I discovered Yin Yoga when I was living in Edmonton, Canada, in 2007-8 and I fell in love with the practice. I found it accessed my body in a way that was deeply nourishing, stilled my mind to a profound degree and helped me deeply listen to my body. I could not understand why I was so drawn to it so strongly and this thirst began my quest to explore yin yoga deeply, and set the foundation for my yogic journey. I found two beautiful teachers in Edmonton, Kyle, and Angie Ackerman, whose classes I would attend as much as I could, even twice on the same day, with the identical yin sequence on occasion!
I trained with the two main proponents of Yin Yoga in 2008, both of whom I still consider to be my teachers and who I have continued to study with: Paul Grilley and Sarah Powers. I flew to Chicago to study anatomy, physiology and the theory and practice of Yin Yoga with Paul Grilley. Later in 2008 I studied with Sarah Powers in London combining Yin Yoga, mindfulness, Taoist and Buddhist philosophy with meridian theory. I soon began teaching in Edmonton at the Yoga Loft, under Kyle’s guidance, and in a treatment centre for women suffering with eating disorders.
I returned to the UK at the end of 2008 and began teaching yin in 2009 at Shambhala Studios in Leigh on Sea, Essex. At that point Yin was a relatively unknown practice so I was the only one teaching it in the county. It was slow going, introducing approximately one class a year in the surrounding areas and by the time I left the UK again 2016 I was teaching eight or so yin classes every week. This practice has now grown exponentially. It is beautiful to see!
I truly believe that as a teacher, the moment I stop learning is the moment I should stop teaching. Being a perpetual student, I have continued to study with Sarah Powers and Paul Grilley whenever I have been able to over the last 15 years. One of the gifts of lockdown, was it enabled me to complete my first two levels of Insight Yoga Training with Sarah Powers online in 2021, an opportunity that would not have been possible otherwise. As a level 2 Insight Yoga Teacher I have studied the Essential teachings on Yin, Sequencing Yang & Yin Poses, Inner Pranic Practices and completed further Mindfulness training with Yin Yoga Sequences. I am presently pursuing an advanced course of study to work toward IYI Certification and IYI Endorsement. It is so inspiring! As part of this process, I am also exploring the Internal Family Systems therapeutic method personally, and professionally through the IFS online circle.
Paul Grilley: https://paulgrilley.com/
Sarah Powers: In 2010, Sarah co-founded The Insight Yoga Institute (IYI) with her husband, Ty Powers: Integrating Yoga, Buddhism and spiritual Psychology into a skilful practice to balance the body, heart and mind. Do see their website: https://www.sarahandtypowers.com/
Bernie Clark’s website yinyoga.com is an invaluable resource for yin yoga too. To read more about Paul’s discovery of Yin Yoga and its roots do follow this link: Paul Grilley’s Discovery of Yin Yoga | Yin Yoga
Internal Family Systems: https://ifs-institute.com/