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EP 1.12: Greville Henwood – “Who am I? And what am I doing here?”.

Show Notes Episode 12

I recently had the pleasure of speaking to my friend and fellow yoga teacher Greville Henwood.

We open the podcast by talking about how Greville discovered yoga, by way of orange-clad monks when he was a small child and a journey that led in time to the Trocadero in Paris and eventually to the west coast of America.

We talk about California and the evolution of yoga in America.

He talks about how one of his students, his girlfriend, a senior yoga teacher and a dream in Shanghai pointed him in the direction of teaching yoga to children and we talk extensively about the philosophy and knowledge behind GroovyKids™ Yoga.

We discuss the world in the time of Covid-19 and the business of teaching yoga at this time and Greville talks about his hopes for a post-coronavirus world.

Keep in touch with Greville

Greville’s website.

GroovyKids Yoga website.

GroovyKidsYoga Store.  This is where you can purchase his classes for children and adults, in English and French.

GroovyKids Yoga Teacher Training online. Also in English and French.

Greville’s Insta Accounts – @grevillehenwood and @groovykidsyoga.

About Greville Henwood

Greville Henwood was born in England, but since the age of 18 he’s lived in Paris, then Copenhagen until he moved to Los Angeles in 1987.  He had intended to become an actor and indeed appeared in Jesus Christ Superstar and Star Trek.  However, somehow yoga has pretty much always been in his life.

He completed his yoga teacher trainings at the famous Yoga Works studio in Santa Monica with Maty Ezraty and Lisa Walford, and eventually he started teaching kids yoga.  He founded GroovyKids™ Yoga and now teaches GroovyKids™ Yoga teacher trainings all over the world.

Greville is based mainly in Los Angeles and is available for public and private teachings, as well as customised retreats and teacher trainings.

More about your host Katherine Biggs

Katherine Biggs is a yoga teacher and a studio owner, based out of Great Malvern Yoga in Worcestershire.  She is currently embracing life as an online yoga teacher and baking cookies to try and use up a bag of buckwheat flour.

You can connect with Kat on Instagram or Twitter or search the hashtag #noordinaryyogi.

EP 1.11: Julie Martin – “I am preparing people for a job that is in service to others”.

Show Notes Episode 11

Today’s episode is an interview I did with senior, international yoga teacher Julie Martin.  We recorded the interview on Sunday March 15th, just as Covid-19 was really starting to take a hold.  We were in the midst of the Great Toilet Paper Crisis of 2020 here in the UK and I don’t think there were any coronavirus cases in Hawaii where Julie lives at that time.

Anyway, the reason I reached out to Julie is because I came across this article she’d had published on Shut Up and Yoga, entitled The 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training and The Demise of Modern Yoga.  I felt that I had to speak to her.  The article is linked in the show notes, but I’m going to try and summarise it here.

In the article, Julie says that she no longer refers to herself as a yoga teacher.  Twenty-five years ago, it was a given that if you were a yoga teacher, you’d put a huge amount of time and energy into honing your skills and that enabled you to be able to share your knowledge in front of a class of yoga students.  In 2020 she says, in most major cities in the world you are never more than twenty feet away from someone who has done a 200-hour yoga teacher training.

She compares the minimum training requirements of other fields of body-work with the minimum training requirements of the yoga industry, specifically Yoga Alliance, and asks the question would you be prepared to put your trust in a physiotherapist for example, who had only done a three week, 200-hour training?  And why, given that yoga teachers must understand the principles of anatomy and movement, postures and their functions, modifications, breath, the nervous system, the mind, philosophy, common injuries and so much more besides, do we believe that 200 hours is enough as a minimum requirement for training and qualification?

I found our conversation very interesting and I think you should listen to it if you are thinking about committing to an initial yoga teacher training and if you train people to be yoga teachers yourself.

It’s funny, having never met Julie before and having only exchanged a couple of emails, we found we got on famously from the beginning and we never stopped talking for over an hour!  We both had so much to say to each other, so here she is…. Julie Martin, owner of Brahmani Yoga, based in Hawaii but sharing her 25 years of experience all over the world.

Things mentioned in the podcast

Kat’s article on Great Malvern Yoga – At Least Find Out My Name.

