L-R: Alison Leighton, Tarik Dervish, Sian O’Neill, Wendy Teasdill, Graham Burns
We recently met with contributors to the new Yoga Student Handbook, including Sian O’Neill, editor of the book and host of the discussion, as well as Tarik Dervish, Alison Leighton, Wendy Teasdill and Graham Burns. In this podcast, they share ideas and tips for the budding yoga student as well as seasoned yogis and yoga professionals.
In their discussion, the contributors touched on the history and philosophy of yoga, where to begin your yoga practice if you’re a beginner yogi, how to develop your home practice and when to consider teacher training. Although they’ve all contributed to the book, some of them have never met in person. This was a great opportunity for them to meet, get to know each other and exchange ideas.
Click below to listen to the discussion.
Believing in its transformational power, Sian O’Neill has been practising yoga for over 15 years. The first book she edited for Singing Dragon, Yoga Teaching Handbook (Singing Dragon, 2017), was a great success – and with the publication of Yoga Student Handbook, Sian and the contributors share their tips and advice for yoga students and teacher trainees.
In the first of three instalments about yoga journeys, Sian talks with Katy Appleton, founder of appleyoga.
appleyoga is probably one of the better known brands in the yoga world in the UK today. Founder Katy Appleton, self-described as a ‘lover of life’ and ‘recovering control freak’, was a former professional ballet dancer with the English National Ballet. Running in the family, Katy’s mum practised yoga while pregnant, and Katy remembers being a new student and attending yoga classes with her mum as a very little girl. Yoga arrived in her life as an adult to counterbalance the extremities of performance while a professional dancer, and she would practise breath work and tools to help her rebalance and sleep after a performance.
As a student, Katy’s first teacher training was in Ibiza in the Sivananda tradition. Other key yoga influences in her life include well-known yoga teacher, Shiva Rea, whom Katy credits with broadening her understanding of yoga and in particular, vinyāsa krama (which can be interpreted as meaning ‘step by step progresion’). Katy became Shiva’s assistant, travelling with her and then becoming a mentor on Shiva’s teacher training. She has also dabbled with Ashtanga with David Swenson, and mentions other yoga friends/influences including Annie Carpenter and Tiffany Cruikshank.
Why did you decide to teach?
Katy describes her decision to teach as a calling. Indeed, that is a common theme in the chapter by Katy and co-author Natasha Moutran on building a yoga business in Yoga Teaching Handbook that it is important to know the ‘why’ behind starting your yoga business. Katy has clear values underlying appleyoga including honesty and humility. She believes in holding a safe space for people and quotes Maya Angelou: ‘People remember how you make them feel’. For Katy, yoga offers a space that is ‘tangible and palpable that is touched when practising yoga’. She describes yoga as a ‘homecoming’ which offers a chance for the nervous system to relax, a place beyond the internet and understanding from books. She believes yoga can offer an anchor from which to move around in life. Continue reading
Believing in its transformational power, Sian has been practising yoga for over 15 years. She completed the British Wheel of Yoga (BWY) accredited teacher training diploma with Yogacampus and also the BWY Ayurvedic Yoga Therapy module with Tarik Dervish, the Scaravelli Immersion course with Catherine Annis and the Qigong for Yoga Teachers Immersion with Mimi Kuo-Deemer.
Sian teaches a flowing hatha yoga class incorporating alignment, a mindful flow and breath awareness, aiming to help students on their own path of yoga. She is a regular contributor of yoga-related articles, including to Spectrum magazine, the official magazine of the BWY. She is the editor of the Yoga Teaching Handbook (Singing Dragon, 2017) and the new Yoga Student Handbook (Singing Dragon, 2019).
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Please note that while our summit is open to absolutely everyone from all corners of the world, despite our best efforts we won’t be able to ensure safe, comfortable practice for every attendee nor take responsibility for your own practice. If you have any injuries or are dealing with any conditions that you would normally flag to your yoga teacher or therapist, please seek advice before taking part or following along with any of our classes or sequences.
Yoga Student Handbook
Develop Your Knowledge of Yoga Principles and Practice
Edited by Sian O’Neill. Foreword by Lizzie Lasater
This practical companion for yoga students and teacher trainees shows how to deepen your knowledge of yoga and where to go next in your training, whether you are thinking of developing your own practice or considering becoming a yoga teacher. It covers the history, philosophy, different styles of yoga, and more. Read more
International Day of Yoga takes place across the globe on the 21st of June 2019. Many yoga teachers and studios will be offering free classes and events to help raise awareness worldwide of the benefits of practicing yoga. To celebrate, we have collated a reading list to support students and teachers in their practice, as well as those looking to incorporate yoga into their day-to-day lives.
Did we miss anything? What topics would you like to see on our lists? Let us know in the comments below!
The Yoga Teacher Mentor
A Reflective Guide to Holding Spaces, Maintaining Boundaries, and Creating Inclusive Classes
Considering how teachers can maintain appropriate boundaries with students and deal with common obstacles and ethical issues, this book offers mentoring and support to new or experienced yoga teachers. It includes chapters on creating generative spaces and the art of relating with difficult students. Learn more
The Complete Yoga Anatomy Coloring Book
This practical and engaging coloring book helps yoga teachers and students develop their knowledge of the human body. Featuring 100+ illustrations and backed by rigorous scientific knowledge, it is the ultimate tool for all those interested in practising yoga effectively and safely. Learn more