Yoga with Anne-Marie Le Sève
I have been practicing Yoga for 23 years, and teaching for 16. I attended my first yoga class when I was 20.
The practice resonated with me instantly at a deep level. From then on I have explored and practiced many different styles with a variety of different teachers, both in the UK and also in India. In 2002 I qualified with The Devon School of Yoga as I liked their eclectic and creative approach. Since then I have taught for the DSY on their Foundation and Teacher Training courses, general group classes in Cornwall, private one-to-one classes, yoga therapy, kids yoga in different local schools, family yoga and yoga weekend retreats and holidays. I also teach specialist recovery yoga sessions at a local detox and rehab unit. Since my original training I have studied and practices different styles including Iyengar, Ashtanga Vinyasa, Vinyasa flow, Scaravelli, Restorative, Womb Yoga, Yin, and most recently EYP (Embodied Yoga Principles) and Embodiment Facilitator training. I have also practiced different approaches to meditation (which I bring into each class) including mindfulness, somatic, shamanic, and Vedic.
All of my classes start and finish with stillness meditation, and include asana, breath focus, relaxation and self acceptance practices. Often they also include affirmation, self compassion practices, trauma informed practices, connection to others, connection to the Earth, use of sound, and poetry or quotations.
The asana practice can be dynamic but also restorative, challenging and nurturing, always focusing on alignment, breath and presence. I encourage the physical aspect of practice to become a somatic meditation in movement and awareness. The physical practice is not limited to any particular school or lineage, however I draw on aspects of many. Making the practice one that is suitable for each individual is very important to me, and choice is emphasised in every class. This means there will always be different options or levels to choose from within the practice so that we can practice the capacity of waking up our own inner authority. After warming up sometimes we practice a dynamic slow flow, poses that increase strength and stamina (yang style), followed by gentle sitting and floor based (yin style) practice. Finding your own balance between challenging yourself and finding your edge and practicing Ahimsa (non violence, to self in this context) is always emphasised. As is self talk and internal narrative throughout the practice. In this way, as well as reaping the many physical benefits of the practice, we can also improve the relationship we have with ourselves – the most intimate and ongoing relationship we’ll ever have.
Although the physical practice greatly improves health in the body, I also like to focus on life enhancing insights gained on the yoga mat that can be applied to and integrated into every day life. With a regular practice this filter through effect is to some extent inevitable, but I am currently enjoying methods of teaching that focus more powerfully on this aspect of application. Yoga for your whole life, not just your body.
Specific breath techniques are used in classes to help regulate the nervous system and improve mental state. Guided relaxation (Savasana) follows asana practice and is a very important part of each class and is always honoured. This is the time where the effects of the practice can be absorbed, and also a valuable time for dropping away all doing and resting in being. Time to rest, replenish and connect. Time to counter the effects of stress within the system. Time to familiarise yourself with the deepest wisest aspect of yourself, your greater consciousness, oneness.
I teach a variety of meditation techniques based on my own extensive ongoing learning and experience These can include basic mindfulness practice, Buddhist inspired metta (loving kindness), somatic meditation (body based), shamanic, natural meditation, mantra, and self compassion. Mudras and subtle energetic anatomy are also weaved into the practice.
By taking the time to practice self care and presence we have more chance of being more present and more effective in our external lives, enhancing our relationships with others. By nurturing a more healthy and loving relationship with ourselves we can then have more healthy and loving relationships with others. Put quite simply “You can’t our from an empty cup.”
I like to keep my teaching fresh and inspired by attending workshops and retreats, and reading books on the subject so I am continually feeding my unquenchable curiosity, learning new things and developing my own personal practice. This gives me a wealth of heartfelt experience and knowledge to share from.