Katherine Biggs speaks to her yoga students and yoga teachers about their yoga practices. Real-life yogis talking real-life yoga. What gets us on the mat? What keeps us on the mat? And how has yoga helped us navigate the twists and turns in our lives? Every week I talk to ordinary folk who do yoga. We share our stories and our experiences both on and off the mat, in the hope we will inspire you to start or continue your yoga practice.
EP 1.12: Greville Henwood - “Who am I? And what am I doing here?”.
Show Notes Episode 12.
Greville Henwood - “Who am I? And what am I doing here?”.
I recently had the pleasure of speaking to my friend and fellow yoga teacher Greville Henwood.
We open the podcast by talking about how Greville discovered yoga, by way of orange-clad monks when he was a small child and a journey that led in time to the Trocadero in Paris and eventually to the west coast of America.
We talk about California and the evolution of yoga in America.
He talks about how one of his students, his girlfriend, a senior yoga teacher and a dream in Shanghai pointed him in the direction of teaching yoga to children and we talk extensively about the philosophy and knowledge behind GroovyKids™ Yoga.
We discuss the world in the time of Covid-19 and the business of yoga at this time and Greville talks about his hopes for a post-coronavirus world.
Keep in touch with Greville
GroovyKids Yoga website.
GroovyKidsYoga Store. This is where you can purchase his classes for children and adults, in English and French.
GroovyKids Yoga Teacher Training online. Also in English and French.
Greville’s Insta Accounts - @grevillehenwood and @groovykidsyoga.
About Greville Henwood
Greville Henwood was born in England, but since the age of 18 he’s lived in Paris, then Copenhagen until he moved to Los Angeles in 1987. He had intended to become an actor and indeed appeared in Jesus Christ Superstar and Star Trek. However, somehow yoga has pretty much always been in his life.
He completed his yoga teacher trainings at the famous Yoga Works studio in Santa Monica with Maty Ezraty and Lisa Walford, and eventually he started teaching kids yoga. He founded GroovyKids™ Yoga and now teaches GroovyKids™ Yoga teacher trainings all over the world.
Greville is based mainly in Los Angeles and is available for public and private teachings, as well as customised retreats and teacher trainings.
EP 1.11: Julie Martin - “I am preparing people for a job that is in service to others”.
Show Notes Episode 11
Today’s episode is an interview I did with senior, international yoga teacher Julie Martin. We recorded the interview on Sunday March 15th, just as Covid-19 was really starting to take a hold. We were in the midst of the Great Toilet Paper Crisis of 2020 here in the UK and I don’t think there were any coronavirus cases in Hawaii where Julie lives at that time.
Anyway, the reason I reached out to Julie is because I came across this article she’d had published on Shut Up and Yoga, entitled The 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training and The Demise of Modern Yoga. I felt that I had to speak to her.
In the article, Julie says that she no longer refers to herself as a yoga teacher. Twenty-five years ago, it was a given that if you were a yoga teacher, you’d put a huge amount of time and energy into honing your skills and that enabled you to be able to share your knowledge in front of a class of yoga students. In 2020 she says, in most major cities in the world you are never more than twenty feet away from someone who has done a 200-hour yoga teacher training.
She compares the minimum training requirements of other fields of body-work with the minimum training requirements of the yoga industry, specifically Yoga Alliance, and asks the question would you be prepared to put your trust in a physiotherapist for example, who had only done a three week, 200-hour training? And why, given that yoga teachers must understand the principles of anatomy and movement, postures and their functions, modifications, breath, the nervous system, the mind, philosophy, common injuries and so much more besides, do we believe that 200 hours in enough as a minimum requirement for training and qualification?
I found our conversation very interesting and I think you should listen to it if you are thinking about committing to an initial yoga teacher training AND if you train people to become yoga teachers yourself.
It’s funny, having never met Julie before and having only exchanged a couple of emails, we found we got on famously from the beginning and we never stopped talking for over an hour! We both had so much to say to each other, so here she is…. Julie Martin, owner of Brahmani Yoga, based in Hawaii, but sharing her 25 years of experience all over the world.
Things mentioned in the podcast
Kat's article on Great Malvern Yoga - At Least Find Out My Name.
Get in touch with Julie
Julie's website, Brahmani Yoga
On Instagram, @brahmanijulie
Julie Martin, Brahmani Yoga on Facebook
About Julie Martin
15 years ago Julie set up Brahmani Yoga in Goa, India after teaching in Brighton, UK for over 8 years. The largest motivation for the yoga centre was to create a community that could join together each winter season and practice without judgment, learn to let everything evolve and be totally inclusive to all yogis. What grew out of that is an international reputation especially in training teachers to challenge the “norms” of the yoga world when they no longer work for us. Julie’s work as a teacher trainer leaves students inspired and empowered. Now Julie travels around the world inviting students and teachers alike to join the Intelligent Yoga rebellion.
EP1.10: Corrina Gordon-Barnes - On Pregnancy, Loss, Yoga and of course, Pineapples.
Show Notes Episode 10
You need to listen to this episode if you teach pregnancy yoga or if you have ever experienced miscarriage or loss of a baby. Corrina has some wonderful insights for you.
We talk about how Corrina started her yoga practice and how it developed after her sister became a yoga teacher. Since her sister moved away she has developed a daily practice using online classes and YouTube videos.
