My song for May, to pray that the sun’s stay’s out so we can get the Soul Shakedown Parties started here’s some Bob to get you in the mood
Welcome to my May blog, this month I’m talking about my ‘yoga’ style and why I call myself Omshanti Yoga Living.
I often get asked ‘what is OmShanti Yoga’ and this is a good question. OmShanti Yoga isn’t a type of yoga but more the name I gave to my yoga business back in 2006 when I was travelling in India. When my husband and I were in the beautiful city of Udaipur I used to walk each morning to a tiny yoga studio run by a man called Babu, he was officially my first yoga teacher in India and gave me my first Indian yoga experience. Prior to this my yoga practice had been very much Western based albeit with some very amazing teachers. Anyway, each morning I would walk the dusty road to the studio and the shop owners would come out onto the street to greet me ‘omshanti namaste’, I got so used to seeing them and replying in the same way the greeting etched an imprint in my mind and my heart. By the time I had reached Varkala in Southern India and was thinking about what my business would be called, I felt I had no choice but to call it OmShanti Yoga, it bought back so many fond memories of Udaipur and feelings of just plain contentment that I wanted to honor the place and the people by taking their greeting and making it part of me and the message I wanted to spread by using it, the Living part was added in 2015 as an extension of the name.
Om or Aum is a sankskrit word that translates as the Universal sound or vibration and Shanti simply means peace.
Now, when it comes to the style of yoga I teach this is where it gets slightly hazy, for me I don’t have a particular style such a Hatha, Vinyasa, etc. My first training was a diploma in Hatha yoga however, I have almost 20 years of practice in my body which has been influenced by many different teachers all from various backgrounds. To add to this I studied a separate certificate in Yoga Therapy as I was interested in how yoga could help with addiction, injury recovery and just simple re-habilitation. This interest in anatomy and physiology has led me to study with Tiffany Cruikshank founder of Yoga Medicine who is leading the way in creating a bridge between Western and Eastern Medicine. Having been the acupuncturist and Yoga teacher for Nike, Tiffany’s knowledge of anatomy and Chinese Medicine is nothing short of remarkable. She has such an exquisite way in teaching and getting her students not only to understand but also to practice self-enquiry and implement the teachings into their yoga practice and day to day lives.
I have just spent a week in beautiful Sedona in Arizona studying the hip joint with Tiffany, I am very proud to say I survived and passed the test at the end of the course which was slightly nerve wracking but also an excellent way to ensure that we had listened and learnt the fundamentals of the training.
Yoga isn’t just about stretching and putting yourself into extreme postures that make you look like you’re made out of rubber, yoga is also about creating strength in the body to help support your structure and keep you mobile for as long as possible whilst at the same time and more importantly introducing you to your breath and your being.
So how does this relate to my style? Well my style, it’s a blend of everything I have been taught and am learning. I am influenced by many things, whether it be the seasonal changes, a particular function of the body or even just something that has interested my own practice, essentially I teach from my heart in the hope that I can get my students to tune into themselves, listen to their breath and get them to really appreciate their minds and their bodies and know that they are unique and amazing in their own right.
I am from the school of leaving your ego at the door, when you come to me for yoga you will breath, feel and love. I am there to guide you through a journey of self-discovery and enquiry.
So there you have it, OmShanti Yoga Living, a blend of styles and a message to stay true and be you, come and check it out to see for yourself.