Sophy Hoare

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'I am based in Clapham South, where I run occasional classes and workshops. I also teach at various venues in the British Isles and abroad'.

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Sophy Hoare : Yoga Teacher

I went to my first yoga class in 1970 at the former Dance Centre in Floral Street, Covent Garden. The teacher was Penny Nield-Smith, a student of B.K.S. Iyengar. Penny mainly taught large classes for the London adult education authority and never taught ‘advanced’ postures, but she taught a great deal about attention and awareness.

After six years, Penny encouraged me to start teaching and I attended classes with several other Iyengar teachers to expand my practice. I had a strong desire to free my body of its limitations but I never discovered a way which satisfied me. It was as though I was searching for an elusive or non-existent key.

In 1991 I met Vanda Scaravelli who invited me to become her student. In my first lesson I knew immediately that Vanda was offering me this key. After that I visited her in Italy once or twice a year to learn how to work with the principles she had discovered in her own practice. At Vanda’s house I met Diane Long and recognised in her practice the same freedom that I saw in Vanda. I invited Diane to teach me and my students in London and since then we have been meeting regularly to practise and teach together.

About this yoga . . .

The emphasis is not on achieving postures but using them to undo tension and find integration. The practice is an ongoing exploration of the relationship between the parts of the body and between our movements and the breath, the ground and the space around us. Gradually a new network of muscles is brought into use. Then our movements come from the spine and bring us back to the spine and the whole body pulls together. We train our attention so that we can feel more, impose less, and allow the intelligence of the body to reveal itself.

To read more about this practice, click on the Articles link.