Bhānumati Yoga With Gregory Angell
Gregory Angell is registered with Yoga Alliance as an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher 500 (E-RYT 500) and is able to provide Continuing Education workshops to other teachers, and be a Lead Trainer of 200 hour, 300 hour, and/or 500 hour teacher training courses.
Teaching yoga demands a complete mindset of serving others; sharing and respecting the traditions of yoga with energy, enthusiasm, and joy.
Aged 30 I was a chartered accountant with a daily commute into London; ‘somehow’ I’d found myself on a career path that was completely at odds with who I was (on so many levels). My body was doing it’s best to alert me to this glaringly obvious fact with persistent stomach cramps and sore throats, not to mention my increasing tendency to stutter. Also, the intense sciatica, lower back, shoulder, and calf pains I was experiencing just ‘might’ have had something to do with my three hour daily commute (sitting) combined with being at a desk for ten hours a day (sitting agan).
My solution was to ‘throw in the towel’ and start again. Only problem being: ‘what to do?!’
I decided to go travelling for a year … and so began my adventures of South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and India. What an amazing time!
Upon my return, my family gifted me a birthday present, a 121 yoga session. My mother, who’d been trying to encourage me to practise yoga for many years, had obviously initiated this.
Come the day of the 121 session let’s just say I wasn’t looking forward to it that much. A few minutes into the session I was in Shavasana practising abdominal breathing and lightning struck! I instantly knew, beyond any doubt, that I was going to teach yoga for the remainder of my life!
What followed was 7 years of intense personal practise (I needed it!), teacher training courses, and exposure to as many different/authentic/skilled teachers/styles of yoga as possible.
In 2007 I felt ready (as one can be) to embark on the journey of sharing the magical practise of yoga with others. I finally quit the corporate world, hired half a dozen village halls, delivered thousands of flyers through letterboxes advertising my classes, and trusted in the process. Come the end of the first week I’d taught fifteen classes, was ‘out of pocket’, and loving it. Bring on week two.
Today, I have been practising and studying yoga for nearly 25 years; teaching full-time for 17 years, taught approximately 7,500 classes; completed 1,500hrs of teacher training and approximately 30,000hrs of personal practise.
I feel so fortunate to have completed Sivananda Teacher Training and Sivananda Advanced Teacher Training. Sivananda training demands a high level of self-discipline and affords a unique opportunity to extend the limits of ones capabilities, including strength and stamina, with long lasting effects. Created and first offered in 1969 by Swami Vishnudevananda, one of the first yoga masters in the West, this course is now taught by his senior disciples throughout the world to 1,000 people a year. With over 50,000 graduates to date, the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres is the largest yoga organisation in the world. The goal of Sivananda training is to produce inspiring yoga teachers and yoga masters who are able to draw on their own practise and personal discipline in imparting the yoga experience to others.
Swami Vishnu Devanada said that yoga teachers should also be yogic practitioners, ‘teachers and not just preachers’. In the words of Swami Vishnu Devananda: “I’ve given you all I have with all of my love. Now it’s up to you to share it with others.”
Over the years I have combined my exposure to Sivananda Yoga, Anusara Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, Jivamukti Yoga, and Yin Yoga with my own extensive/intensive personal practise. This ‘melting pot’ of exposure has produced a unique style, I call it called Bhānumati Yoga.
Bhānumati (भानुमती) – Shining Like The Sun ☀️
Bhānumati Yoga defines health and physical fitness in the following terms:
- Sthira – a stable structure that can remain upright and balanced within gravitational pull;
- Sukha – a good space, free of suffering. It can be defined both as ease of movement to enable us to do whatever we need to do, and freedom from physical pain that can be unpleasant and disturbing for our physical, mental, emotional, and energetic bodies;
- Angalaghavam – feeling of ease and lightness in the body. It could also be described as agility. It allows us to move through the day with fluidity, grace, and confidence;
- Dvandvanabhighatah – ability to adapt, adjust, and accommodate. Every day brings with it new challenges and we need to make sure that they don’t knock us off our feet. We could call this resilience.
To summarise, a Bhānumati Yoga practise makes us structurally stable, enables us to move with fluidity, grace, ease and confidence, frees us from pain and physical suffering, and enables us to withstand changing circumstances. On the principle of everything being linked, this leads the practitioner into the calming of the mind/emotions, an uninterrupted flow of energy, and the pleasant experience of simply being. Call it a coming home to oneself.
The practise of Bhānumati Yoga works on a three week cycle: two weeks of Bhānumati Shakti classes are followed by one week of Bhānumati Shiva classes. Shakti needs Shiva to ground it, otherwise it becomes chaotic; Shiva without Shakti becomes inert and sterile.
The classes are suitable for all levels of students and variations and modifications are offered throughout to support beginner students. Each session ends with 10 minutes of guided relaxation.
The Bhānumati Shakti sessions are packed with strong, flowing, dynamic, and deeply healing content. As much as it is a complete physical workout, the grandeur objective is to calm the mind and fully relax the practitioner.
The Bhānumati Shiva sessions are slow-paced, calming, and deeply healing. Poses are held for longer periods of time with a focus on floor-based postures. We target the joints and connective tissues (ligaments, tendons and fascia) to help improve flexibility and create the feeling of space and freedom in the body. You will feel amazing!
The Nature of Shakti Energy
Shakti is pure becoming in all her flow and creativity as well as her endless opening to possibility. Shakti represents dance, movement, power, energy and the freedom to become. Shakti is exquisitely beautiful embracing life as a dance. She is fluid, flowing and powerfully flexible. Shakti energy can be wildly sensual, raw, and expressive. Shakti energy can be seen in everything that lives. Shakti energy is deeply cleansing, healing, and transformational.
The Nature of Shiva Energy
Shiva brings great inner strength and spaciousness. His energy is steadfast, stable, peaceful, strong, and totally unmoved with complete presence. Shiva is centered, grounded, and compassionate. Shiva is pure being in its stillness. Shiva energy is formless. There’s deep wisdom and capacity for awareness within Shiva. When we cultivate clear presence and purpose, we are resting within our inner Shiva nature. Shiva holds space for Shakti to move through. Shiva gives direction to Shakti’s shape-shifting energetic flow.
The union of Shiva and Shakti conveys complete balance, joy, and presence.
Sivananda Yoga Siromani (Teacher) 2004 – 300 hours
Sivananda Yoga Acharya (Master) 2007 – 300 hours
The British Wheel of Yoga (Foundation) 2003 – 60 hours
The British Wheel Of Yoga (Teacher) 2006 – 2009 – 500 hours
The Chiang Mai School of Thai Massage (Teacher) 2004 – 330 hours
Cultivating better movement is more like sculpture than painting. You improve your art by taking things away, not adding them.
With infinite love and gratitude, Gregory Angell ✨