Hannah studied at Cambridge University where she specialised in late medieval magick, natural philosophy and female pirates. Eschewing a life on the seven seas, she went on to train at the Royal Academy of Music, and spent a couple of years performing in the West End. Being totally incapable of making a decision, she combined writing and researching (for Melvyn Bragg, Aleks Krotoski, ITV and BBC Radio 4) with singing and being a Magician's Assistant.
Then, in her spare time, she found yoga. What began as a dancer's escape from the stage soon became a daily discipline, and then a career in its own right. After training in India with Jamie and Dulce of The Yoga People, she began teaching Rocket, Ashtanga and Yin yoga in studios across London, where she hopes to remain for some time.
"In the end only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you."
YOGA is many things to many people. From it's ancient beginnings among richis and shaman to the online studios that clutter your inbox, yoga has become for some a spiritual quest, for others a vocation, a fitness concept, a lifeline, a fashionable fad, or a sincere, integral way of life. But for me, at the heart of any yoga practice is the intention to find stilness and to let go: to let go of your day, your mind clutter, your preconceptions about the world or your assumptions about yourself. Yoga has become increasingly physical, but perhaps this is the best way for a 21st century city slicker to find a little slice of quiet - to occupy the body so fully that there is no choice but to focus the mind on its movement and sensations, and perhaps gain a sense of stilness as a result.
'Rocket' was created in San Francisco by the 'bad boy of Ashtanga', Larry Schultz. Designed as a playful, open level practice, for Larry, it was a way of bringing yogis to the Ashtanga sequence, in a way that was accessible to all. It has three sequences, the first based on Primary Series, the second on Intermediate Series, and the third (often called 'Happy Hour') is a mix of the two, with a pinch of extra Ashtangi spice.
The result is a dynamic, flowing practice, peppered with balances and inversions for those advanced practitioners, filled with stretch and flow for those newer to the practice.
As with all yoga, at its heart is breath. Learn to breathe, and you learn to fly.
Mandala vinyasa is a graceful, strong practice that travels in circles around your mat. Each practice is tied to an element - earth (forward folds/hamstrings), water (hip openers/groin), fire (twists/side body) and air (backbends/heart) and opens and closes with yin poses before the vinyasa. This practice is for everyone - it can be made simple as you wish or advances as you may want to take it. Lots of options are given to build on the basic vinyasa pattern.
HANNAH sends huge gratitude to all her teachers, on and off the mat, along the way. To Marcus for introducing her to the Rocket, to Emi Tull for being the ultimate (bad-ass) ray of yogi sunshine, and The Dude, Stewart Gilchrist for kicking her asanas, and for reminding her daily that yoga can change the world.
For more information, or to book a private/corporate session, say hello HERE.
Photos © Steven Zwerink
Big thanks for use of his awesome photographs.