Hatha Yoga Teacher since 1998, CYF Dip . BWY Dip, IYN Yoga Elder,
BWY Pregnancy Cert 2004, Holistic Therapist , Yoga For Healthy Lower Backs Certified Teacher.
Ann Simmonett – A Snapshot Of My Yogic Journey And Governing Concepts
Here I am in 2018, a 58 year old female who since the age of 20 has had a passion for yoga –initially starting with practicing at home from classical books and then the fascination with all things yogic soon led me to various tutors where I settled into regular practice with the much revered Yoga Elders Pam & Gordon Smith of Faith House New Brighton. They provided the firm foundation, values and grounding for what was to follow and I consequently began teaching yoga in 1996 at first voluntarily and then professionally in 1998 after completing the Comprehensive Yoga Fellowship Diploma (a Fellowship founded in part by Pam and Gordon Smith and affiliated to the IYN).
By 2003 I had also completed a 3-year British Wheel of Yoga Diploma under the expert guidance of Richard Adamo. I will always recall one of the first things Richard advised’ Not to just accept the ancient and modern yoga teachings and texts verbatim, or what he or any guru may say, but rather to really try to integrate as much of this ancient wisdom tradition into life so that there is an understanding, knowingness and truth in every cell of your being on a much deeper level’.
‘Satya’ or Truthfullness has always resonated deeply with me and so in order to adopt these ideas more fully and align myself with what felt a ‘more congruous’ life style I decided in 2004, after 24 successful and enjoyable years at the Land Registry, that yoga had become more of a vocation in my life, and so, with an absolute leap of faith, the support of my husband, family and friends I left a successful career in Civil Service to teach yoga for a living.
It has not been an easy road, I didn’t expect it to be! and despite obvious financial adjustments and massive changes to every aspect of life- it has proved to be the most fulfilling ‘change ‘ in how I chose to spend my life authentically.
From my studies, I have learnt that in the western world, there is often a massively out-of-kilter pre-occupation with making financial provisions for the future and old age, at the cost of health, compassion and enjoyment of life now. It’s my considered opinion that if proportionate investment is afforded to physical, emotional and mental well-being, through an adjustment in approach and perception and gradually adopting the underpinning yoga principles, then the benefits will soon manifest. This encourages one to live a life that does not force or strain beyond the natural limits. As Pam & Gordon Smith say, “Helping to create harmonious relationships between every living thing, and guiding toward health and wholeness of being. The Yogi clear in heart and mind is attuned to the natural rhythms of life, with nothing to prove, their watchword is ‘ahimsa’ (non harm) and their guidance is directed towards developing the uniqueness that lies within each individual.” And they are both living proof of these concepts, and demonstrate unstinting energy and inspiration.
Over the years, and in addition to the highly respected tutors mentioned, I have trained extensively and undertaken continuous professional development courses with many specialist yoga tutors of various traditions and styles primarily in the UK, and some in India. (Swami Shivapremanander, Deepak Chopra, Kausthub Desikachar, Maya Feinnes, Gill Edwards, Hein Bratt, Peter Blackaby, Uma Dinsmore Tuli, Simon Low)
Up until a few years ago, before my husband fell ill I regularly attended yoga retreats hosted by Pam and Gordon where philosophy and yoga teachings, expounded by enlightened master Eugene Halliday, were brought to life at Tan y Garth Hall Meditation Centre in North Wales.
In 2004, I completed the BWY Pregnancy Module with Internationally renowned Wendy Teasdill and since then have run pregnancy yoga classes working at many Sure Starts schemes and private 1:1 and group birthing partner classes. Between 2005/2008 I undertook additional training in Massage, Aromatherapy , Hot Stones &Kinesiology therapies allowing me to offer these services or combine elements of some disciplines within my yoga teaching.
Many aspects of yoga pervade my focus in life – I am most passionate about the transformative and beneficial effects that yoga can bring to every level of being through an authentic journey of self discovery. I try to ensure that this is emphatically echoed in my work in the provision of sustainable, health giving and empowering yoga classes in the local community.
By way Seva, I have spent time working as County Rep for the British Wheel of Yoga and as a Committee Member for the Comprehensive Yoga Fellowship, and for very many years raising thousands of pounds mainly for ‘Save The Children’ for whom I am a volunteer fund raiser. I have also organised several yoga holidays to the University of Cumbria in the Lake District for 40 people at a time, which have all been popular sell out projects with all profits from these events being donated to Tan y Garth Hall, Meditation Centre supporting the International Hermeneutic Society .
I have also tutored several times for Merseyside Yoga Association, The Comprehensive Yoga Fellowship and represented the British Wheel of Yoga at the National Mind Body Spirit Exhibition at G Mex Manchester and in 2003, after much demand from my students, I produced a relaxation CD entitled ‘Presence’, which I’m pleased to say has received excellent reviews from my peers.
In October 2010, I was able to fulfil a long term goal by opening a dedicated yoga and wellbeing centre Yoga You Sanctuary at 235 Liscard Road Wallasey CH44 5TH (see www.yogayousanctuary.co.uk) with the intention of providing affordable yoga and therapies within the community. This has been very successful and from here and for the previous ten years I have continually offered between 10/15 varied yoga classes per week , for @ 46 weeks of the year.
In 2013 I completed training as a ‘Yoga For Healthy Lower Backs’ teacher and since then continue to deliver specialised 12 YHLB courses twice a year.
I’m devoted to yoga and my students, and even though in the last year I have considerably shortened my weekly program to care for my husband, I am so very honoured to be able to do this nurturing work, where I hope my passion for yoga is evident and still shines through and indeed keeps me going. I am deeply grateful to be joined on so many workshops by various other skilled teachers, most notably Pam & Gordon Smith.
Comprehensive Yoga Fellowship Teaching Diploma 1998 ( CYF member for 20+ years)
British Wheel of Yoga General Teaching Diploma 2003 (BWY member for 20+ years)
British Wheel of Yoga Module Certificate in Yoga for Pregnancy 2004
BWY Yoga Teaching Practice Observation Certificate 2005 Current First Aid Certificate
Public Liability Insured
City & Guilds 7303 Adult Teaching Certificate 4 x British School of Yoga Diplomas in Aromatherwapy, Massage, Kinesiology, Hot Stone Therapy Director at Yoga You Sanctuary since 2010 (www.yogayousanctuary.co.uk) Yoga For Healthy Lower Backs Registered Teacher 2013 (www.yogaforbacks.co.uk) IYN Yoga Elder 2018
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