Helen Bod

About me

I came to yoga in my late 20’s after taking some classes with a dear friend, an Iyengar teacher. Like many people who are drawn to yoga, this quickly developed into a passion, occupying precious space in my increasingly busy life as a mother of 3, a place to re-gather energies, to refresh and unwind.

I took regular classes at the Iyengar Institute in Maida Vale, London, just down the road from where we lived, and attended workshops and weekends up and down the country when time allowed. As my understanding and practice grew, I began a teacher-training programme, finishing in 2000, the year after we moved back to Devon.

My health had been problematic for a while, and I began to seek a different approach to practice, something perhaps less structured, or at least more spacious. I had been given ‘Awakening the Spine’ by Vanda Scaravelli, again by my friend, but hadn’t realised there were teachers inspired by these teachings.

The rest of the story is my own awakening to this lovely practice, through the wisdom and guidance of many wonderful yoga teachers, which gradually I found drawing me ever deeper. Over time the old ways of practicing and teaching fell away and I found myself wholly inspired by this new way of working.

At its heart there is a simple integrity and listening in this yoga practice, a call to work with the body, not to impose upon the body.

As one student recently reflected ‘It is a very healing practice’, which takes time and patience to absorb.

I have been teaching for 20 years spanning my time back in Devon, whilst also working with children in the Early Years at Park School, Dartington, particularly with music and song.

All threads of my life, my teaching and practice, motherhood and my work with young children, are woven together – interconnected, indivisible parts of the whole tapestry.

Sharing this practice through teaching feels always relevant, always expansive.

Helen Bod

    Disciplines Taught:

    Yoga Class Location:

    Teacher, TQ9 Classes

    The Yoga

    This approach to yoga was pioneered by the late Vanda Scaravelli, and her teachings have been handed down by her former long term students.
    Hers is not a method in the traditional sense of the word; the emphasis here is less about how to do the postures (the placing of limbs, feet, head etc here or there, turning or stretching or holding), and more about undoing areas of tightness, finding ways to release patterns of holding (our body/postural habits), by making small adjustments, beginning to explore the yoga postures from a place of inner listening, and responding to this. Her wonderful book ‘Awakening the Spine’ is less a yogic text, and more an invitation to live life with yoga placed very firmly at the centre.
    Working in this way means learning to trust our own sense of what feels right, more than simply what may look right. Gradually through patience and practice, the two perspectives (inner and outer), can become more closely aligned.
    My role as a teacher is to guide, support, suggest and gently steer students towards an understanding. The yoga ‘shapes’ arise, rather than are performed, which helps foster a sense of ease and clarity. The breath quietens and deepens, and the whole body is encouraged through care and gentleness, to soften, explore, and expand. In this way strength, flexibility and calm is cultivated, alongside sensitivity and a deepening awareness.

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