I first explored yoga in a workplace Iyengar class nearly 30 years ago. I was not remotely flexible and remember having to use a virtual scaffold of blocks and blankets to get into alignment for some postures.
A recurring back injury (I have multiple bulging disks in my thoracic and cervical spine as well as significant degeneration – see the photo!) began troubling me several years ago and forced me to give up the high impact sports that I had previously enjoyed. An MRI scan showed my spine to look like that of a 70 year old and each day began in pain and extreme stiffness.
I rediscovered yoga after a brief foray into Pilates and gradually found that my pain eased as my flexibility and core strength increased.
Since I’ve been more in control of the yoga I do (as a teacher I’m obviously writing my own lesson plans), I’ve found my back has become incrementally better. All my classes are taught with an awareness of back issues. They all incorporate plenty of stretches designed to reduce back pain, and work to improve core strength. I will often plan a series of classes specifically for lower, middle or upper back pain. If you’d like to attend one just let me know!
My obsession with yoga grew and I began attending multiple classes each week and travelling to workshops and retreats all over the world occasionally dragging my family with me (the photo here that you will see if you are viewing the website on a computer rather than a phone is of me and my son Alfie who is something of a calisthenics specialist).
I’ve taught in virtually every other aspect of my life. I have a PGCE in adult education, have taught on University Masters courses (I’m a digital marketing specialist in my non yoga life) and have delivered business training in the UK and North America.
Training to be a yoga teacher was therefore a natural progression albeit somewhat unusual to take such a dramatic career change in my 50s.
I have a 250 hour yoga teacher training qualification with Yoga Alliance and am also a member of the British Wheel of Yoga. I continue to hoover up whatever other yoga-related knowledge I can with specialist workshops covering a range of aspects from accessible yoga teaching to Ashtanga, Iyengar, Scaravelli-influenced approaches, somatic yoga, transformational breath work and deep dive retreats where just occasionally I attempt to simply “be” rather than striving always to learn.
My teaching reflects the main styles of yoga that have influenced me and most weeks I incorporate some new posture or approach that I’ve discovered in a recent workshop.
I hold insurance with Covea – policy reference COBI3200184XB.
My classes are held in Henfield where I now live. My previous Rickmansworth classes are now taught by Annette Henn.
Annette works with Marie on joint workshops and now also teaches the Rickmansworth classes.
She first started practicing yoga in a hall in Usk, South Wales in the early 70s, accompanied by family and friends. It fired off an interest that she kept stoked during University, working and family life.
It was through attending an Ashtanga class 15 years ago and then discovered the joys of a wide variety of yoga styles that she really began to immerse herself in yoga practise.
Annette is qualitied as an RYT200 and 85 hours Pregnancy Yoga Teacher and trains in a number of styles – from gentle Hatha flow yoga, through strength building Ashtanga Vinyasa, to brow mopping Power Yoga. She says “Initially I liked ‘challenging’ classes – but have now discovered the joy of slowing down, flowing with your breath and letting go. I have found that if I do a Hatha flow one day, and then a strong Vinyasa flow the next I am so much more “bendy” and ready for the challenge.”
Annette loves to adapt her teaching to all the different styles and the variety of students – from different levels, physical abilities and interest. She likes to ensure her students learn safely, correctly – but above all – ENJOY their class – there is always a place for a smile!