Gary Carter

Get in touch with Julie

Julie’s website, Brahmani Yoga

 On Instagram, @brahmanijulie

 Julie Martin, Brahmani Yoga on Facebook

About Julie Martin

15 years ago Julie set up Brahmani Yoga in Goa, India after teaching in Brighton, UK for over 8 years.  The largest motivation for the yoga centre was to create a community that could join together each winter season and practice without judgment, learn to let everything evolve and be totally inclusive to all yogis.  What grew out of that is an international reputation especially in training teachers to challenge the “norms” of the yoga world when they no longer work for us.  Julie’s work as a teacher trainer leaves students inspired and empowered. Now Julie travels around the world inviting students and teachers alike to join the Intelligent Yoga rebellion.

More about your host Katherine Biggs

Katherine Biggs is a yoga teacher and a studio owner, based out of Great Malvern Yoga in Worcestershire.  She is currently embracing life as an online yoga teacher and making tea out of ground elder.

You can connect with Kat on Instagram or Twitter or search the hashtag #noordinaryyogi.

EP 1.10: Corrina Gordon-Barnes on Pregnancy, Loss, Yoga and Pineapples.

Show Notes Episode 10

Corrina Gordon-Barnes – On Pregnancy, Loss, Yoga and the inevitable pineapple question.

You need to listen to this episode if you teach pregnancy yoga or if you have ever experienced miscarriage or loss of a baby.  Corrina has some wonderful insights for you.

We talk about how Corrina started her yoga practice and how it developed after her sister became a yoga teacher.  Since her sister moved away she has developed a daily practice using online classes and YouTube videos.

At the time of recording this podcast Corrina was 30 weeks pregnant with her second pregnancy.  As a result of a shortened cervix and being at high risk of a miscarriage she was on restricted movement and talks about how her yoga practice has had to be adapted because of this.

Corrina was first pregnant with Alfie.  Corrina and her wife Sam were told by their doctor that Alfie wasn’t going to make it when she went into early labour at 22+3 weeks.  She talks about how her yoga practice, specifically breathing practices and her ability to be present, helped her immensely when she was in labour with Alfie.

Corrina talks about her feelings and emotions for Alfie.  To someone this has never happened to, the loss of an infant can perhaps seem utterly tragic, but she talks about it very differently.

When she came home from the hospital without a baby she wanted to be able to participate in some online post-natal classes.  She struggled to find anything suitable where the teacher wasn’t talking about babies.  Eventually she contacted a yoga teacher she liked on YouTube and asked if she could create a class specifically for bereaved mothers. 

Channel: Pregnancy and Postpartum TV – Jessica Pumple

Yoga for Bereaved Mothers – This is the practice is dedicated to Alfie and there’s a clip of Corrina at the beginning talking about her journey with Alfie.

We also talk about pregnancy yoga for women who have already experienced a loss and that it’s not all joyful and happy, which is what tends to be the tone of most pregnancy yoga classes. 

At the time this podcast is released, Corrina is 37 weeks pregnant, her cervical stich has been removed and the new arrival could be any day now.  Please keep Corrina and her family in your thoughts and wish her well on the next stage of her journey.

About Corrina

Corrina Gordon-Barnes is Certified Professional Coactive Coach (CPCC) who specialises in relationships and difficult life circumstances.

She is also a qualified teacher (primary, secondary & EFL), trained at Cambridge University.

Corrina Gordon-Barnes on Facebook

@corrinagb on Twitter and Instagram

Corrina’s website

Corrina’s talk for Beyond Bea Charity Conference about their journey with Alfie.   

More about your host Katherine Biggs

Katherine Biggs is a yoga teacher and a studio owner, based out of Great Malvern Yoga in Worcestershire.  She is currently embracing life as an online yoga teacher and making tea out of ground elder.

You can connect with Kat on Instagram or Twitter or search the hashtag #noordinaryyogi.

EP 1.09: Alexandra Pope – “It’s about community, learning and being stretched”.

Show Notes Episode 9

This week I’m talking to my yoga student Alexandra Pope.  She was one of my very first students, quite a long time ago now and we talk about the journey we’ve been on together for the last eight years.

Listen to Alex talk about her yoga practice and what keeps her coming back to the mat.  She talks about the non-negotiables of her healthy lifestyle and we also speak about the work Alex does and how it relates to yoga.

 This is another episode recorded before Covid-19, so you’ll be pleased to know it doesn’t get a mention.

