Asana Technique/Enquiry (Scaravelli Inspired Somatic Approach) , Buddhist Insight Meditation, Somatic Experiencing, Somatic Yoga Therapy
Gemma is an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher with the Yoga Alliance. Her Yoga teaching is founded upon principles of Buddhist Insight Meditation (Mindfulness) and informed by her work as a Somatic Experiencing Therapist (Graduate Trainee / 4 years to date) – (Peter Levine’s Somatic Experiencing).
My approach to Yoga has most recently has been inspired by the work of Vanda Scaravelli and working with Yoga in a Somatic way, it is a therapeutic and enquiry based approach.
In a broad sense, my invitation is to awaken the natural intelligence of the body, that has an innate healing and organisational capacity within it through the practice of Yoga asana. To awaken this natural intelligence we often have to work with what stands in the way of it, this leads us to work with our deeply ingrained habits – the defences, demands and distractions that obstruct the flow of awareness and our innate embodied intelligence. The field of Yoga asana is a perfect arena within which to investigate in a tangible and clear way how we relate to our bodies and ourselves by bringing detailed attention to the way in which we do the postures.
By experiencing, feeling and bringing awareness to these habitual ways of moving, relating and being in the body, we then have the possibility to free them up by offering alternative feelings, movements, pathways, postures, relationships, orientations, perspectives, giving both the somatic / autonomic nervous systems new choices, and as such offering a radical and tangible letting go of these deep physiological patterns that shape the way we “are”. When we are able to encourage freer ways of inhabiting our bodies this in turn affects all of our living experience, a certain freshness starts to permeate awareness, a natural curiosity grows, kindness blossoms, our capacity to rest deeply is enhanced, energy balances, and our experience of life becomes deeply nourishing and resourcing.
I work both in both an internally detailed way and in a more fluid global way depending on what I intuit the needs of the class are. Playfulness, containment and permission are integral to these explorations, as is our relationship with gravity and how gravity in-forms our bodies and gently sculpts the different shapes from the inside out. As our habits start to work themselves out slowly but surely, our relationship to gravity deepens, more and more we have access to and are able to inhabit the deep core of the body, the spine and its energy start to reveal themselves within awareness. The qualities of stability, fluidity and spaciousness weave themselves through the asana work, bringing about movement that often has a primal, circular, organic and free form feel to it and may remind us of the way animals move effortlessly.
As we attune more and more to the bio intelligence within us and the natural forces around us, in-forming us and shaping us, the notion of “self” is challenged as is the idea of “me” doing Yoga, this approach has a deconstructive quality that brings up the Classical Buddhist Reflection on the teachings of non-self.
She lives and teaches in Totnes, Devon. Currently she teaches at The Forge Yoga Centre, Collins Road, Totnes on Mondays at 7.30 – 9.00pm.
Teachers and Influences in Yoga and Meditation
Thich Nhat Hanh www.plumvillage.org
Peter Levine and his Somatic Experiencing Method (Body Orientated Trauma Healing) www.traumahealing.com
The Insight Meditation Society (Many teachers :-most recent to date Steven Smith, Martin Aylward – (Now studying under Martin Aylward, Resident Teacher @ www.moulindechaves.org
Danny Paradise in Yoga (original teacher) www.dannyparadise.com (1998 – 2006)
I am currently studying a Scaravelli inspired style of Yoga with my teacher Caroling Lang www.carolinelang.com
I have also worked with Bill Wood (Scaravelli inspired) for a couple of years and I have explored the deconstruction of asana and how to teach a more individualised approach within a class context.
Over the past 3 years I attend regular workshops with Diane Long and also Angela Farmer & Victor Van Kooten. I am inspired by their wild, unorthodox approaches to Yoga asana, the awakening of the spine, the way they set up the internal dialogue with the body, their intuitive / creative approach to the teaching of Yoga, and their joyful attitudes.
My friend, mentor, teaching colleague and teacher Aki Omori, profoundly clarified the direction of my practice and teaching introducing me to Somatic Experiencing and supporting me along the way. I work with Aki in London when I get the chance. www.akiomori.blogspot.com
Flamenco Dance and the internal dynamic and energetic containment of Flamenco and how it seems to be so congruent with the Yoga teachings on Bandhas!
I have been taught by many humble, unnamed here, but certainly not unrecognised family, friends, teachers, mentors and students along the way.
Personal Background I am half English (London) and half Spanish (Ibiza) and I find myself eternally split between these countries. It is for this reason that Still Flowing Yoga TT has found its home in Ibiza (it is in the blood!) I am a full time mother and partner, and I live in Devon where I teach yoga. I love people, children, animals, cooking, gardening, walking my dog Zeus, dancing, music, generally pottering around and perfecting the art of relaxation, skiing, riding, swimming in rivers, nature/trees, chaotic cities, people watching, laughing, learning practical skills that help me to live in a more engaged way, travelling, movement, indigenous culture, enquiring, exploring…
Professional Yoga/Meditation Biog I have been involved in the yoga retreat and intensive yoga world for the past 13 years, practicing yoga and meditation for 16 years, and I have been running yoga teacher training programmes since 2008. I co owned and co directed El Convento Yoga and Meditation Retreat Centre in Andalucia, and I was co founder and director of AshtangaOm Retreats with my ex partner Nic Freeman which was established in 2001. My depth of experience in this field led me to the creation of Still Flowing Yoga Teacher Training which both consolidated, and allowed an ongoing expression of my knowledge of intensive yoga group facilitation, research and coordination of appropriate yoga curriculum material that would allow for a broad, open minded and integrated study into yoga and meditation.