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Bringing the Best of East and West to Surrey

I am lucky enough to have studied with many great yoga teachers in the East and West, and I bring a blend of their collective wisdom to each of my Wallington classes, based on my students needs. Ultimately I want to take them on a journey to the heart, to their true essence, so they can live authentically, and happily.

I became a yoga teacher to help others

I’d always enjoyed exercise but when life gave me a serious health challenge, and a devastating family trauma, it was yoga that saw me through – giving me the strength to be present and calm in the midst of the storm, and to have the courage to change my life. I decided to train to be a Hatha Yoga teacher so I could pass that gift on – helping other people through their own challenges.

 
Vivien with Tias

Rebel with a cause

I have never taken well to dogma and am quite a rebel, even now – at over sixty years of age! I don’t follow one school of yoga, preferring instead to offer my students a weaving together of everything I have learnt. It’s a rich tapestry with many threads. 

My personal highlights include my Hatha Yoga teacher training with Saraswati Neville of The Yoga Studio in Sutton Surrey. My Meditation trying with Swami Saradananda of the Sivananda organisation and the amazing Judith Hanson Lasater (a senior student of B.K.S. Iyengar) who taught me the power of relaxation with Restorative Yoga. 

The Sensory Awareness Training I took with Tias Little enables me to help my students release tight connective tissue and all the negative emotions that get locked inside. My favourite Sunday treat is playing the Tibetan bowls and Shamanic drums, giving my students the sound healing I learnt from the wonderful Anne Malone.

 
Vivien with Boonath

Serving the yoga community with love

At the heart of it all is my desire to serve the community. My teaching changed most dramatically on my first “Working with the Shadow” retreat with Boonath Sond, a Sidda Tantric Yogi & Shaman. I will never forget that first week - working in the dark, chanting Sacred Tantric Mantras in deep yoga poses to shift energy states. Six retreats later we are like family. He is a humble, kind soul who taught me that separation is caused by hardness, and only love can dissolve the boundaries between us. I always teach from this place. 

Last year I travelled to Nepal on a pilgrimage through the Katmandhu Valley where I met another inspiration; Maharaji shanath is a renunciate yogi living in the cremation grounds at Pashaputinath. This humble soul has, quite literally nothing, and gives anything he is given away. The way I see it, yoga is a collective experience, we are in this together and always share generously, no holding back.

 
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I take my yoga students on a journey to the heart

With so much going on in the world and so much pressure, it’s hardly surprising that we’re all so stressed. It’s so easy to go into lock down, to feel frozen emotionally, to self-soothe with alcohol and food. 

I try to unblock these feelings, to help my students open up to what’s difficult, just as the earth opens to rain. Through mindful awareness we come to the present moment – to know what’s real for us – and yoga gives us the clarity and the strength to create, and sustain, change.

 

How we get there – what to expect in class

I like to work with the energy in the room so there’s no such thing as a typical class, but there are some common themes: 

  • We always start with Om and a teacher and student Mantra, to centre ourselves and leave the outside world behind to come together as one.

  • We follow with still sitting or living down, becoming aware of where we’re at in our bodies, and minds today.  As the saying goes, “In an age of constant movement nothing is as urgent as sitting still.” We then follow with Pranayama, (breathing exercises)

  • We always move slowly, pausing in-between yoga postures to give time to absorb the benefits. 

  • We always finish with Yoga Nidra, an opportunity for deep rest and relaxation. 

  • We always leave the Yoga Den feeling connected, happy and peaceful. Job done!

 
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In gratitude

I bow and give thanks to all who come to practise with me. I bow and have much gratitude to all of my yoga teachers as I continue to practice, learn and share the wisdom of Yoga. 

Thank you also to my husband who supports me in all that I do, my son who gives me so much encouragement and built me this wonderful website, and to my Dad who laid the foundations of the Yoga Den in his eighties!

Blessings, 

Vivien Row