Alix is based in Totnes, Devon, married with 3 grown up daughters, and for 35 years enjoyed work as a piano teacher. Recently she has qualified both as a Yoga Teacher and as a Yoga Therapist, through the Devon School of Yoga and has been teaching Yoga each week in central Totnes, as well as building up a client base for yoga therapy.
My classes are for Over fifties or for those who prefer a more gentle class. I teach Hatha Yoga, which is an umbrella term covering many types of yoga. I teach a gentle class to accommodate people with a variety of different health issues. I am happy to change my lesson plan to adapt to what my students find is possible and enjoyable. This may change from week to week. The class is quite varied and includes breathing techniques, walking and seated meditation, relaxation, gentle stretches and flow to open the joints and loosen the body. We do postures on the floor, from seated, inversions, and standing poses, balances and twists.
I encourage people to listen to their own body and not to do anything which causes them discomfort or pain. If a certain posture causes difficulty pull out of it gently and we will see if there is some way of adapting it to suit you. Because I am over sixty now, I am conscious that some things may feel awkward or difficult for our older age group and I would always encourage people to err on the side of caution. Over time we build up strength, flexibility and endurance, and if we continue to practice yoga into retirement it is one of the very best ways of keeping ourselves young, healthy and happy. My classes always finish with a Yoga Nidra – a guided relaxation which is especially beneficial for that wondrous inner calm and healing.
My work for 35 years was teaching the piano to children and adults, both in my home and in schools. I loved teaching the piano and organised regular concerts at our house, where there were often upwards of 40 people including all the family members. At one point I had over 30 pupils. I enjoyed this contact with children and with the whole family, and I would have carried on with this wonderful musical way of life if I had not started to develop tinnitus and sound sensitivity in 2008. My tinnitus was exacerbated by the loudness of the piano, and the fact that I was teaching in a room surrounded by glass windows. Finally in 2016 I decided to stop teaching the piano. I was also experiencing sound sensitivity, facial tension and pain in my jaw. Whilst the sound of the piano made it worse, I soon noticed that Yoga was the thing that made it better. Through my own self practice I discovered how to conquer my own pain through the medium of yoga, relaxation, meditation and self-healing.
I have attended many yoga classes over the years since my teenage years and have always enjoyed this activity. After the birth of my youngest daughter in order to lose weight, I started going to the gym twice weekly for 18 years and got quite strong and fit again this way, although there was always something missing here somehow. Then in 2010 I was recommended Alice Chapman’s Hatha Yoga class at the Forge in Totnes and really fell in love with yoga. Alice’s way of teaching yoga really suited me. I found a peace and calm in myself and an inner strength that I had never experienced before. I found myself growing as a person and becoming more confident. I got into a daily routine of yoga in the morning before breakfast. Alice encouraged me to go with the flow of how I was feeling, to push deeper if that felt right, or to pull back when my body had had enough. With a greater awareness of my own breathing, I started to co-ordinate my Ujjayi breath with the flow of the movement, and found that this helped to make it even more enjoyable.
I signed up in 2016 to the Foundation Course in Yoga with the Devon School of Yoga (DSY), recommended by Alice, where she and her partner James both teach. The Foundation course was very varied and interesting, with about 16 different teachers from an assortment of backgrounds, and a variety of styles. I loved every minute! I became a vegetarian to stop causing any harm to any living creature. It was interesting and exciting to notice the change this created in my whole body. I found I was becoming taller, slimmer and stronger. Although I didn’t really visualize myself as a teacher of Yoga to Adults, I found myself signing up for the teacher training course just so that I could learn more about Yoga. Following this I was motivated to start teaching Yoga in Totnes and then proceeded to enrol for the Yoga Therapy Course. These courses have taught me so much about myself, the human body, our place on the earth and our inner spirituality. I have found it all so interesting and tremendously rewarding. It is wonderful to have found something that is so healing and helpful both for myself and the wider community.
We desire that you live up to your full potential, for only then will you experience both harmony and happiness. Only then will you possess real health, not just freedom from disease.
My interest in meditation has increased enormously since immersing myself in 7 day retreats at Gaia House near Newton Abbot. The daily discipline here of a structured day with periods of meditation interspersed with periods of walking meditation, yoga, mindfulness in the beautiful grounds and a total immersion in nature really cemented in me an appreciation of the Joy that this activity can bring. I now have a regular daily practice which helps in so many ways. To begin with I struggled to sit as perhaps everyone does. I began to read books on the subject as I was sure that here was a way to that deep inner healing and relaxation that I needed. I attended classes, courses and 3 day retreats at Sharpham House near Totnes, and The Barn at Sharpham. Now I often listen to guided meditations on Insight Timer, where there are 45,000 free meditations to choose from. But my own quiet practice is often the most beneficial. I try to bring in meditation to my classes and one to ones, and this I think is the place where true inner healing begins.
• Duncan Hulin Founder and Director of Devon School of Yoga (DSY)
• Alice Chapman Teacher DSY and Therapist
• Bill Wood Teacher and therapist in Totnes, Scaravelli influence.
• Post Graduate Yoga Therapy 250 hours Course, DSY 2018 – 2020
• Teacher Training 500 hours Course in Yoga, DSY 2016 – 2018
• Foundation Course in Yoga 2016 Devon School of Yoga DSY
• CT ABRSM Certificate of Teaching in Piano, Exeter ABRSM 2003
• BSC (Hons) Open University 2001
Sensitively paced, deeply restful yet dynamic, these sessions are founded upon kindness and well being. Thank you - thank you Alix. - Jenny Quick