We’re delighted to announce that Charlie Merton will teach two regular classes at the studio from Saturday February 29th a very auspicious day to begin classes!
You may already know Charlie from the gong baths she teachers at the studio every few months. Charlie will teach a very exciting new class called yoga and sound, which will run from 6:30-7:45pm on a Saturday. In this class Charlie will draw on many of the elements of the soundscape she creates in her quarterly gong baths but will do this through a regular weekly class. The class will start with a slow and invigorating sequence which will vary with the seasons. The sequence will engage and relax your body and calm your mind and will end with a period of rest. The second half of the class will be a soundscape in which Charlie incorporates different musical elements each week to create a powerful immersive musical experience. We hope to create a grounding ritual to tap into our own fathomless potential and connect us through sound and movement to those around us. In short a ritual for modern life.
Charlie will also teach a regular slow flow and meditation class from 5-6:15pm also on a Saturday To find our more about Charlie please read below. To book onto Charlie's new classes please click here
How did you get into yoga?
My first experience of yoga was hidden really. I was a child and my school friend and neighbour was an English born Indian girl. We were good friends in primary school and I would often go to her house to play. The house was full of icons/deities, smells of spices and sounds of chanting. We often played yoga, without me identifying it as yoga. We went to different high schools and lost touch, but connected many years later, after I rediscovered yoga - this time as yoga - in my early 20’s. As we chatted I found out her mother was a yoga teacher (through the Sivananda Lineage which was my initial training) and her father was a Vedic Priest.
Starting yoga as an adult, for me came in my early 20’s as a way to help me manage the impact of strenuous gym workouts. I quickly resonated with the meditative and spiritual aspects and it became my emotional support as I went through a challenging divorce in my late 20’s.
Was there a moment when you realised that you wanted to pursue yoga seriously?
My pursuit of yoga really came as a pursuit of self-care and mental health. It became an integral part of my life much like sleeping and eating. I wasn’t what I did, more who I became and intrinsically remembering who I always was at the core of my being.
How has yoga changed you?
I wouldn’t say yoga has changed me, more it has helped me to be more comfortable with who I am. To live fully in my skin and actually to peel away all of the unnecessary layers of conditioning we get coated with by society, culture, media, education, family traditions etc. It’s not that any of that is inherently bad but it can stop us living the life we were born to lead.
What is your approach to teaching?
I wouldn’t say I’m monogamous to any one style or lineage anymore. I do not think there is a one size fits all package, but I do think that different practices and approach to practices fit into our different phases of life, with the seasons, with our mental and physical patterns and general lifestyle. My journey has been like this, where I have preferred some styles/teachers over others at certain times in my life and, like everything, the tides turn and things change. Therefore I would approach my style as seasonal and ever changing, but always soulful. I strive to incorporate most if not all the ingredients of what yoga is to me within each of my classes: Mantra, Breath, Joint Release, Intelligent Body Movement, Meditative Movement. Whether I’m teaching yin, restorative or flow, you can expect to go deep.
Is there anything else outside yoga that would be interesting to share?
I’m an HCPC registered and practicing Music Psychotherapist working with adults and children with mental health and special needs. In addition to being a Sound Ceremony Leader/Gong player and Kirtan leader. So my passion is Nada Yoga, the Yoga of Sound, hence the spiritual name I was given ‘Nadapriya’, meaning the creator of divine sound.
Advice to people considering it?
Just do it, and if you don’t resonate with it, try another style or another teacher. I do believe there is a practice to fit most people at whatever point of life you are at.
My favourite quote as a yogi:
“Don't sacrifice the body for the glory of a pose” - I think this is Vanda Scaravelli.
“Not every practice is right for everybody all of the time.” My teacher Hareesh Wallis says this. Also applies to ASANA
Passionate that Yoga is for everybody, Charlie teaches in an inclusive way to encourage body positivity, self-love and self-acceptance in every part of the yogic practices, helping students to find their own expression of the posture, working safely within their own individual body.
Charlie’s regular practice now encompasses Jivamukti, D harma Mittra, Kundalini and Yin Yoga. She has a nurturing approach and teaches a range of styles inclusive for all body types, aiming to boost flexibility and stamina – both physical and mental.
Charlie began a dedicated practice of yoga in 2003, being re-introduced to it after practicing Yoga as a child with friend whose mother was a yoga teacher. Coming back to the practice after so long felt like she was returning home. After 8 years of studying and practice with many teachers and in different systems (including Kundalini, Hatha, Jivamukti and Yin) Charlie was drawn to learn more about Vedanta and deepen her practice through Bhakti Yoga, and so completed the Sivananda Teacher Training in 2011. She is a qualified Energy Healer, Crystal Healer, Sound Healer and is experienced with the energetic workings of the physical and psycho-emotional bodies. Charlie is qualified to teach Children’s Yoga, Teen Yoga and Yin. She is currently part-way through an MA in Psycho- Dynamic Music Therapy and teaches Yoga in Pupil Referral Units with youths who struggle to engage in mainstream education, for various reasons – working therapeutically with yoga asana, pranayama, yoga nidra and nada yoga (sound & mantra).