What I Bring To The Mat! | Radiant Yoga Marbella
Anusara, Hot yoga, Hatha, Vinyasa flow… Kundalini, Strala… whichever yoga mood takes you, Radiant Yoga Marbella has the class for you…  And behind every yoga class, there is an awesome teacher showing up with all their skill and experience to guide you through your practice. We take a look at what three of Radiant’s teachers bring along to the mat…   By Louise Cook-Edwards

 

Lori Sjollema

Anusara

 

Co-founder of Radiant Yoga Marbella, Lori brings with her an impressive thirty years experience in class. Teaching Anusara classes – Lori’s class offers a dynamic blend of yoga traditions for students of all levels. Her teaching style blends her serenity with a physically challenging practice. Lori teaches students how to balance softness and strength. Her classes are flowing, emotional and bring in a spiritual element.

Lori’s classes often start with an intention, a spiritual purpose. Within the flow is a focus on a particular area of the body, eg opening the heart, hip openers, inversions as well as forward bends and twists.

What started your own yoga journey? The first 18 years before I started practicing yoga, I taught fitness and danced. When I moved to Marbella I was led into a career that was very stressful and challenging to my mind & health. Then one day, about 21 years ago, I took my first yoga class and I just knew this would be my next journey, it was a magical moment.

What can regular yoga practice do in our lives? It can change the way you are feeling and thinking in such a short time. It helps me to calm down and make decisions that come from deep within and not from a state of fear or ego. It just cleans and detoxes you from feeling stuck and blocked. Physically you feel stronger and more flexible and you can find your breath again. I feel friendlier and more ‘connected’ to myself so that I can see the bigger picture. For me really it’s to get out of my mind and into my body!

When you plan a class, what is your first priority? It’s difficult for me to plan a class far in advance unless I have an exciting set sequence that I would like to share. Most of the time I need to be in the moment and check out how I am feeling and how the day feels.

I like to use a theme that makes the class feel inspired and mindful. It also depends on the level and mood of the group. I enjoy bringing in new things and also integrating alignment and heartfelt cues into the practice.

Can you talk us through the elements of a typical class? I usually set a theme, the format of the practice explaining what we will work on, key actions of the poses, Om chanting, pranayama & intention setting, alignment cues. A typical class can be standing poses, inversions, backbends, relaxation and meditation.

How has your style of teaching evolved over time? We all experience challenges in our life that are there to make us grow no matter how hard the change may seem.

These past years I have experienced difficult times that left my physical body different to how it was before. I have had to adapt my own practice to a level that was completely different to what I was used to. I slowed down, became more mindful to how I could move my body easefully and comfortably and heal the issues that I had.  My breath became very important.

I have attracted students with the same requirements as myself. How can we find the pose with more ease, to experience deep opening and more comfort yet still with a challenge? That became my passion my intention to help others. Space and breath became my lifeline. I am now more authentic in my teaching. I teach only from what I experience myself.

How do you keep developing your own practice? My desire now is more meditation and alternative therapies and self-understanding that I have integrated into my Yoga practice.

What do you feel is your key offering?  Love yourself, take care and nuture yourself. Take time out of your day to connect to breath to get strong and flexible so that it is easier to connect to others and help others when you are well.

  1. How do you hope your students will feel at the end of the class? Like they had an experience – not just on a physical level – on many levels.

 

 

Arianne Pieper

Anusara/Hatha

 

Co-founder of Radiant Yoga Marbella brings to her classes no less than 25 years experience. Teaching Anusara and Hatha yoga, Arianne’s teaching style is joyful, exhilarating, challenging and dynamic. When she talks about yoga, she has an authoritative air.

 

Arianne likes to bring her varied life experience into the studio, and create a practice that can be carried from the mat into daily life.  She incorporates her knowledge of Ayurveda and aims for yoga to bring her students the ability to ‘go with the flow’.

Saying: Slowly, slowly with peace and patience in our hearts.

 

What started your own yoga journey?

I started yoga with a friend of mine who came back from India with a Sivananda certification. She wanted to help her husband with his MS, multiple sclerosis, and I started practicing with her. She was my first teacher.

What can regular yoga practice do in our lives?

Regular practice not only keeps us physically mobile and maintains our strength, but on an emotional level I find myself handling the ups and downs in life with a little more equanimity than I would otherwise.

My daily morning meditation sets the tone for the day. Since I have committed to a daily meditation of 30-40 min in the morning I feel more stable. Don’t get me wrong, life still shows us ???? but it’s how fast we can bring ourselves back into balance that counts. And my meditation does just that.

When you plan a class, what is your first priority?

I make a plan for every single class and client. In a studio setting I try to make my students aware that an asana practice is to make us more strong and stable, physically mentally and emotionally. Discipline creates freedom ultimately.

Can you talk us through the elements of a typical class?

Centering, arriving on your mat tuning into the breath, warm up movements and from there on it just depends what kind of a class I am giving.

It can be focused on a specific body part like shoulder openings or hip and hamstring openers. Alternatively, it can be a more active class or a long holding class where we hold poses for 3-4 minutes.

How has your style of teaching evolved over time?
Over the years my style of teaching has deepened as I learn more about myself. I think our responsibility is to know ourselves and then we have the opportunity to change for the better.

