Meet our inspirational lioness yogini - LISA

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Meet our inspirational lioness yogini - LISA

FRINGE.YOGA TEACHER FEATURE

A 2017 FYTT graduate, Lisa continues to spread her light, enthusiasm and positivity amongst the fringe students and teachers. Lisa answers our questions below beautifully and in her own recognizable unique and heartfelt manner; 

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Why Yoga?


Yoga is such a wonderful form of exercise because it doesn't demand adrenaline and stress to
“power through it”. Personally, I have been through stages of working out at the gym and
jogging everyday, but it felt like the whole dialogue of these practices was about overruling or
even punishing the body: “no pain no gain”.
When I tried Yoga it was such a joy and relief to find an alternative philosophy in which the body
is toned and kept healthy, but viewed through a lense of love and acceptance.
Yes, we hope to achieve mastery in the poses but this is not the primary goal, and meanwhile
we learn to respect and appreciate the messages our body is giving us.
Plus Yoga isn’t just about the body. It’s so much more than that. For me, Yoga makes
everything else in life flow too. My mind is so much more positive in so many ways when I
practice regularly, and this in turn makes me a better fiance’, daughter, granddaughter,
neighbour, friend, and teacher.


What’s your biggest yoga achievement to date?

Fulfilling my Fringe Yoga Teacher Training was a major milestone of course, as the journey
Jodie and Raquelle created allowed me to push myself and grow in so many ways, they were
the most incredible mentors.
But as a new teacher, I’m measuring my success in the little everyday ways now; the sequence
that flowed perfectly, the student that raved about my class, the sea of Ujjaji breathing in the
front row, the meditation that blissed the room out, the progress of my Begginners in the poses
and most importantly, the connections I make with my students in class.


What/who is your inspiration?


My fellow teachers at Fringe are my inspiration. I love the way that the Fringe method allows
each teacher to show their own creativity and individuality, which is why the line-up of classes is
so varied and characterful.
I love the excitement and variety of Vanessa’s Flow classes. I love the heartfelt fun of Sue’s
Begginners classes. I love the spirituality and humility of Penny’s Jivamukti classes. I love the
peacefulness and healing power of Helen’s Restorative classes. It’s also an absolute joy to
watch my Teacher Training 2017 Tribe grow along with me.


Most embarrassing yoga story?


I have had silly embarrassing things happen, like when I fell out of my headstand in class last
week. But honestly I cringe the most about the times as a Beginner when I was silly enough to
try and compete with other yogis in class. That moment where you look at the person next toyou and try to lift your leg a bit higher, hold the pose a bit longer. I see Yoga completely
differently now, and I understand that we are all on our own journeys, at different stages and in
different bodies-but they are all just as special.


What unique gift do you offer your students?


I like to share Yoga with my students in interesting and creative ways. For example I’m currently
running a four week Tibetan class theme for my Begginners, so that they can try a few unusual
poses and eventually have a short daily sequence they can use at home to mix things up a bit.
I respect Yoga and all of the traditions, teachings and philosophies that come with it, but my
classes are never deadly serious as I want people to feel free and comfortable to be themselves
and to enjoy the practice. Life is demanding so I try to give people escapism, positivity and
respite in that precious hour of me-time when they come to class.


What makes a good teacher?


I think a good teacher makes their students feel really seen and understood. Of course it's hard
to connect with everyone in a big class, but some teachers just have that gift, and I am working
on this myself in the hope that I can develop it too.
Any advice to help to inspire others to get on the mat?
If you have an hour a week...do an hour, if you only have 10 minutes, do 10 minutes...every little
bit of love that you give your body and mind will make you feel that little bit better, and will plant
that little seed to be kinder to yourself off the mat too.


Your favourite quote to live by?


In terms of Yoga, I love Jason Crandell’s message that; “Any amount of the pose, is still the
pose”.
He talks about how we define an advanced Yoga pose, asking; What’s more advanced?
Someone in a basic pose, totally tuned into their breath, in the zone, really present and
connecting with their physicality in that moment...or someone in Pinchamayrasana thinking
about what they need to buy in the supermarket?
I think this is such a beautiful way to reconsider success and find fulfilment in our poses.

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Catch Lisa on Friday mornings 9 30 - 1030am at fringe.redricks! 

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Meet real life Superwoman - Emma

FRINGE.YOGA TEACHER FEATURE

Introducing Emma Smithies, mum of 3 little yoginis, kick ass lawyer and fringe.yoga graduate from the first FYTT. Alongside her inspiring legal career she also teachers yoga at fringe.yoga (and will soon be teaching at fringe.epping). Her ever popular classes are inspiring, positive and vibrant, just like her! Find out how she answered our questions below; 

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Why Yoga?