At the time of recording this podcast Corrina was 30 weeks pregnant with her second pregnancy. As a result of a shortened cervix and being at high risk of a miscarriage she was on restricted movement and talks about how her yoga practice has had to be adapted because of this.
Corrina was first pregnant with Alfie. Corrina and her wife Sam were told by their doctor that Alfie wasn’t going to make it when she went into early labour at 22+3 weeks. She talks about how her yoga practice, specifically breathing practices and her ability to be present, helped her immensely when she was in labour with Alfie.
Corrina talks about her feelings and emotions for Alfie. To someone this has never happened to, the loss of an infant can perhaps seem utterly tragic, but she talks about it very differently.
When she came home from the hospital without a baby she wanted to be able to participate in some online post-natal classes. She struggled to find anything suitable where the teacher wasn’t talking about babies. Eventually she contacted a yoga teacher she liked on YouTube and asked if she could create a class specifically for bereaved mothers.
Channel: Pregnancy and Postpartum TV – Jessica Pumple –
Yoga for Bereaved Mothers – This is the practice is dedicated to Alfie and there’s a clip of Corrina at the beginning talking about her journey with Alfie.
We also talk about pregnancy yoga for women who have already experienced a loss and that it’s not all joyful and happy, which is what tends to be the tone of most pregnancy yoga classes.
At the time this podcast is released, Corrina is 37 weeks pregnant, her cervical stich has been removed and the new arrival could be any day now. Please keep Corrina and her family in your thoughts and wish her well on the next stage of her journey.
Corrina Gordon-Barnes is Certified Professional Coactive Coach (CPCC) who specialises in relationships and difficult life circumstances.
She is also a qualified teacher (primary, secondary & EFL), trained at Cambridge University.
Corrina Gordon-Barnes on Facebook
@corrinagb on Twitter and Instagram
Corrina’s talk for Beyond Bea Charity Conference about their journey with Alfie.
EP 1.09: Alexandra Pope - "It’s about community, learning and being stretched".
Show Notes Episode 9
This week I’m talking to my yoga student Alexandra Pope. She was one of my very first students, quite a long time ago now and we talk about the journey we’ve been on together for the last eight years.
Listen to Alex talk about her yoga practice and what keeps her coming back to the mat. She talks about the non-negotiables of her healthy lifestyle and we also speak about the work Alex does and how it relates to yoga.
About Alexandra Pope
Alexandra is a co-founder of Red School, where she teaches a radical new approach to women’s health and wellbeing; creativity and leadership; and spiritual life based on the power of our menstruality consciousness.
Author of The Wild Genie: the Healing Power of Menstruation (Sally Milner Publishing, 2001), The Woman's Quest - a 13 session self guiding course (self published, 2006) and co-author of The Pill; are you sure it's for you? (Allen and Unwin, 2008), Wild Power (Hay House, 2017) - see link below.
Things mentioned in the podcast
Red School OnlineWild Power: Discover the Magic of Your Menstrual Cycle and Awaken the Feminine Path to Power by Alexandra Pope & Sjanie Hugo Wurlitzer
EP 1.08: Paula Mitten - “The older I get, the less I’m attached to the physical practice”.
Show Notes Episode 8
As I say in the introduction, I wanted to put this episode out now as a tribute to the help recently offered to me by internationally renowned yoga teacher Paula Mitten. Paula gave me the knowledge and the confidence to take my yoga studio online during this time of Covid-19. I am truly, truly grateful for what she has empowered me to do over the last few weeks.
As this episode was recorded before Covid-19 really took a hold, we don't mention in at all. Not once!
Paula talks about what led her to begin a yoga practice and how she began to experience the benefits straight away. She shares how her journey to becoming a yoga teacher began and we have a little reminisce about flicking through the classifieds in Yoga Journal to look for teacher trainings.
We have both made yoga our full-time careers and we talk about how we both always intended to become teachers and how we both reached a point in our lives where there was no option but to teach.
We speak at length about letting go of the need to get somewhere in our posture practice. Stop trying so hard. Don’t focus on the outcome. It’s the mind that stops you sometimes, not the body.
Paula talks about what her personal yoga practice looks like and how it has evolved, especially since her children were born. How breath work helps in keeping her calm and rational!
I ask Paula about her teaching yoga teacher trainings and the rewards of seeing her students blossom into the role of yoga teachers. Paula tell us about how she is supporting yoga teachers through her Yoga Success Academy which helps teachers to establish themselves.
She offers some great tips for beginners and for if you are thinking about starting a yoga practice.
About Paula Mitten
Paula Mitten is a Senior Yoga Teacher, a yoga and prenatal teacher trainer with an expertise in Anatomy and The Business Of Yoga. She is the owner of Durga Yoga Ireland, Yoga Success Academy and the creator of Yoga Teachers Masterclass; an online interview series with top yoga experts from all over the globe.
Stay in touch with Paula
Durga Yoga Studio in Ireland
Yoga Teachers Masterclass Interview Series
Yoga Teacher Success Academy
EP 1.07: Where has Kat been?
EP1.07 Show Notes
Why hasn't Kat put out an episode of No Ordinary Yogi since March 12th? Listen and find out as Kat talks about taking her yoga studio online, the difficulties of teaching online, and a very brief rant about people teaching free online yoga classes. Honestly, it's so brief you won't even notice it. We "chamble" our way through Kat spending five hours trimming her bush yesterday (it's a quince) and why a little bit of what you fancy does you good.
I think I just needed to talk and say hi. Thanks for listening!