HealthWorks Practitioner: Pia Wallace
Zen Yoga Teacher
Mob: 07934 289102
"When you breathe in, you bring all of yourself together, body and mind; you become one".
Thich Nhat Hanh, Zen Master
How Yoga can benefit your Health
We don't live to do yoga. We do yoga so that we can more fully live. Yoga is like returning to a place where we come from. It is restorative for both the body and the mind. Habitual tension gets built up over a life time and often becomes the norm. Yoga helps to remove this unnecessary muscular tension and instead builds muscle tone. Yoga also keeps the spine supple. Most movements in life are forward whether we’re on the computer, shopping, carrying our children or driving. Yoga incorporates many postures that involve bending backwards or rotating the spine which keeps it flexible and ensures a healthy blood supply to the vertebral discs. Yoga doesn’t only have powerful effects on the muscular-skeletal system, it affects all systems throughout the body including the digestive, respiratory and nervous system.
My own Yoga Journey
I started yoga in my early 20s and was immediately hooked because of how it made me feel. Since then I have explored many different types of yoga including Ashtanga Yoga and Iyengar Yoga. When I came across Zen Yoga I felt inspired to take yoga to a new level. I was fortunate to train under Zen Master Julian (“Daizan”) Skinner. He has synthesised the most useful elements of what he learnt both within and outside of Zen monasteries. He has studied with many teachers in China and Japan. He also studied in India with Sri Pattabhi Jois, the founder of the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute in Mysore. What I really value within Zen Yoga is that it allows freedom of style and encourages self expression through continuous development.
Brief History of Zen Yoga
Zen Yoga comes from Japan and is based upon movement work originating from Zen monasteries. Its roots stretch back two and a half millenia through China and India to the Buddha. Zen yoga itself is not a religion and can be practised by anyone of any faith. Zen Yoga was brought over to Europe in 2007 by my teacher Daizan who set up Zenways, an organisation that promotes Zen Yoga and Zen Meditation.
There are three parts to Zen Yoga:
1. Physical Alignment: How you establish and relate to your bodily structure has a powerful effect on the state of your mind.
2. Energy: We are composed of energy (called ‘ki’ in Japanse) and this energy can be fostered, enhanced and dispersed through various yoga sequences.
3. Mindfulness: Yoga encourages you to be in the present moment (known as ‘hen’ in Japanese).
The breath comes into all of these parts and Zen Yoga classes therefore include pranayama (breath development) exercises.
Zen Yoga is based upon the Eastern system of the five elements and as a result recognise five seasons in the year (besides the four seasons that we are familiar with, there is the harvest time which falls in late summer). Certain energy lines (meridians) need more support in certain seasons. When there is too much (or too little energy) in an energy channel it affects the associated organs and has emotional consequences. Zen yoga incorporates yoga postures that have an affinity with the meridians associated with the current season.
Classes & Prices
Tailor-made yoga classes (60 minutes): £45
Classes may be designed to take into account organs (and emotional states) that need extra support for the individual.
Pia also runs classes at the Forres Community Centre:
Beginners: Tuesdays at 5:30pm (75 minutes)
Intermediates: Saturdays at 9:30am (75 minutes)
For further information or to arrange a tailor-made yoga class please contact Pia as above.