Louisa joins us to take on our pregnancy classes that are restarting 24th February 5 - 6pm.

How did you get into yoga? 

When I’m not teaching yoga classes I’m a musician, and when I was training at music college I developed tendonitis as a result of practising for hours every day. The pain in my hands was horrible, but really my whole body was out of balance and carrying way too much tension. I came across yoga by accident and fell in love with it. For the first time I was able to notice the habits of tension in my body and what was causing them, and to learn a different way of responding.

Was there a moment when you realised you wanted to pursue yoga seriously? 

During my 20s I learnt as much as I could about the different styles and traditions, taking courses with visiting teachers from the US and travelling to Mysore in India. I loved studying the history and philosophy of yoga, and explored this further during a 2 year teacher training course. The birth of my first child in 2009 was an intense and incredible experience and made me very interested in the mind-body connection. I felt that my yoga practice had been a key part of my preparation for birth, although I couldn’t yet make sense of how or why it had made a difference. I decided to train to become a YogaBirth teacher and the course taught me so much about the amazing female body and its capabilities – knowledge that every pregnant woman deserves to learn.

How has yoga changed you? 

I have greater ease in my body and more strength. A regular practice has given me space to sit with changing thoughts and moods and be steady. It’s given me perspective.

What’s your advice to people considering starting yoga? 

Having no experience and/or being inflexible is great. A beginner’s mind is a gift. It’s what we’re all looking for each time we step onto a mat.

What is your approach to teaching? 

I’m most influenced by the style of the 20th century Italian teacher Vanda Scaravelli. She taught a subtle yet powerful yoga that focussed on the breath, lengthening the spine and working with gravity. I’m not interested in yoga as a performance. I want people to listen to their bodies and move in ways that help to heal, nourish and strengthen. If that means you spend a bit longer in a pose, or come out early, then that’s great: follow your body’s lead.

My favourite quote as a yogi: 

“Yoga must not be practised to control the body: it is the opposite, it must bring freedom to the body, all the freedom it needs.”  - Vanda Scaravelli.