I’m a yoga teacher. You guys probably know this about me by now. I teach others to ‘yoga’. But, what, really, does this mean? For non-yogis or those on the fence, there’s the image of a class full of harem-pant clad twenty-somethings who chant and talk about their third eye and how much kombucha they’ve been drinking lately. You see a stretchy set of poses, people with their feet behind their head, and some esoteric music playing faintly in the background. Then more chanting, perhaps, or some talk of auras or the alignment of chakras.
If I’m honest with non-yogis about yoga, then we often find that this isn’t too inaccurate an image. Throw in there some serious and strict alignment rules, and a teacher telling you that you mustn’t ever use props to help you out, and it’s a whole world of not-my-cup-of-tea.
I teach this stuff because it’s really changed my life. But, if there’s no chanting and chakra-aligning, then what the heck goes on?! And will it really sort your head out?
You don’t need to be flexible, you don’t need to be fit, you don’t need to know anything about yoga to come to my classes. No need for fancy or expensive outfits, you can just wear whatever you’re comfiest in. No need to be a vegan or, in fact, have had something other than chocolate for tea (hypothesizing here, this has obviously never happened to me…). You don’t need to be in touch with your chakras, or even know what your chakras are. You just need to be open to a new way of inviting joy into your life.
And this is it. In my Honey Yoga classes we move with the aim of feeling awesome. This is pretty much the underlying theory behind my teaching – we feel our yoga, instead of doing it (one of the incredible mantras from my awesome teacher Eoin Finn). And I teach to throw some joy around – I want you guys to feel happier, more positive, and a part of something bigger than your to-do lists.
We use long breaths to change our mental state; we move through (challenging or delicate, depending on which class of mine you take) physical poses or asana, being mindful of our limitations and moving from a place of self-care rather than comparison or ego; we recognise the people sitting next to us and send and receive good vibes around the room; and we find solace and reverence for our natural world – the earth beneath our toes and the stars above our heads. And we do all this stuff to inspiring music that you definitely wont be expecting in a yoga class. We practice this yoga to rock, pop, jazz and soul hits. Sometimes I throw in a massive hip-hop tune. And why? Because this is how my practice is. Music helps me connect to the moment, it makes me smile and keep going, and I’m hoping that you find that connection too.
And what happens? Well, if you come often enough, you’ll find your hips leveling out, your hamstrings softening, that tightness you have just slowly starting to fade. You’ll see that you slowly being to find strength where previously there was none, you’ll find a pinch more calmness when you’re sat in traffic, a slightly easier journey to sleep, and, hopefully, some more happiness in your life. Because, what else is there?
Yoga is for everyone. For every shape and size, for every ability level. You can come to my classes to help you stand on your head, or you can come to help you sit on the floor more comfortably. You can be 17 or 70; you can wear Lululemon or Primark; be a vegan, meat-eater or chocolatarian (who’s in to help me make this a thing!?). Just come with kindness and an open mind, and leave with a heart blasted wide-open and a hell of a joy dose. This is the yoga of the revolution. This is the happiness revolution.