Nysa Yoga – Just breathe
Somewhere between writing strategy, art workshops, and the joy of funding applications, I managed to train as a yoga teacher.
As a long-time yoga practitioner, I have always wanted to delve deeper into the learning behind yoga and embarked on a training course with Feel Yoga in Watford. The training was a fantastic journey into movement, anatomy, and the history of yoga taking us back to visit the culture and creativity of the early inhabitants of the Indus Valley.
My Mum joined me on this journey and, as an expert in child health and nutrition, is keen to combine her yoga practice with nutritional advice. Nutri Yoga is currently in process.
As for my own practice, I am keen to get moving and keep everyone moving with me. I have always used yoga as a warm-up to puppet shows, working as a puppeteer is physically demanding and it’s important to stay nimble and lithe.
I love the connection between the breathwork employed to animate a puppet and the unification of movement and breath in yoga. As an asthmatic breath has always been important to me and looking after my own breathing has led me onto this yogic pathway. Regular yoga practice eliminates my asthma symptoms and the need to use inhalers.
In other areas of my work in arts and events, movement and creativity play an important role in well-being. I have been adding yoga and movement to CPD sessions and in other educational settings to complement current Art in Health practice across the community.
Sessions are focussed on strength, relaxation and flow with sequences set to music designed to be fun and inclusive for all abilities.
To sign up for a free taster session email Kerry@nysa.co.uk to book
Sessions are devised to gently increase repertoire of postures, learn new breathing exercises, build strength, and explore favourite styles of practice.
THE TEACHER – Registered member of the Yoga Alliance Yoga Alliance Profile
Kerry Lanigan is the Creative Director and Founder of Nysa Projects and Trim Tots CIC and has practiced yoga for 25 years. After completing several yoga courses over the last decade, she decided to become a certified teacher in 2021 and has developed a range of techniques and courses to share with her growing client and community base.
Kerry offers general courses in yoga for groups and individuals of all abilities. In addition, she has three specialised areas:
Unleashing the holistic healing benefits of yoga are fundamental to Kerry having experienced for herself how yoga can maintain and improve physical and mental health. Exploring the role yoga can play for asthmatics and other ailments and/or injuries is of particular interest and adaptive sessions are available for all mental and physical abilities.
Kerry’s work over the years as an interdisciplinary Artist and Creative Producer has taught her that collaboration and community engagement is central to her way of working and yoga has now become fundamental to many aspects of her arts practice – with artist warm up with yoga before puppet shows and vocal performances now an integral part of the pre-performance prep. Courses are offered for any performance artists or groups who want to benefit from increased ability to focus the mind and body.
Kerry is reaching out to those in the community who would otherwise not venture near a yoga studio and may see it as an expensive luxury. Having already had long-standing experience of how the arts can be used as a tool for social change and exploring the role art can play in positive mental health and social confidence Kerry is determined to share the benefits of yoga with all socio-economic groups.
I started practicing yoga informally when I was in my teens to help control my asthma and to be a fun antidote to my more mundane fitness routines of cycling the hills and running on the flat. I had loved movement and form since childhood, and although I was totally self-taught, I found friends who would practice yoga with me, often outdoors on the local common. It wasn’t until I opened a cafe in Cassiobury Park shortly after my first child was born that I had a formal lesson. This was Hatha Yoga and with the wonderful guidance of my teacher Andrea I grew stronger and more confident and I loved it. I then went on to do three years of Ashtanga Yoga with my brilliant teacher Bharathi – enjoying the challenge and discipline of Ashtanga and allowing me to work on my ujjayi breath and focus on stillness.
Next, I found 26 Pose Hot Yoga as the kids got older and I had more time. This form of yoga aided me in developing new breathing techniques which helped relieve my asthma even more – allowing me to go for months on end without inhalers. This introduction to the hot yoga series led to my finding the Feel Hot Yoga studio in Watford where I added Vinyasa Flow to my yoga techniques and it was with the encouragement of the teachers at the studio that I finally made the decision to become a teacher myself.
During training, I have had the opportunity to improve and to immerse myself deeply in the fascinating theory and history of yoga whilst exploring the proven therapeutic benefits of the discipline. Now qualified, yoga not only helps me to maintain my own health but it puts me in a position where I can support others too – passing on my passion, skills and experience to my students. I will always strive to learn and I am always open to suggestions and feedback from all of my students.
More to come about Mum – Dr Julie Lanigan Ph.D RD FBDA – Registered Dietitian – Associate Professor (Hon), Population, Policy and Practice Teaching and Research Programme
Founder and Director Trim Tots CIC
Julie offers one-to-one advice for all ages as part of her work at Lifecourse Nutrition and is developing content for Nutri Yoga sessions later this year.