Gilly Thirlwell has been teaching yoga and meditation for over eighteen years and is also a yoga therapist, teacher trainer and assessor. She gained her first yoga teaching certificate in 1996 at the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Ashram in India. This was followed by a year in Thailand, where she worked as a meditation retreat coordinator and yoga teacher whilst deepening her own meditation practice at Suan Mokkh Buddhist Monastery.
Gilly earned FRYOG's two-year yoga teaching diploma in London in 2003 and has recently completed a two-year post graduate training in yoga therapy with Real Yoga in Herefordshire. She regularly updates her knowledge and skills by attending conferences and professional development courses, most recently, 'Yoga Therapy and Mindfulness for Addictions' with the Minded Institute, London.
Gilly has taught yoga and meditation in schools, colleges, ashrams, retreats, community centres and therapy centres in India, Thailand, Spain, London and the North East. She founded the Avani School of Yoga in 2010 and is a presenter at the 2014 Yoga Show at Olympia. Her teaching and therapy skills are enhanced by training and experience in anatomy and physiology, aromatherapy, massage, health psychology, counselling and occupational therapy.
Each Hatha Yoga class with Gilly begins with guided relaxation to release stress and bring your awareness to your body, your breathing and the present moment. This enables you to practise yoga consciously, greatly enhancing benefits of the practices. Warm-up exercises and yoga postures (asana) improve core stability, strength, flexibility, balance and concentration. Breathing techniques (pranayama) help you to focus on (in!) your body, expand vital energy (prana), unblock and balance energy channels (nadis) and release deeply-held tension. Guided visualisations / meditations enable you to connect the different aspects of yourself for peace, harmony and well-being. The whole practice is gentle, focused and meditative.
Rachel has been practicing Iyengar yoga since 2001 and has almost completed the Inyengar teacher course. Rachel developed a love of yoga from an early age. attending classes with her mother. With experience in Hatha yoga, Ashtanga yoga, Restorative yoga, Vinyasa flow yoga and Remedial yoga.
There are two classes a week, focusing on alignment & posture, the class is open to all abilities and can help to correct injuries and imbalances. It is beneficial to health and wellbeing on so many levels. Physically it helps keeps the body supple, fit and strong, mentally it helps one to concentrate and focus and it calms and quiets the mind. Iyengar yoga can be one of the most beneficial forms of exercise one can take on many different levels physically, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually.
Rachel runs Iyengar Yoga classes at the Bodywork Centre on:
Christine started her studies of Qigong back in 2002, when she found that it helped with reducing the effects of stress. The exercises taught looked simple but felt powerful and had an immediate impact on feelings of wellbeing. After several years of study and having reached a good standard she became a qualified instructor of the Tse Qigong Centre and started teaching Wild Goose Qigong in Hexham.
The journey that began with Qigong expanded over the years to include all the other skills offered by the Tse Qigong Centre. First came Chun Yuen Quan, which is very good to keep warm, fit and flexible, a bonus in the cool North East climate. Later Christine learnt both Chen Taijiquan and Wing Chun, two different self defence martial arts. She always thought that martial arts were only for the thought guys and required rather more strength than she naturally has. She was proved wrong in her assumptions, as the self defence that the Centre teaches relies on skill not power, so she found that she could actually use the techniques effectively even thought she is a small person. One unexpected bonus has been the application of these skills principles to non-physical situations, where conflicts can be handled much more calmly, helping to find a good outcome and reducing stress levels significantly.
Over the years Christine has had the privilege to travel to China with the Centre, the birth place of all these skills, meeting some of the grand masters and experiencing their knowledge first hand, as well as the culture and philosophy from which they originate. Christine hopes that she can help others discover, enjoy and benefit from these authentic skills.