Jodie will be hosting a workshop called An Introduction to Ashtanga Vinyasa on the 28th of April at For the Core. Its an opportunity to practice the full Primary Series sequence in a guided class. Students will learn how these tools can create a stillness and calm of the body and the mind, essentially preparing you for meditation. The workshop will include tips on asanas as Chaturanga Dandasana, Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Dog) and forward folds, helping students to practice safely and confidently at all levels.
Expect to have fun and laugh along the way as we explore this wonderful practice together. Book your tickets here.
We thought you might like to get to know Jodie a little better before she guides you through the primary series in the 2 hour workshop. So we asked her a bunch a questions about her love for yoga. Check out her responses!
When did you first hear about yoga?
I first went to a yoga class with my mum as a teenager. At the time I'd been practicing gymnastics for around 7 years and savasana was a shock to say the least. My friend and I spent the whole time giggling, according to my mum we were very embarrassing. From that point onwards I spent a long time thinking yoga was boring and slow. I always enjoyed the stretching but I just found it too slow and couldn't calm my busy mind. It wasn't until I tried bikram and then found a Rocket class that I really began to enjoy myself, the pace and physical excursion meant I literally didn't think about anything else for the whole class. That's when savasana and meditation started to make sense. Not only did I enjoy the combination of breath and movement but after the class I was able to experience a real sense of calm.
What is your approach to yoga philosophy?
As my practice and training is rooted in Ashtanga (literally meaning 8 limbs) in terms of philosophy, I always come back to Patanjali's 8 fold path within the yoga sutras - essentially it's a guide to leading a meaningful and purposeful life and acts as a kind of moral code. For me the most important thing is that the physical practice is only one tiny part of this thing called yoga. It's how I (and many students) came to the practice but it's also opened my mind and doors to explore so much more.
Equally important is taking this off your mat and out of the yoga studio. Not always easy, especially when you live in London. Most of us spend the majority of our day thinking about things other than yoga but you can still bring the yoga with you. Take for example, the first of the 8 limbs - the five yamas which are all about self-regulating behaviours involving our interactions with other people and the world at large. You can apply this to the central line every morning! And also being kind to yourself too - it's about balance.
How would you encourage someone to start yoga?
Most often people tell me "I'm not flexible enough for yoga". I like to respond with "that's the same as telling me you're too dirty to take a bath", (I stole this saying btw). I think for most people, their reservations are being the worst in class or not knowing what to do. There is no such thing as the best or worst, especially as I said above, the physical practice is only part of the story. I try to find out what someone is looking to achieve from their practice, be that gentle movement and meditation or a dynamic, sweaty class, and direct them to the most fitting teacher. When I started teaching, lots of the feedback I received was that I'm not at all intimidating and made yoga feel more accessible... Probably as I'm not too serious / a bit of an idiot! I like to make my classes fun and open to all levels.
What is your practice? What type of yoga would you want to learn next?
I initially trained in Ashtanga Vinyasa and Rocket with the Yoga People, London, (who are amazing). I signed up for my 200 hours, originally not planning to teach, but I wanted to learn more about the philosophy behind the yoga I was practicing.
I still tend to practice dynamic styles of vinyasa (Rocket, Yogasana, Power, Mandala) but now with some Yin to balance it out.
Yin yoga, is a completely different kind of practice. For me, although there is still an edge (it's not like restorative), the hardest part is working through the stuff that comes up when you're holding poses for 4/5 minutes. The difference between not engaging your muscles and allowing gravity to do the work also requires me to reset and reflect. I completed my Yin training last year and what I really loved is the anatomy and science behind the practice. I am always getting injured and I find Yin has really helped.
Next I'm looking to train in Mandala Flow and would love to take a course with Jason Crandell.
My favourite pose is…
Well if you look at my instagram, you'd be forgiven for thinking it's Natarajasana (Dancer's Pose). I honestly don't think I have a favourite, my body feels different every day and I like to do what feels good or necessary (even when it doesn't feel good). I do love a good Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose) though.
Most memorable non-yoga experience during yoga? (like a funny)
I think this is a tough once but I guess the most memorable during yoga would be the first time I went to India. We were in class, in savasana and something definitely bit me! I sat bolt upright screaming which wasn't funny at the time but now makes me chuckle.
What does yoga mean to you on a daily basis?
I think, as the above where I've touched on taking yoga off the mat. I'm often asked if I practice everyday. I have to be honest and admit I don't always get on my mat everyday but I don't think there's been a day in a long time when yoga hasn't been part of my life. I sometimes find myself in Ujjayi breath on the bus or whilst running. I can usually relate yoga to everything too - my non yogi friends and colleagues will confirm this.
Who is yoga for?
Every Body! Try as many classes, styles and teachers as you can. Practice on your own or in a class, inside or outside. Find what works for you. There are so many ways to access yoga these days, there really is something for everyone.
What else is yoga, besides stretches and meditation?
Hopefully I kind of answered this in the philosophical question above.
What surprised you most about yoga and it’s teachings?
I guess my biggest misconception of yoga was the belief it was slow and boring and above all not for me. I wish someone had taken me to Ashtanga when I was a teenager! That being said, I know I have changed since I began practicing regularly. I think I could go to most classes and find something that resonates. My own practice doesn't always have to be so dynamic these days. I also no longer giggle in Savasana.
Who is the most influential yogi you’ve met so far on your journey?
Dulce and Jamie, my teachers (The Yoga People) have obviously influenced my practice, teaching and thinking about yoga a great deal, for which I'm eternally grateful. There is also a wonderful community of teachers in London, many of whom are an influence every day. A special shout out to the yogi "Lizards" who I'd be lost without.
Jodie teaches Ashtanga Vinyasa on Monday at 7:15pm and Saturday 11:15am and teaches Ashtanga Primary Series on Wednesday at 7am. Book onto her class here