Heather Elton | Yoga teacher in London | Hatha and Vinyasa Flow
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TEACHINGS

I’ve taught Astanga and Vinyasa Flow Yoga, as well as traditional forms of Hatha Yoga, Restorative Yoga, Pranayama and Meditation in London since 2002. Join me on an international yoga retreat or workshop, including the innovative Yoga Adventure in Nepal where we study yoga philosophy ‘On the Road’ within the cultural context of living Tantra. I also teach high-quality and authentic Yoga Teacher Training courses in London, Goa and Nepal. I like to integrate yoga philosophy into the asana practice to give students an understanding of the deeper meaning. As part of my charity work, I teach yoga to addicts for the Westminster Drug Project and to homeless people for Crisis. I feel deep gratitude to all my teachers who have helped me to move through fear and enabled me to do this work. My aim is to help others diminish suffering in their lives.

Self_The Practice

The Philosophy

I consider Sri T Krishnamacharya to be the Grandfather of ‘modern yoga’ and teach in that lineage. I’m interested in the historic roots of traditional Hatha Yoga. I endeavor to teach all 8 limbs of ‘classical’ Astanga in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras (200 BCE) and integrate ancient wisdom traditions with contemporary psychology in a mindful practice designed to diminish suffering in our lives.

 

Astanga is taught in the Mysore tradition of Sri K Patabbhi Jois, and Vinyasa Krama (or Hatha Flow), is an intelligent linking of poses – with breath and dristi – rooted in classical yogic traditions that explores the physical, mental and subtle aspects of the practice. I teach Vinyasa Flow more as ‘slow flow’ with an emphasis on breath and integrating proper alignment techniques of BKS Iyengar, rather than mindless flailing about in space.

 

Yoga philosophy is integrated with asana, breath and dristi to explore the inner/outer techniques of Hatha Yoga that transform the mind and body and illuminate one’s highest potential to find purpose and meaning in life. I aim to reveal the ‘authentic’ spiritual path underlying the practice and the technology to stabilize the mind, so we can shed the veils of Maya perpetuated by the ego, glimpse at our true nature and liberate ourselves from suffering. My approach is a deep physical and psychological practice that moves beyond a mere physical experience to make the spiritual yogic inquiry authentic and relevant to real life. The ultimate aim of yoga is love, liberation and freedom. Moksha.

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Photo: Rebecca Ravneberg

The Practice

I began Hatha Yoga (BKS Iyengar) in 1986 and my yoga path has involved extensive studies with brilliant teachers from around the world, many who have had a profound influence of my unique style. I studied Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga for 12 years with Sri K Pattabhi Jois in Mysore and many of his senior students, including Manju Jois, John Scott, David Swenson, Matthew Sweeney and Rolf Naujokat. Nancy Gilgoff was my first Ashtanga teacher and I’ve attended many of her ‘Adjustment Clinics’ to learn how to safely assist people in the Primary and Intermediate Series. I completed a 200-level Yoga Teacher Training with Richard Freeman (2004) and attend his annual yoga intensives in London. I also completed a 200+ level training focusing on the traditional Krishnamacharya method of Asana, Pranayama and Kundalini Metaphysics with Sri BNS lyengar at the Patanajala Yoga Shala in Mysore (2008).

 

On the Vinyasa Flow side of yoga, I completed the Tripsichore Yoga Theatre Teacher Training with Edward Clark (2002). David Life and Sharon Gannon (Jivamukti Studios) and Emil Wendel (Beyond the Asana) are also inspirational people and teachers.

More recently, my yogic path has led me back to the alignment principles of BKS Iyengar and study with Alaric Newcombe in London. I’ve also taken many workshops with Glenn Ceresoli. My first Iyengar teacher was Dona Holleman. Tibetan Yantra Yoga is an interesting practice and is probably the closest form to ‘classical’ Indian yoga that exists today. Throughout my yogic journey, I keep an open mind about the practice and try not to succumb to dogma.

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YOGA PHOTOGRAPHS
PRIVATE CLASSES

I’ve taught privately in London since 2002 and some of my students have studied with me for the past 12 years. A private yoga class allows you to progress at your own pace while being guided on your yoga path with great precision. It gives you confidence to attend a yoga class, or develop the discipline, commitment and wisdom necessary to do your own practice. Private tuition is taught to one-to-one, couples, friends, or any group up to 4 people. Private classes are 90-minutes and cost approximately £100. 
Price is negotiable for those with financial difficulties.

MORE ABOUT PRIVATE CLASSES

Private classes are suited to individual needs and offer a variety of yoga styles – Astanga, Vinyasa Flow, Hatha and Restorative Yoga. All classes teach BKS Iyengar methodology. Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is taught in the Mysore style of the late guru, Sri K Pattabhi Jois. You will learn the traditional sequence of poses in the Primary Series, the use of breath/bandhas (internal locks) / drishti (gazing points), as well as the proper breath (vinyasa) count in the series. Beginning with Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutations) your practice will gradually develop as the body develops strength and flexibility, the mind becomes focused and more stable, and the breath remains synchronised to the vinyasa throughout the practice. As you progress through the series, difficult asanas are encountered bringing you directly in contact with your physical/mental limitations. Different methodologies and techniques are taught to transform the body/mind until, suddenly; the pose becomes your friend and is attainable. Yoga is about the journey and not the goal.

 

I’ve studied in-depth the Ashtanga Primary and Intermediate Series adjustments. Students benefit from my ‘adjustments’ that help bring the body into alignment, shift the mind out of fear, release hardness and soften the body, and gently take you deeper into the posture. The transformative nature of the practice helps you move out of pain, or discomfort, and find stability and ease in each pose – and consequently in your life.

 

Basic pranayama and mediation techniques are also taught, as well as Restorative Yoga to help reduce stress and anxiety, and begin an inward journey with understanding of the philosophy behind yogic practice.

Heather Elton is registered as a 500-RYT with the Yoga Alliance. Since being certified at their highest level in 2004, she has completed a further 5,000 hours of yoga training. Heather has taught 13,500 hours over the past decade.

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