"It’s my sanity, my coping mechanism, my sense of humour for my busy life and
always has been. As a busy working mum of 3 children, yoga helps me enjoy my life
and all the plate spinning that comes with it. It calms me, anchors me in the moment
and keeps me sane, makes me patient and love my time with the kids and family.
It’s also my passion, I absolutely love spreading the magic that little bit further every
week, from helping people breath through their anxiety at work, to watching their joy as they
accomplish a pose or a movement, to meeting new like minded people and yogis, watching
people buzz when they leave a class and keep coming back for more, to running workshops with
dear friends, learning learning learning and absorbing as much knowledge, experience, skills and
information as I can. I feel like a sponge on my yoga journey, constantly applying it to every
scenario I find myself in every day, with the kids, in a meeting, at the school gates, on the tube, in
the forest, it fills me with complete joy and happiness."


What’s your biggest yoga achievement to date?


"Completing my teacher training was right up there!
Running workshops with my fellow yogi and dear friend, seeing them sell out, having a space
within which we can explore all our creative ideas and give them to an ever changing, increasing
group of open minded, enthusiastic people is amazing."


Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

"Living the dream in a more full time way. Building my own yoga studio. Spreading that magic even further and creating my own bespoke space for retreats and classes."


What/who is your inspiration?

"At the moment I absolutely love Jo Tastula and her style of teaching, she’s really spiritual and has
lots of references to mother earth, lunar cycles and awesome anatomy.
Katherine Budig is brilliant for her funny, ballsy approach.
Claudine Lafond has a really laid back approach to her teaching with humour and skill which
I really enjoy.
Jodie Merrick, as my mentor, my bestie, my teacher is someone who I find inspirational.
My students, I learn them from every single day, I love their openness, their curiosity,
Their commitment, their humour, their loyalty humbles and grounds me and I am grateful to
them every single day.
My kids, my family, my old friends who taught me my sense of humour and gave me my moral
compass.
Kelly Slater, the most unbelievable world class surfer.
My mate Frank, without whom I wouldn’t be the person I am today."


Most embarrassing Yoga story?

"I’ve been to classes all over the world, in each different chapter of my life, I’ve sweated, farted,
snored and weed myself at points! I’ve left with my hair looking wild, my clothes stuck to me with
Sweat and couldn’t really give a damn, it’s all part and parcel of it. I’ve worn my leggings back to
front too many times to remember but never really been embarrassed by it. We had a hilarious
moment recently in a workshop where we usually close with a fire pit, I’d gone outside to light it in a thick fog and howling winds, I’d called upon my angels to help me get it going and sure enough, it had lept into flame, as soon as the first person stepped outside the flames instantly died and we all stood round a smoking mess, you got to just laugh about it though. Let go of that idea of perfection."


What unique gift do you offer your students?
 

"I really try and be authentic, relate to what’s happened/happening to me each week
and how that fits with the specific element I am teaching that week. So if it’s been a crazy week with the kids, work, school, home, then I acknowledge that and keep it real. As a teacher of
The Fringe method we teach a Vinyasa flow style linked to the chakras and the elements.
I focus a lot on breathing usually with a different breathing exercise in each class. I blend
all my own oils which relate to the chakras which my students seem to love. I incorporate
a lot of references to mother earth, nature and am recently really getting into my crystals
which I’m using in class at the moment. I try and mix it up so each week’s class for that specific Element will be different to the last cycle of teaching that element.
Most of all I just love getting to know my students, new and old so remembering their name (a big one for me!), their injuries, their strengths, the things they enjoy so I can genuinely get to know them, watch them grow, push them and enjoy every step of the yogi journey together."


What makes a good teacher?
 

"Knowledge, awareness of the energy and capability of the class, connection to the students,
structuring a challenging, enjoyable, funny class that resonates with you on some level and leaves
You feeling great!"


Any advice to help to inspire others to get on the mat?
 

"I get such an incredible buzz from seeing people come to Yoga, not knowing what to expect, some with a clear agenda or reason for being there, some without a clue of why they are there, some looking nervous tinged with excitement, anticipation, all enthusiastic, yet everyone leaves having left their day at the front door, hearing people’s stories of their week and how they used their breath or the mantra or the thought we used in class to get them through a moment is life changing.
It’s all about finding the right teacher that works for you, that safe space where you can let go and give it a go. Anything we can do to help us get through the lives we lead with a smile on our face has got to be worth trying."


Your favourite Quote to live by?

"So many to choose from, some of my absolute favs:
Love like you’ve never been hurt, laugh like nobody cares, dance like no one is watching.
Be the change you want the world to be.
If it feels like you are pushing water uphill let it go.
Everything for a reason, even if you can’t see it at the time
."

Catch Emma at fringe.yoga on Saturday mornings with more classes to be announced very soon! Follow her on Instagram @emma.smithies

Keep you eyes peeled for next week's fringe.yoga teacher feature!

Namaste,

the fringe team

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Cool, Calm, Collected to the max! Meet Beth Win

Happy new year!