About Alexandra Pope

Alexandra is a co-founder of Red School, where she teaches a radical new approach to women’s health and wellbeing; creativity and leadership; and spiritual life based on the power of our menstruality consciousness.Author of The Wild Genie: the Healing Power of Menstruation (Sally Milner Publishing, 2001), The Woman’s Quest – a 13 session self guiding course (self published, 2006) and co-author of The Pill; are you sure it’s for you? (Allen and Unwin, 2008), Wild Power (Hay House, 2017) – see link below.

Things mentioned in the podcast.

More about your host Katherine Biggs

Katherine Biggs is a yoga teacher and a studio owner, based out of Great Malvern Yoga in Worcestershire.  Having taught over 3000 hours of yoga, she is on a mission to make yoga accessible to everyone.  She believes there is No Ordinary Yogi.  Anyone can practice yoga. 

You can connect with Kat on Instagram or Twitter or search the hashtag #noordinaryyogi.

EP 1.08: Paula Mitten – “The older I get, the less I’m attached to the physical practice”.

Show Notes Episode 8

As I say in the introduction, I wanted to put this episode out now as a tribute to the help recently offered to me by internationally renowned yoga teacher Paula Mitten.  Paula gave me the knowledge and the confidence to take my yoga studio online during this time of Covid-19.  I am truly, truly grateful for what she has empowered me to do over the last few weeks.

 As this episode was recorded before Covid-19 really took a hold, we don’t mention in at all.  Not once!

Paula talks about what led her to begin a yoga practice and how she began to experience the benefits straight away.  She shares how her journey to becoming a yoga teacher began and we have a little reminisce about flicking through the classifieds in Yoga Journal to look for teacher trainings.

We have both made yoga our full-time careers and we talk about how we both always intended to become teachers and how we both reached a point in our lives where there was no option but to teach.

We speak at length about letting go of the need to get somewhere in our posture practice.  Stop trying so hard.  Don’t focus on the outcome.  It’s the mind that stops you sometimes, not the body.

Paula talks about what her personal yoga practice looks like and how it has evolved, especially since her children were born.  How breath work helps in keeping her calm and rational!

I ask Paula about her teaching yoga teacher trainings and the rewards of seeing her students blossom into the role of yoga teachers.  Paula tell us about how she is supporting yoga teachers through her Yoga Success Academy which helps teachers to establish themselves.

She offers some great tips for beginners and for if you are thinking about starting a yoga practice.

Things mentioned in the podcast

Frog Lotus Yoga International – where we did our yoga teacher trainings.

About Paula Mitten
Paula Mitten is a Senior Yoga Teacher, a yoga and prenatal teacher trainer with an expertise in Anatomy and The Business Of Yoga. She is the owner of Durga Yoga Ireland, Yoga Success Academy and the creator of Yoga Teachers Masterclass; an online interview series with top yoga experts from all over the globe.

Stay in touch with Paula 

On Facebook

Durga Yoga Studio in Ireland

Yoga Teachers Masterclass Interview Series

Yoga Teacher Success Academy

Instagram

More about your host Katherine Biggs

Katherine Biggs is a yoga teacher and a studio owner, based out of Great Malvern Yoga in Worcestershire.  Having taught over 3000 hours of yoga, she is on a mission to make yoga accessible to everyone.  She believes there is No Ordinary Yogi.  Anyone can practice yoga. 

You can connect with Kat on Instagram or Twitter or search the hashtag #noordinaryyogi.

EP 1.07: Where has Kat been?

Show notes Episode 7

Why hasn’t Kat put out an episode of No Ordinary Yogi since March 12th?  Listen and find out as Kat talks about taking her yoga studio online, the difficulties of teaching online, and a very brief rant about people teaching free online yoga classes.  Honestly, it’s so brief you won’t even notice it!   We “chamble” our way through Kat spending five hours trimming her bush yesterday (it’s a quince) and why a little bit of what you fancy does you good (in this case, cheese).

I think I just needed to talk and say hi.  Thanks for listening!

Listen to the podcast:

Things mentioned in the podcast:

See the timetable of online yoga classes at Great Malvern Yoga.

How to stay in touch with Kat:

Instagram: @gmyoga – I look at this account daily.

Twitter: @GMYogaKat – I have a love/hate thing with Twitter. Sometimes I use it, sometimes I don’t. Don’t message me through Twitter because it could be months before I get back to you.

More about your host Katherine Biggs

Katherine Biggs is a yoga teacher and a studio owner, based out of Great Malvern Yoga in Worcestershire.  Having taught over 3000 hours of yoga, she is on a mission to make yoga accessible to everyone.  She believes there is No Ordinary Yogi.  Anyone can practice yoga. 