How do you keep developing your own practice?

I keep a daily self-practice going. Sometimes that means doing the practice along with my more advanced private students, which makes it fun and more inspiring for both of us. And also to keep being a student myself – I love going to different trainings and attending classes with different teachers. We learn from each other all the time.

What do you feel is your key offering?

You would have to ask my students… All I can say is that I am very grateful for having every single one of them in my life. Over the years, some of my students have been with me 7-8 years, coming twice or three times a week. I try to keep the practice fun and always push them to advance. I also tell them not to stay only with me but to try classes with as many different teachers as possible.

How do you hope your students will feel at the end of the class?

I sure hope they feel better after class – and more able to handle the fluctuations of life! With less aversion and more acceptance.

 

 

Margaret Holland

Hot Yoga/Strala

 

Margaret started out as a fitness instructor and has 25 years experience of teaching.

She began teaching Absolute Yoga, progressing to Vinyasa Flow/Hot Yoga and more recently Strala. She also teaches some outdoor beach yoga sessions.

Her teaching style is calming, uplifting and stress releasing. She brings to class a feminine energy and gentle wisdom. She aims to help students reach their limitless potential.

What started your own yoga journey?
I first practiced yoga when I was pregnant with my eldest daughter. I was always exercising in those days primarily to keep fit and slim. After my pregnancy I went back to running and gym work and didn’t take up yoga again for another ten years.
My personal circumstances changed dramatically about ten years ago and my yoga practice gave me some stability and comfort during a very tumultuous period of my life. Around 8 years ago, I decided to train as a yoga teacher.
What can regular yoga practice do in our lives?
A regular practice can keep us fit physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally.
When you plan a class, what is your first priority?
Ease, softness, being present and safety.
I want the class to be accessible for everyone. I want everyone who comes to my class to feel that they are able to take part no matter what size, shape or level of experience. This doesn’t mean all my classes are easy… It means you work to your own level, you find “your” version of the poses that fit “your” body and you have a unique experience bringing your body, mind and breath together.
Can you talk us through the elements of a typical class?
A typical Strala class is usually a slow flow. Breath is super important and in order for the breath to flow through us and do its magic we need to “soften”.
If we are stiff and rigid, it’s impossible, so initially we soften our body, we deepen the breath and then we start to move.
As we move, we explore; there is no perfect pose. There is a version of a pose that feels good in your body.

We flow through a sequence with mindful emphasis on the transition as much as the final pose itself. We let go of goals and focus on how we feel. If we feel stuck or tense we soften. If some part of us feels stiff or sore, we breath deeper and allow the breath to create space.
The whole class is about staying easy, within our comfort zone and expanding that comfort zone with ease and softness. There is no pushing or forcing.
Staying present focusing on the breath and how our body feels leads to an experience that is a moving meditation where the brain releases a cascade of feel good hormones such as oxytocin and serotonin which brings us into the flow state rather than being in the state of chronic stress where we often spend way to much of our time.
How has your style of teaching evolved over time?
It has changed massively! I first trained with “Absolute Hot Yoga” in Thailand, the biggest hot yoga group in Asia. All my teachers were Bikram trained – the original hot yoga. This style was static, very challenging, rigid and in my opinion, hard core. I loved it but it was not suitable for everyone.
I then went to Bali and did a teacher training in Vinyasa flow. After this I started teaching beach classes here in Marbella.
A lot of people who came to my classes were complete beginners here on holiday. I wanted to find a way to teach them so that, even if they had never done any yoga before, and were not particularly flexible, they could enjoy the class and leave feeling they could do yoga.
I started researching different styles and schools of yoga and I came across a teacher called Tara Stiles who is the co-founder of Strala … I fell in love with this amazing flow! As soon as I could afford it, I went to New York to study with them and this changed everything, my practice, my teaching  – in fact, my life!
How do you keep developing your own practice?
I love this question. It’s easy, I never stop learning I’m always a student. I study continuously and every time I teach a class or practice alone I learn something new.
What do you feel is your key offering?
Ease softness and the opportunity to let go of rigidity in the mind and body.
I was taught, if I stay soft and at ease with my body and breath, then this will encourage my students to drop the tension, the competition and have an external experience all of their own. I try not to tell them what to feel.
I like everyone to explore around in their bodies. It’s not a question of ‘do what I do’. We are all different. I’m guiding my students through a frame-by-frame sequence encouraging them to explore and discover for themselves the joy of mindful movement with breath.
How do you hope your students will feel at the end of the class?
I hope they feel amazing! When we spend an hour or so breathing deeply, softening our tension and moving mindfully we enter the flow state which is the opposite of stress. When we stress, our immune system goes to the back burner, our vision and creativity narrow, which is needed when we are running from a predator or in some kind of danger, but chronic, long-term stress is very unhealthy. Strala classes help bring us back to ease and, for the rest of the day, I hope my students feel relaxed happy and joyful.

 Radiant Yoga Marbella offers a variety of yoga classes in our Marbella studio including Hot Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga Flow, Anasura Yoga, Traditional Hatha Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, Aerial Yoga and Kids’ Yoga.

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