We have such an exciting interview with an incredible yogini for you to read this week. Introducing Beth Win (@urbanyogamonkey), who is someone who has inspired both Jodie and I over the years. I have been following her yoga teaching journey from back in 2012 and she has gone from strength to strength teaching all over London at many prestigious studios and passionately supporting so many powerful and vulnerable women. I cannot recommend Beth's stunning classes enough. She has also taught our FYTTs the Ether/Yin portion of the fringe.yoga course and you are in for a treat as her sought after Femine Fire retreat is finally available in Tigmi, Marrakesh this February.

Check out her wise and inspiring answers to our questions below;

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Why Yoga?

The practice of Yoga is a practice of integration and the effect of integration offers a way to find ease and a more conscious, connected, loving and intelligent experience of myself, my relationships and my life overall. For me, it is one of the most comprehensive and far reaching practices that acknowledges every facet of my mind, every part of my being and every aspect of life ( and death). It provides me with a framework to see beyond my own ideas limitation and inspires new neural pathways and positive and honest ways in which to live more fully and potently. It has at the heart of it, the recognition of all things stemming coming from One source, and it always leads me to the experience of wholeness and a deep, quiet, restful sense of unwavering trust and inner peace.

What’s your biggest yoga achievement to date?

The biggest achievement of yoga/integration would be my life to date-the quality and level of consciousness of my relationship with myself, my partner, my family, my teachers and my students. I see all my my relationships as a reflection of my own psyche, the level of honesty and ability to feel love or compassion reveals the depth of my yoga practice. I look to my body and its health as one reflection of my commitment to daily practice, to food, to rest, to balance and my breath and nervous system, as a reflection of how i am responding to life and its ever changing events. Yoga provides so many tools to be with life as it is, and without unneccessary suffering, drama or pain so my level of inner peace is an example of how well i'm embodying yoga. 

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

In 5 years time i plan to be more deeply involved in service,  service to the blessing that is life itself, service to my loved ones, service to my students to whom I wish to offer more and more useful applications of techniques to bring about a more joyful, rich, conscious experience of their lives. I see my life getting richer, more abundent in depth, in relationship, in love and am open to any of the forms the universe may have in store for me. At present i'm enjoying the process of in depth research, practice and writing of courses and having a framework that lasts several weeks or months, to see changes, offer support and help the roots burrow down deeper for my students.

What/who is your inspiration?

My inspiration is not so much contained within a another person but rather the state of being Inspired itself. I feel Inspiration itself is always available if we consider it more widely; inspired to feed ourselves, to wake up, to read, to communicate, to open, to rest, to moved from within towards love and creative actions  . I am inspired by the sunset, the sea, watching a mother playfully teaching her children to stay curious and confident, by the intelligence of my own body as it heals, learns and adapts. Feeling the inter- connectedness between all things inspires an aliveness in me, a depth of feeling and being that is fully felt throughout. 

 

Most embarrassing Yoga story?

I've not got any classic/ comedic embarrassing yoga stories but i did take a minute to ask myself what 'embarrassing' meant to me. I asked myself if there was anything revealed that i felt shy about, or had difficultly in it being exposed to my students etc. I recalled an old romantic relationship that i had been quite deluded about and the level of unconsciousness that existed around it and the time when i decided to openly share what i had learned and how i had grown it. The times where i have felt shy to share are the moments that have connected me with vunerability, with the opportunity to practice compassion for myself and other and always resulted in a more wholesome experience of myself and my acceptance of reality as it is. Yoga itself seeks to bring light and not to cultivate hiding or fragmented versions of our lives of ourselves so there are no embarrassing moments as such for me, but rather numerous simple incidences to laugh and giggle from the silliness our minds can create and the joy that comes through when we share our humanity.

What unique gift do you offer your students?

My teaching focuses deeply of developing awareness and residing more confidently in ones heart centre. I wouldn't say this is unique to me as a teacher but that its may permeate in a unique way through everything that i teach and embody. My sense of awe at the interconnectedness between the body, mind and heart enables me to describe and inspire in a very articulate, practical and imaginative way that my students have often commented on re my teaching and found deeply helpful. I always invite them to explore and know from direct experience 

What makes a good teacher?

Being centered in the present, being in connection with the heart (the vibration of compassion) and a wish to remind and guide others back to an inspired open and confident state.

Any advice to help to inspire others to get on the mat?

Yoga is an opportunity to find a peacefulness within yourself, to recognise the value of self care, compassion and feeling at ease within your mind, your choices and your actions. Seek a teacher that or style of practice that inspires that and see how much yoga can benefit your life, health and relationships x 

Favourite quote to live by- 

At the moment of commitment, the entire universe conspires to assist you.
— Goethe
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Join Beth and us in Tigmi from the 7th - 10th February for her incredible FEMINE FIRE RETREAT!

Namaste,

Raquelle (fringe co-founder)

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