EP 1.06: Helen Rebello – “Yoga taught me to embrace all of me, no matter what”.

Show notes Episode 6

In this episode I’m talking to my good friend and yoga teacher, Helen Rebello. Helen is the Founder of the Magical Life Movement and author of The Magical Unfolding, a marvellous book that offers the reader a step-by-step process to discover who they are and what they want.  (Link at the bottom of these notes).


Helen is a soul mentor to midlife women who want to do their next decade differently, so that they can fulfil their dreams and honour their potential.  She believes that life is too short to spend it being overwhelmed and so that’s what she does – she blends her eastern and western wellness training with movement, mindfulness, meditation & mindset tools to empower midlife women to take control of their destiny.  She is trained in Cranio-Sacral Therapy, Shiatsu, Reiki and Yoga and she’s about to become a Qoya teacher too!

What you can expect to hear in this podcast:

We talk about how and why Helen started her yoga practice.  What she got from her yoga practice initially and how it helped her cope with her stressful job in the NHS.  Find out what kept us both going back to yoga class in the first instance and Helen talks about when yoga started to become important to her. 

Helen talks about the yoga teacher training she did in Goa with Helen Noakes and the reason she did it.  Spoiler: she didn’t want to be a yoga teacher at all!  We talk about those first scary classes we taught and how we still both suffer from imposter syndrome sometimes.

We talk about “Life Before Yoga” and “Life After Yoga”.  How life has never been the same since Helen did her yoga teacher training.

We talk about what yoga means to us and how yoga has supported Helen during the current turning point in her life.  How she doesn’t practice yoga daily – “it’s not just about getting on your mat every day” and we find out what helps Helen stay connected to herself.

Helen shares a top tip for teaching a good yoga class and talks about what she finds challenging about teaching sometimes.  We talk about the sorts of yoga classes we like to attend and we share what we don’t teach, even though we are qualified to!

It’s just a good old chat between two yoga teachers.  Listen in, we have a right old laugh.

Things mentioned in the podcast:
Reclaim Yourself Retreats
Helen Noakes – Scaravelli  Yoga Teacher

How to stay in touch with Helen:

www.helenrebello.com

Instagram: @helenrebelloauthor

The Magical Unfolding by Helen Rebello.  The book is 50% off on Amazon for the whole month of March 2020 (not an affiliate link).

Helen’s podcast: The Turning Point Project

More about your host Katherine Biggs

Katherine Biggs is a yoga teacher and a studio owner, based out of Great Malvern Yoga in Worcestershire.  Having taught over 3000 hours of yoga, she is on a mission to make yoga accessible to everyone.  She believes there is No Ordinary Yogi.  Anyone can practice yoga. 

You can connect with Kat on Instagram or Twitter or search the hashtag #noordinaryyogi.

EP1.05 – John & Helen Rees – “The biggest thing is making the commitment to yourself.”

Show Notes Episode 5

In this fifth episode of No Ordinary Yogi podcast, your host Katherine Biggs talks to her friends and former yoga students John & Helen Rees.

“The biggest thing is making the commitment to yourself.”

John and Helen are in their sixties and were my yoga students for a couple years whilst they were still living in Malvern.  I apologise that the sound isn’t great.  We were all preparing for Storm Dennis and it was blowing an absolute hooley where they are in Snowdonia.

We discuss what makes a good yoga teacher and how they are getting back into yoga after a bit of a break.  John talks about when he started his yoga practice and things he finds hard about it.  And Helen talks about her round and about journey onto the mat via Pilates and rehabilitating her sports injuries.  They both talk about when their practices became important to them and how no two yoga practices are ever the same.  We also talk about the emotional support offered by a yoga practice and motivating yourself to getting to yoga.

One element of the conversation I found particularly interesting was when we talked about athletes and yoga’s place in modern sport.  John played some seriously high-level rugby in his time and I found his insights about how they trained then versus how modern athletes train now very interesting.  I wish we’d had more time to talk about this.  But maybe in another podcast, eh?

And finally, we hear about the joys of living in Snowdonia and all about what they’re doing in their “retirement”.

John and Helen always have been two of the most real people I know.  There are no pretences with them. I hope you’ll love them as much as I do.


About John and Helen Rees

John and Helen live in Snowdonia with their three dogs and their daughter Elizabeth who was on Episode 2 of this podcast. 

