IYN Yoga Elder
Feel Now Yoga Director
Sensible Yoga School Director
Practising yoga since 1977
Teaching yoga since 1999
I was introduced to asana, pranayama, mantra & meditation by my mother. An introverted child; I was fascinated by the opportunity these practices gave me to explore my inner space and find peace away from the busy, noisy life of my family.
When a family move took me away from my friends at 8 years old; daily yoga posture, breathing & meditation practice became my way of coping with the new bigger & louder school I found myself in. My inner world was more interesting and peaceful than what was happening around me.
Both my inner & outer worlds changed significantly during the period 1982-1986 following a series of seizures, brought on by photo sensitivity & the stress of going to an even bigger and louder school. I started to find simple tasks difficult, and had to learn how to do things that I had previously taken for granted from scratch. My yoga & meditation practice gave me a framework within which to relearn movement, speech and behavioural patterns that I had lost during the seizures. It also changed the way I started to think about life & consciousness. I felt increasingly alienated from the world around me and withdrew into myself for a few years.
Eventually I found an opportunity to engage again through studying history, philosophy, psychology & the sciences as a young adult. I also found the Bhagavad Gita and the Yoga Sutras. I left the UK to travel, eventually finding myself in the rainforests of Australia, where my meditation practice gave me the first glimpse of the natural yoga being state I had enjoyed since before my seizures.
After tuning in again, I had the strength to return to the UK & talk myself into university, obtaining a 2:1 BSc in Environmental Science & a PGCE in Physics & Chemistry. I had careers as a research scientist & secondary school science teacher, but these paths increasingly became incongruous with my inner experiences.
Inspired by Nature & Godfrey Devereux; I began teaching yoga in 1999, but it was not until 2007 that I left science teaching behind to immerse myself in yoga. I started spending extended amounts of time in various ashrams in India, much of it in silent meditation and study. Here, immersed in my practice and Indian culture, I started work on my own translation of the Yoga Sutras & Bhagavad Gita; fertilised by my intimate experience of the yoga being state & the path I used to get there & interpreted through the lens of my understanding of modern scientific principles.
I taught 9 in-depth 60 hour, 6-12 month Yoga Foundation Courses which facilitated the personal practice of many yogins & initiated their yoga teacher training. I felt ready to start training yoga teachers. So I trained as a Teacher Trainer with the BWY. However, shortly after I completed this training, the BWY moved to a standardised academic model of training teachers. One of the reasons I left school teaching was because I had experienced the effects of the Ofqual regulated model of education on children. I had no intention of delivering yoga teacher trainings that imposed that model on student teachers trying to find their own feet!
My most fruitful yoga learning experiences had been much more organic. So in 2012 when a sadhak found me in the guise of my now partner Ross, a natural apprenticeship grew. The apprenticeship system is as much about teaching the teacher as it is about teaching the student. The process is more direct, experiential than academic training. It was this open & honest experience that I enjoyed with my Indian Swami teachers & with Godfrey Devereux, that I wanted to build into the delivery of my own teacher training program.
During Ross’ apprenticeship, my translations of the sutras were refined as together we consolidated the principles & philosophy of Feel Now Yoga, to produce a sensitive, sensible & somatic approach to asana based on logic, scientific principles & the Yoga Sutras.
As an IYN Yoga Elder & Yoga Teacher Training School Director, I facilitate independent & experiential Sensible Yoga Teacher Training Courses based on the philosophy & principles of Feel Now Yoga, and Sensible Yoga for Sensitive Individuals.
I deliver yoga classes, workshops, meditation groups, therapeutic yoga & private yoga tuition.
I am more interested in helping people discover joint health & the natural yoga being state through self enquiry than in pursuing advanced asana, especially given the new research into yoga posture practice from luminaries such as Peter Blackaby & Leslie Kaminoff in relation to moving beyond structural models of anatomy.
Feel Now Yoga classes and trainings are much more about inclusivity than exclusivity & offer a safe, accessible & supportive framework which each individual can use to facilitate their own experiential exploration of self.
My private classes are at Whittle-le-Woods village hall near Chorley. They are all principled mixed ability classes; equally suitable for beginners wanting to relax & reduce stress as they are for experienced yogins wanting to become more intimate with their experience of the natural yoga being state.
Future Feel Now Yoga training courses:
Deep Yoga Foundation Course: Sept 2019 - June 2020
Sensible Yoga Teacher Training Course: Oct 2019 - Dec 2021
Debbie also teaches the Anatomy and Professional Studies modules on the Mandala Yoga Ashram’s Teacher Training Course.
For more details ring 07940 594374 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Godfrey Devereux (author of Dynamic Yoga)
Peter Blackaby (author of Intelligent Yoga)
Leslie Kaminoff (author of Yoga Anatomy)
Swami Satya Premananda (the late great Ken Simmons)
Swami Yogananda of Rishikesh (passed on 3/1/15 aged 106)