welcome to om exchange! Connect with yogis everywhere. We can help you to reach people and share your yoga offerings including retreats, workshops and events.
My Rickety Yoga Journey, by Kelly Brooks
I was introduced to yoga through a work colleague who suggested that it would help repair a reoccurring cycling injury and would reduce further injuries. My classes took place in the gym of a law firm I worked at. Despite my senior teacher being trained by Iyengar himself the set up wasn’t in any way spiritual. I wouldn’t have even called it yoga in the sense of how I previously thought of yoga and we never practiced headstands or advanced postures. The beginner’s class at work never improved because nobody could commit to classes every week because of their busy work demands.
The first time I saw a headstand I was in Thailand and vowed to be able to do one safely by my 30th Birthday. I finally did a free standing one, on my own, in the middle of the room a month before my 30th birthday, It’s probably the hardest yoga pose I have overcome.
Last year, having just completed my masters the yoga was too integrated into my life and I decided to quit my job to embark on a yoga teacher training course in India and to take a complete career change.
Does yoga have to be spiritual?
After studying in India I wanted to share the spiritual journey I had taken, but I also still remembered how far removed that is from most people’s day to day life. The kind of yoga I teach is not pure yoga, but what I’m trying to do is open it up to people who may not think yoga is for them. I want to make it more accessible.
For most people, being on a yoga mat for 90 minutes, with the silence is too much. People are not used to stilling their mind so things will come up. I offer people an avenue to get the benefits of yoga but making it fun, by playing music and introducing meditation and intentions in an accessible way. So you still get that quiet state in your mind at the end of class. If someone doesn’t like a traditional yoga class it doesn’t mean that yoga isn’t for them. In my experience everyone needs the benefits of yoga in their life, which is why it’s so magical.
In my classes I spend time deconstructing the moves, it’s more like an anatomy class and we focus on alignment and strengthening our muscles to give us more support. There are different classes depending on your yoga need and we are challenged yet have fun.
Don’t get me wrong, I need the spiritual side of yoga in myself practice. Because of the style of yoga I teach I crave that silence and mindfulness and inward focus you get. I studied in India which was such a privilege and I believe in the ancient scriptures, they make sense.
I just can’t forget how I felt when I left my job and needed to find a new space to do yoga. I fell into a very spiritual yoga studio and having done yoga for 4 years at this point in my naivety I thought I knew all about yoga and the Oming, chanting and heavy breathing put me out of my comfort zone, because I didn’t understand why we were doing it.
Why I use music in class
My own self practice on the mat evolved because I started to play house music, to keep me in positions for longer. The music recreated happy places and memories in my mind and put me in a meditative state. It made me realise that house music brings a euphoric feeling to my practice and helped me to challenge myself.
It gives yoga entertainment value. It makes it a little more fun, especially for people who don’t have a quieter place in the mind. It’s more relatable, something to connect with. Sometimes people get lost in the song, and purist yogis would say that’s a bad thing. I would prefer someone to come back because of the easy going side of my classes and over time introduce the spiritual side.
I want to make the benefits of yoga available to people who need yoga, to remove the image is that it is just for hippies, yoga can be very spiritual but equally the body will take what it needs from each class. I offer yoga with a twist.
Yoga every damn day
For me yoga is resetting the body on a daily basis, even if you just take 5 minutes every morning when you first get out of bed. Throughout the day we put strain on our body whether it’s walking in heels or carrying a bag on one shoulder. Strain is put on the spine and the body compensates making our alignment uneven, leading to long term injury. Yoga is a way to reset your body and alignment. Because each movement is with the breath it teaches us to breath properly down to our belly rather than in short anxious shallow breaths at the top of our chest. It is a whole way of life for me, incorporating the food I eat, my happiness and then the added fitness element.
Club yoga is the new concept of yoga to house music, using synchronised yoga moves to a beat its a great way to keep your fitness us and have a good night. It’s a brand new yoga experience using all the senses to leave you feeling fully relaxed and a hangover free guarantee. How many times have you had an amazing practice and no-one to share it with? Club yogi have the opportunity to go and socialised afterwards if they fancy it, in a yummy restaurant. It’s ideal so you can make new friends and share your yoga experience.
Kelly Brooks is a yoga teacher, blogger and writer in London and Europe. She studied in India. Her classes are dynamic and funky described as yoga with a twist. Her classes are fun, strong, and different each time. The use of unique music will make you bend to the beat in a mix of Iyengar, Ashtanga, and Vinyasa flow. You don’t need to “om” to join Kelly’s classes- you just need to be open to trying something new and she’ll make sure you walk away with a smile! Kelly is an example of someone who gave up their fancy corporate career and followed her heart to what she LOVES! Recently launching her hit club nights in Vauxhall she wants to change the imagine of yoga and offer an accessible space to give people the mindlessness and relaxation they don’t realise they need.
If you are based in South London (Vauxhall) or just passing through and want to join Kelly for a funky yoga session to a beat, the drop in rate is £8 per class. Check out her blog Kelly Brooks Yoga, her Facebook Page, Twitter, and her Instagram for daily inspiration.
To contact Kelly or book a class e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 07 908 185 772.