John is officially retired, but he runs photography workshops around where they live in Snowdonia.  His website is here.  You can also find his beautifully curated Instagram account here.

Helen is a nurse and works in the local GP surgery, as well as looking after the shepherd’s hut on their property – it sounds flipping idyllic.  If you’ve not listened to the podcast – do(!) because they tell us all about life in Snowdonia.  If you fancy visiting them and staying at their shepherd’s hut, you can find it here.

EP 1.04: Jacqui Smith – “I can trust my body now”.

Show Notes Episode 4

In this fourth (already!) episode of No Ordinary Yogi podcast, your host Katherine Biggs talks to her yoga student the Right Honourable Jacqui Smith.

We talk about what led Jacqui to seek out a yoga practice in the first place and when her yoga practice started to become important to her.  We talk about the possibilities of doing yoga in parliament and what political life was like for her.  Jacqui tells us how her practice has evolved, what she likes about it and the difference it has made to her life.  She also opens up about how her yoga practice has supported her through recent tough times.  We have a good giggle about what really happens in our yoga classes and she offers her words of wisdom for anyone thinking about starting a yoga practice.  We move on to talk about what life is like post-parliament and how Jacqui’s job inspires her.

Honestly, we talk about so much stuff! Listen in because it’s a really interesting conversation! 


About Jacqui Smith

Jacqui Smith is a member of the British Labour Party.  She used to be a secondary school teacher until she became the Member of Parliament for Redditch in 1997, holding many ministerial positions before eventually serving as the UK’s first female Home Secretary.

Jacqui left parliament in 2010 and she is now the Chair of University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust and the Chair of the Sandwell Children’s Trust providing social care services to vulnerable children.  She is also Chair of the Trustees for The Jo Cox Foundation and the list goes on.  I hope I’m not doing her a disservice by not listing absolutely everything she does here because it is a very long list!

As well as all of the above, Jacqui co-presents a podcast called For The Many with Iain Dale.  I am a bit biased, but I think it’s the best political podcast out there!

You can connect with Jacqui over on Twitter if you are interested in finding out more about what she does.

More about your host Katherine Biggs

Katherine Biggs is a yoga teacher and a studio owner, based out of Great Malvern Yoga in Worcestershire.  Having taught over 3000 hours of yoga, she is on a mission to make yoga accessible to everyone.  She believes there is No Ordinary Yogi.  Anyone can practice yoga. 

You can connect with Kat on Instagram or Twitter or search the hashtag #noordinaryyogi.

Launch Day!

In January 2020 I decided that this is going to be the year of being brave. I like to choose a word for the year, I’ve usually forgotten it by March, but I know I won’t be forgetting this year’s word in a hurry.

Brave? I wouldn’t necessarily say that waking up on January 15th with a head full of ideas about a yoga podcast was brave. Bloody foolish, more like. What do I know about making podcasts? Or interviewing people? And besides, I can’t stand the sound of my own voice. Why on earth would I want to make a podcast? You can read all about the theory behind the podcast here and you can read all about what you can expect to hear, here. Haha! That’s quite funny.

Feeling the fear and doing it anyway.

I like a project. I like learning new skills. I work better when I’m busy. If I’ve got twenty things to do in a day, I will have a good go at cracking through fifteen of them. If I’ve got three things to do, I’ll be lucky if I get one of them done and I will have wasted three hours procrastinating about doing the other two. Getting to launch day has been a massive effort and I didn’t even have time to hate the sound of my own voice. I’ve listened to it so much now anyway that actually I don’t mind it so much anymore!

As I said yesterday on the No Ordinary Yogi Instagram account (no, I haven’t put any widgets on the website yet – there’s just so much to do), if I’d waited until I had the perfect 3000×3000 pixel artwork for my podcast cover, or if I’d waited until I’d made this website more slick, I would have been waiting forever. Sometimes you just gotta be bad at something for a while and then the more you do it, the better you get. Like yoga!

If you’ve read this far, then you’re obviously interested in what I’m talking about. So here’s my question for you – What are you prepared to be brave about in your life? Be bad at something new. Leave a comment and let me know what you are brave enough to be bad at because I’m a nosey parker and I like to know these things. Also, subscribe to my podcast please! Thanks very much. And if you like the podcast and you want to talk to me about your yoga practice, please get in touch because There. Is. No. Ordinary. Yogi.