For as long as I can remember, moving has been an instinctive way for me to know myself and discover what it means to be alive. My formal involvement with movement techniques dates from 1981, when, at the age of 18, I did my first Iyengar yoga class. At about the same time I began to train in ballet and contemporary dance techniques, and did class daily for the next 18 years.

I continued to do the odd yoga class, trying out different styles. Then, in August 2001, I came across astanga vinyasa and fell in love with it. I became a dedicated practitioner, finding in this intensely physical, moving form of yoga a sense of immanence in body. The discipline of daily engagement with my body has always been a backbone for me. What happens on my mat now tends to be a response to my in-the-moment needs and may not resemble asana (yoga postures) according to any regular understanding; however, astanga vinyasa remains a core practice.

I’m proud to be registered as an Elder yoga teacher with the Independent Yoga Network through personal practice and study. I did a short astanga vinyasa adjustment training with Abby Daniel in 2002, followed by another with Tim Miller in 2003. Shortly after that, a local astanga student asked me if I would teach her and a group of friends, and the ball was rolling. Over the years, I have been fortunate enough to work with some wonderful astanga teachers, both the sung and the unsung; however, my main teacher has always been my body on the mat. In 2003, I also qualified as a Phoenix Rising yoga therapist, becoming one of a small number of certified Phoenix Rising practitioners in the UK. In 2016 I was one of the first cohort of yoga therapists to be grandparented into registration with the International Association of Yoga Therapists. I worked with Paul Grilley for the first time in 2006, began teaching yin yoga not long after that, and have since trained as a yin yoga teacher, these days offering a restorative form of yin.

In the summer of 2001, I gave up performance dance techniques and began to explore experientially oriented dance. My ongoing dance practice over many years was the 5Rhythms of Gabrielle Roth, in tandem with my own personal combination of somatic moving, sounding, drawing and writing, but I have also experimented with forms including trance dance, contact improvisation and authentic movement. I have been involved with Open Floor dance movement since its inception and was one of the first cohort of teacher trainees, qualifying as an Open Floor teacher in 2017.

Over the decades, my practice has been challenged and enriched by Ehlers Danlos / Joint Hypermobility Syndrome, and I specialise in working with people with hypermobility. I am autistic and welcome other neurodivergent people to my classes and therapeutic spaces. (More about how to include us in movement spaces is here.) My other therapeutic specialisms are eating disorders and developmental trauma (repeated childhood trauma sustained through experiences such as violence and sexual abuse). I also teach occasionally in the queer community, and have taught extensively in professional dance settings.

For me, my body moving is a source of eternal fascination. What arises there offers a fluid continuum of entry points into subtler understanding and fuller being. When I am able to open my awareness unconditionally to what’s happening, my ‘limitations’, injuries, difficulties and imbalances turn out to be invitations to repattern and recalibrate through my body as a whole person. Each of our physical experiences comes to us as the seed of a blessing, as an invitation to wake up to ourselves and relax a little further into our humanity. Moving body practices offer us a way to receive that blessing.

I feel privileged to be able to pass on my little piece of these wonderful transformative practices and hope that you will be as enriched by them as I continue to be.

Registration and certification

• Yoga Register Teacher (Elder): Independent Yoga Network.
• Certified Phoenix Rising yoga therapist: Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy Center.
• Registered Yoga Therapist: International Association of Yoga Therapists.
• Registered Somatic Movement Educator and Therapist: International Somatic Movement Education and Therapy Association.
• Certified Open Floor teacher: Open Floor International.
• Registered Conscious Movement Teacher: International Conscious Movement Teachers Association.

Anything less than joy is ‘something’ that wants your attention. It has something important to teach you. You can try to get rid of it, or you can go into it to get all the good out of it.”—Aileen Crow