At the age of 40, Lesley decided that it was probably time she paid more attention to her flexibility. She tried a yoga class and found it impossible, so was immediately hooked. She knew her body was a bit tight, but didn’t fully appreciate how bad it was until a few years later when she attempted Visvamitrasana and badly injured her shoulder. A referral to a physiotherapist revealed that the shoulder injury was the just tip of the iceberg: she had 3-curve scoliosis, hyper-kyphosis, hyper-lordosis and chronic tension throughout her whole body – the result of too many hours sat hunched over a computer, for 20+ years.
From that point, Lesley shifted the focus of her yoga practice to undoing the damage to her body, restoring her full range of motion and re-learning how to move and breathe well. It’s a continuing journey.
“My classes reflect my own yoga experience. I learned the hard way that it’s a bad idea to rush things, to be influenced by peer-pressure and to try to force the body into a pre-defined shape. I never want any of my students to go through that experience.”
“In my Yang classes, my students move slowly, with strength and control, feeling how their body is behaving and reacting. I encourage them to play, to test their body’s limits of balance and movement, but only within a safe, natural range of motion, with no pressure to achieve an end result. That said, I do sometimes get a bit over-excited when a student holds a new pose for the first time.”
“For me, Yin and myofascial release are crucial parts of a yoga practice, when you really become attuned to the stresses and tensions of the body, when you learn how to maintain and restore all of your body’s systems. Being able to relax, body and mind, is far far more challenging than the hardest Yang posture.”
Lesley completed her YA200 Ashtanga Yoga in 2013 at Tirisula Yoga, and has been coached by Brigitte Lichtenberger (PhysioActive) since 2014.