Hi, my name is Sarah Quarton and I have been teaching at Loxdale English Centre for 7 years. It’s a great place to work because teachers get to teach subjects they are interested in.
One of my passions (apart from English language teaching obviously!) is Yoga. I have been teaching Yoga for 16 years, after qualifying in Sivananda Yoga in 2000. My teaching has grown, diversified and now I probably teach more of a fusion between other styles of Yoga, taking inspiration from Grounded Yoga, Scaravelli Yoga and my original training.
Students seem to love the English Plus course we offer in Yoga and Yoga Philosophy. They get a lot out of it, even if they are new to the discipline, have lots of experience in other sports or have been doing lots of Yoga before they arrive at Loxdale.
I have a mixture of practical and theoretical work in each session, usually the theory side first as the English Plus lessons are just after lunch so, a little time is need to let the jacket potato settle before twisting and moving around.
First, I usually like the students to find out why Yoga is different forms of exercise. It is, in so much as Yoga deals with the mind and body and tries to integrate them.
Then I will get the students to find out what Yoga is, its origins of and the 8 limbs of Yoga (the different parts).
Then students are invited to find out about the different styles of the practice and what style they have done before and what ones they may like to try.
We then discuss the idea of Yoga in the modern world, how it may be useful in order to keep flexible, de stress and have coping mechanisms to hand in stressful situations.
Mindfulness Meditation techniques are used a lot within this discipline today, and students are exposed to different techniques that could possibly help them.
The students all have presentations to give, and as a way to not get so nervous before the event, we look at a technique called the three step breathe, where in any given situation you look at how you are feeling, acknowledge it, breathe into the different parts of the body, then breathe outwards. The technique allows students to take stock, breathe, become present and then get on with the thing that may have been worrying them. We learn other techniques too.
I suggest an app the students can use after the course called Headspace, which is a 10 minute mindfulness meditation a day which doesn’t cost a lot and may be helpful if they find the meditation part of the course useful.
Then to Yoga practice. I teach a class which starts with relaxation to ground the students and let them settle on the Yoga mat. We then do a series of gentle stretches to wake up the body, before we move into learning the Sun salutations, and a series of standing postures before, some forward bends, back bends, twists, breathing techniques (Pranayama) and ending in a guided relaxation.
Students have the opportunity to teach each other in the hope that they remember how to take the movements away from class and be able to do at home.
You can find a super informative and actionable guide to mindfulness at ‘Relax like a boss’ a blog about all things Yoga: https://relaxlikeaboss.com/the-art-of-mindfulness/