daily practice & study of Nichiren Daishonin Buddhism within the Soka Gakkai International (which translates as 'Buddhist Society for Creation of Value')
Soka Gakkai International (SGI) is a lay Buddhist network that actively promotes peace, culture and education. Based upon the Lotus Sutra, Nichiren Daishonin (b.1222) taught that all life inherently contains the potential for Buddhahood, a state of life filled with wisdom, courage and compassion that can be revealed through chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. As we chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo this Buddha state quite naturally emerges from within, enabling us to draw on limitless inner resources and actively contribute to a creative and peaceful society.
~ yogabelle HOLIDAYS & RETREATS since 2005 ~
Goa, India - Jan 13, Jan 16, March 17, Dec 17
Spain - July 17
Huzur Vadisi, Turkey - July 16
Kerala, India - Jan 09,
Kefalonia, Greece - Sept 14, Sept 15, Sept 16, Sept 17
Morocco - June 09, June 10, Sept 11, May/June 12, June 13, June 14
Puglia, Italy - June 08, July/Aug 12, Aug/Sept 13, Oct 14, May 15
The Gambia - Easter 07, Christmas/ New Year 07 & Easter 08
Dahab, Egypt - May 07 & May 08, March 10, April 11, March 12
Moonbeach, Egypt - Dec 05 & July 06
UK RETREATS :
West Lexham Manor, Norfolk - New Year 2015
Dorset - June 17
Lake District - July 12
South Devon - Aug 12, Aug 13
North Devon - Feb 08
Symondsbury Manor, Dorset - July & Nov 05, May & Oct 06, June & Oct 07, May 09
Braziers Park, Oxfordshire - May 10 & Oct 10, Oct 11 & Dec 11, New Year 2013
Littleton Mill, Wiltshire - Nov 13, April 14, Oct 14
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