We work with some incredible teachers at Body flow, in this interview series we ask them about their teaching journey and wha bought them to yoga. Emma Cartwright teaches regular classes and has been a long time member at the Windsor studio before she began teaching with us.
How did you get into yoga?
Yoga was something that I tried to alleviate an ongoing back problem. Immediately after the first class, I was hooked as it gave me so much more! I came to yoga in my late teens, early 20’s and at that stage of my life, I really needed the grounding sensation that a yoga asana practice gives.
When did you know you wanted to teach?
After practicing as a remedial massage therapist for many years, I felt like I wanted to share with my clients the incredible benefits of yoga. Not only was I becoming burnt out, but very tired of trying to “fix” clients and wanted to empower them to help themselves. I am incredibly passionate about sharing asana and breath work to assist the whole person!
What does your personal practice / at home practice look like at the moment?
Being in the depths of Winter……usually right next to our gas heater!! I am really acknowledging the more introspective shapes that come with the colder seasons. A great deal of warming up with some more fluid/funky cat/cow variations as well as a strong standing sequence. I’m also very much aware of needing to open up through the shoulders and the heart space, not only via asana but also through pranayama and meditation/visualisations.
What obstacles has yoga helped you overcome?
I may need to write a book on this!!! So much! Back, hip and shoulder issues, but really to cut a long story short……depression and anxiety…….yoga has definitely assisted me to create more clarity and joy!! I appreciate the littlest of things just through observing the incredible bodies and minds that we inhabit. Yoga makes me come home to myself.
Describe your classes and teaching methodology
The older I get, the more I am enjoying sharing the spiritual aspects of yoga. That is not to say that I don’t teach a strong class! I am all for a supportive, stable yet playful approach to teaching.
Of course aerial yoga is my passion. Coming from a massage background, I have always been into touch. The kinnesetic approach of the silks creates a dance between student and silk. I love the creativity of sequencing in a fluid way.
Who is one of your greatest teachers / inspirations?
This is an interesting question. Of course I have many incredible teachers past and present. These include Albert Hennick (one of my first yoga teachers who is now in his 80’s), the amazing Sophie Le Fevre who has taught me to unlearn certain habits of my yoga practice that were not serving me anymore. She is a constant support and I never stop learning from her. All of the incredible yoga teachers at bodyflowyoga, Sarah, Atika, Jessie, Lou, Nick, Lizzy and Lisa. I am always a student and love learning from everyone. My Mum (who is an outstanding yoga teacher and very wise woman), Donna Farhi, Lisa Peterson, Sian Pascale, Patricia Van Rein and the list goes on……….however these days, I find teachers absolutely everywhere! It maybe the friendly person serving me at a coffee shop, it could be my daughter reminding me to laugh and relax or my husband sharing his beautiful music! I am inspired by creative souls everywhere!
For you, what is the most rewarding aspect of teaching?
Seeing students happy, glowing, relaxed, renewed, all through their own actions of coming to class!
Why do you think yoga is so important for the times we’re living in?
To connect with our bodies so that we can connect with others. The tech world is literally taking over and we really need to become more embodied to survive!
When you’re not teaching, what else do you love to do?
I am a biodynamic craniosacral therapist. This is my other passion. It is a very gentle touch therapy to assist with a myriad of issues, from emotional or physical trauma, and all of the issues that arise from that……………… headaches/ migraines, back issues, learning difficulties…….the list goes on. As this is gentler on my hands after years of massage, I will hopefully be practicing BCST into my 90’s!!
Emma teaches aerial flow, aerial intro and restore classes at body flow.