Questions & Answers
So many questions, all the time in the world. When it comes to your FAQs about sound and more, these are the things I am asked the most. If you have a different question, just get in touch.
I've never done yoga before. Which class should I come to?
If you're at the start of your yoga journey, a 1:1 is the BEST place to begin. There are thousands of poses and endless ways in which to vary them to suit different bodies, conditions and preferences. It's a minefield, and one that could potentially be challenging to navigate in a group environment where it's tempting to simply copy the person in front of you. Their body is not your body - doing so will likely will result in frustration, confusion, and possibly injury. Nobody wants that. Start with a dedicated 75 minute session where we work out the best yoga method or style to suit you, and then set you up in key poses, so you arrive in class with your own rulebook and variations to suit whatever is going on for you personally. 1:1 sessions are available in discounted blocks if you'd like to continue personal development.
I'm recovering from an injury or have a longer term health condition. Can I come to yoga?
Yoga is for everybody. EVERY BODY. Postures are just suggestions - the invitation is to find your own interpretation of what is cued (this is particularly true in the Rocket!) Modifications are always available and are actively encouraged - a pose is not serving you if you are forcing yourself into an uncomfortable shape, and can definitely be dangerous if you try to push into a pose that your physical body is not able to cope with. Discuss any health conditions or injuries with me at the beginning or the class, or even better - by emailing or calling before attending. That way I can give you the most supportive guidance in adapting the class to suit your needs. If you are working with physical challenges then I'd suggest the Ashtanga MPS is a good place to start as there is time in each posture to work in a modification, and by nature the class is all about adapting a more challenging sequence to make it widely accessible.
How often should I come to class?
As much as you like. If your intention is to see changes in your physical strength and flexibility, then twice a week with some work at home will certainly put you on the path. However it's internal transformation we are most interested in, and with focus and commitment to your practice, this will come every time you step on your mat. Although all classes are drop-in, because life loves to throw us curveballs, it's great to try to commit to a weekly session, espacially as I tend to work in themes and story arcs over a few weeks at a time.
Yoga is kind of cult-y, right?
Some people think so. But the truth is that doing yoga MAKES YOU HAPPY - uplifted, empowered and excited to be alive! And of course, we all want to share the love and get as many people as possible experiencing the magic. Philosophy is a critical element of my teaching and is in every class. The chanting often freaks newcomers out, but DOES have a purpose - it's all tied in with the benefits of sound and vibration, as well as creating focus and honouring tradition. However if it's really putting you off, let me know and I'll let you know which classes are chant-free.
What even IS a gong bath?
A gong bath is a type of sound healing, an ancient art with modern applications – we use it to bring body and mind back into balance, allowing us to feel more fully alive. A gong bath can also be used as a healing tool (there is lots of research showing that sound healing benefits many physical and especially mental and psychological conditions), as a method of meditation, or simply for relaxation and general wellbeing.
What happens in a gong bath?
You will be asked to lie down on a yoga mat prepared with blankets and a pillow, and simply rest. You won’t need to take any other action, other than participate in preparatory breathing exercises (which I will guide you through) if you wish. If you would prefer to sit rather than lie, please let me know in advance, although lying down is recommended unless you have a limiting spinal or other physical condition. Once you are settled I'll move you into relaxation with a guided meditation, and then will begin making sounds using a variety of instruments - mostly the gongs (pretty much giant cymbals) but also using drums, singing bowls and a variety of shamanic instruments like rattles and flutes. At the end of the sound I'll ask you to stay still and quiet before guiding you back into the physical plane and discussing your experience, if you'd like to. Every experience is unique. You won’t hurt, or feel pain, as a result of the gong. However it’s worth noting that much like in deep yoga poses, emotional releases can sometimes overwhelm you during sound healing, and you may feel a rush of emotion during or after your session. Some people also report heightened joy or the rush of bliss of a deep meditation (if you practice Kundalini yoga be especially prepared for this), and occasionally out of body or ‘trippy’ experiences. Empaths or those who practice shamanism can expect this more notably. Physically, the gongs sometimes reach blockages and start to break them down. If you have tight or torn muscles, or any other physical condition that gives you discomfort, you may find that the gongs are drawn to it and you have a sense of the affected area vibrating or responding. This can carry on after the treatment or may just stop at the end of the sound – everyone is different and recording your experiences will help us to learn more.
What's the difference between a gong bath/immersion and a sound journey?
This is the way that I define different offerings. My gong baths/immersions are group events, usually of around 10-20 people. I prefer to hold them in yoga studios or special spaces. In these events we are sharing our vibrations and energy, and they are primarily about the magical gongs, although other instruments will feature incidentally. Sound Journeys are how I deliver sound on a 1:1 or 1:2 basis, where we can work with specific intentions and focus on your individual needs. These sessions generally also include reiki. I'll decide which instruments to use after our initial discussion, and although the gongs are always the primary tool, the private space allows us to explore more sounds uniquely for you.
Is sound therapy a medicine? Will it affect my existing condition?
There is lots of science showing that gong therapy is effective in combating depression, confusion and low energy – I would suggest that this is as much to do with the effects of deep meditation! We refer to the experience as therapy or healing – I prefer to use therapy but this has no specific connotations in a medical sense. I’m not a doctor, although I can share experiences of personal healing as a result of my own journeys with sound. I can’t say whether or not your existing condition will be healed or affected – although the restorative benefits of all forms of meditation are well documented, and a sense of deep wellbeing and supercharged existence is certainly a common result!