On Wednesday afternoons in Shoreditch, Jean Hall leads a new class for teachers and experienced students to come together and practise as part of a saṅgha, or community. It’s an opportunity to deepen skills and experience new elements of the yoga practice, all within a collaborative and supportive group of peers.
With yoga philosophy integrated throughout, this two-hour alignment-based class flows with a combination of āsanas, pranayāma and meditation. Jean explains more about intention behind the class and what to expect:
“There is a voice that doesn’t use words. Listen.” Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī
Within each of us there is an ocean of knowing. It is inherent within our body, and to hear it requires a deep simple listening with our whole sensory being. It is the kind of listening we do when we are curious to discover something new, like a secret.
Do you remember back to when you were a child, when you had a natural curiosity to explore, play, discover and learn for the pure enjoyment of it? For no particular gain other than just to experience. This type of open-ended curiosity unbolts the door and clears the way for new discoveries that are free of judgement, filter, preference or belief… there are infinite possibilities!
“I have no special talents, I am only passionately curious.” Albert Einstein
And it is with this curiosity to deeply listen within, so that the body’s knowing can be heard, felt and valued, that my new class is offered. Although it is billed as a “teachers’ practice” it is really for everyone and anyone who is curious and enjoys exploring breathing, moving and flowing in all their wonderous ways.
The class will slowly unfold with the breath into a full dynamic flowing practice, where we will develop our physical and mental skills of agility, coordination and attention to what makes us feel whole, balanced and alive, bringing meaning and vitality to our being.
It is also an invitation to bring questions, quandaries, requests, queries, oddities and an open mind. We can then broaden our palette and experience of yoga through an exploration of traditional practices as well as new ideas and approaches.
The art of curious listening can have far reaching benefits both on and off the mat and these include:
- An openness to learning in all situations.
- Hearing, seeing and valuing yourself and others for who you and they really are, which leads to less conflict and less likelihood of injury in your practice.
- A deepening of the yoga practice, both physically and mentally that opens us to reconnect to our inherent knowing, fluidity and ease within ourselves.
- Removal of judgement.
How to foster curious listening:
- Be aware of your breath as it is an accurate barometer of how you are thinking, feeling and being. For example, if it is tight and restricted that may be how you are listening and responding to others and yourself, or how you are moving through poses or life in general.
- Notice what your thoughts and head talk are without getting lost in them. They may not be true and they may be distracting you from listening to and noticing what is really happening in the moment.
- Tune into your sensory awareness to awaken more fully to what is happening both within and around you right now.
- Assume nothing – be curious about everything!
Jean’s teaching is rooted in her passion for helping bodies open up to their innate wisdom, strength and freedom. As a life-long lover of movement and creativity, Jean has spent much of her life exploring bodywork disciplines, travelling and practising yoga, which became an integral part of her life, developing alongside her career as a dancer.
In 1995 she qualified as an Iyengar yoga teacher and since then she has continued to teach and study different forms of yoga with many great teachers from many diverse backgrounds. She is a published author of four yoga books and is co-founder of triyoga’s advanced teacher training program.
The triyoga teachers yoga practice class takes place Wednesdays 2.45-4.30pm at triyoga Shoreditch. Click here for full details and to book.