FEEDBACK FROM OTHERS WITH ONLINE STREAMING OF YOGA CLASSES (due to Coronavirus stay at home rules)
Read following messages sent to me by yoga students w/b March 23,2020
I thought the class was great this morning; I was skeptical of you not doing the moves with us but it worked much better that way. I could follow everything and I liked that you could get say ‘Sarah other leg ‘ etc and correct what I was doing like you normally would. I found it easy to do at home and more relaxing than coming to a class in a way as I didn’t have to get anywhere! I liked a morning class. Tx for setting it up. It’s actually really mentally healthy for me to go back to yoga with you right now; so I appreciate you doing it. – SH
In your class, all that need to concentrate on the teachers movements was removed so I could focus on what you were saying and the postures only. Much better.
I thought the class went really well and I think it’s great you’re continuing online. KH
I enjoyed Monday night, a chance to zone out! – AG
Thought you did really well I have to get my head round it all. Not to mention the cat deciding downward dogs should not be allowed in his house However he was most impressed with the relaxation part! – CM
I felt rather than miss a valued part of my week it was good. The mind doesn’t wander as much and as one of your pupils said we don’t spend time looking at you 😂. – BOC
I liked the format where you talk and observe and give feedback as necessary, rather than demo the pose. Having come to a fair number of your classes in the past I don’t really look at you for the poses I already know even when in a real-life class. – MW
Thanks Gary really enjoyed that. As you say the familiarity of it is very calming. And doing it with the noise of the family in the background going about their daily stuff was actually better than being in the office. I normally miss out on that. – DP
Thank you Gary. That was just what I needed. I woke up today feeling very twitchy and emotional. It did feel a bit weird to start with – I felt a bit self -conscious – but I settled into it. So thank you very much. BO
“I can’t actually believe how much I enjoyed this – Gary who took the class was fab – really informative and helped to make the experience a great one.”
“I really enjoyed the Yoga, it was so relaxing, it was something that I wouldn’t normally do.”
“I would like to say how much I enjoyed the Yoga class, it was great fun and I felt totally relaxed at the end of the hour session, which seemed to fly by.”
“Really good, felt so alive, although by the end day I was tired, (which) made me feel good and relaxed”
– Nov 2019, Feedback from staff at Europa Group, Thornbury, I taught a month of weekly classes (part of the company’s Wellbeing month)
“Many thanks for the workshop last Saturday, I found it really useful, mainly because I am relying mostly on my morning routine at home. I found the last hour the most challenging; I don’t think I have ever sat still on the floor for that long and I do find it difficult to concentrate during the breathing exercises, but I guess that is the benefit of practicing them!” – Tom, Nov 2019
“Thank you for the workshop on Saturday. It is super demanding for you I think to keep a three-hour session moving along seamlessly in the expert way that you did. Hats off to you! It’s a good venue and is quiet and warm. Some days I just feel like I’m a sandbag and that was how it was last Fri /Sat. I was tired and had not had any of my exercise classes for a couple of weeks. I still enjoyed the longer-than usual exercises section though and it flew by. I appreciate being able to find my own level – no headstands for me!
“I do find it quite difficult to stay focused in the breathing exercises. I loved the mindfulness sections at the start and finish. They are quite a revelation in a way I cannot and actually don’t want to put a label on.
“Try as I might to do any of these things on my own, it’s never as effective as it is in a class.” – Alison, Nov 2019
“Thank you for the workshop, I really enjoyed it. I particularly liked the opportunity to get into the breathing exercises a bit more, and to make yoga a bit more of a focus for my day. I’ll definitely attend again, when I can.” – Sylvia Holliman, Nov 2019
“I’ve been going to Gary’s yoga classes for a year now having done nothing like them before. The classes are so good! Gary is a very experienced teacher and is patient, thorough and attentive to individual students. He makes you feel welcome and will help you find your level no matter what your experience and ability.” – Alison Wadeley, September 2019
“Yoga has without doubt increased my strength, mobility and stability and is now an essential part of my training for running and triathlon. Since taking up yoga I have noticed that injuries and niggles are less frequent and my race results are improving all the time. Also it is an excellent way to start the week after a Monday at work! Thank you.” – Alan Uren, July 2019
“Gary’s class (on Thursday) is brilliant. I look forward to it every week. I have Type One diabetes and Gary is very sensitive to my needs. Not intrusive, not flippant, just calm. Great teacher. My legs have never been stronger!” – Rachel J, July 2019
“Gary has led yoga classes at my work place for the past seven months. The classes have been excellent as a break to work and have allowed us to have some time to disconnect from the pressures of the working day. I find Gary is great at offering exercises that are a good mix between stretch, flow and stronger poses that fit excellently into the work lunch break. Gary is supportive and attentive to individuals, even when working with a large group and is always able to offer alternatives for varied abilities in the class” – Emily, IMDb, May 2019
“Thank you so much for your yoga classes…You may remember that the physio recommended that I start yoga back in late 2016 after she treated me for back pain. I was initially pretty sceptical but quickly appreciated how practicing yoga was challenging me in totally new ways. The physical challenge was really tough and far harder than I thought it would be – my core strength has improved out of all recognition and I am now far more flexible than I could have imagined two years ago. In addition, the mental challenge was unexpected but really significant; I really appreciated your commentary during the lessons on the principles and philosophy behind yoga which helped me understand why one cannot go without the other. Suffice to say that I haven’t had a single recurrence of my back pain since starting to practice yoga, thank you!” – Tom C, December 2018
“I would like to say thanks for introducing me to yoga, a subject I never took seriously until I attended your classes. Your in-depth knowledge of the topic meant that you were able explain the different postures, to a level of detail that allowed me to understand how they worked on the body and where the benefit lay. You are an excellent teacher, much thanks.” – Andy Connell, Decmber 2018
“I’d like to thank you for bringing yoga into my life via (your) classes…I only started about 6 weeks before Christmas but within that time I realised this was something I needed to incorporate into my life from now on.” – Ian W, December 2018
“I’ve been meaning to e-mail to say how much I am enjoying the classes in Long Ashton (Fridays). I enjoy reading the weekly blogs but more importantly I am thoroughly enjoying a really good weekly practice. I have been loving the benefits of yoga since I was about 16 years old and constantly tell my teenagers about the benefits! Many thanks.” – Rachel P, October 2018
“I’ve done yoga with a number of teachers over the years in Bristol and elsewhere, and Gary is up there with the best. Here’s why. Firstly, he uses a consistent routine which which means that after doing his class for a few years I know the poses so can concentrate on the important stuff such as breathing, noticing what changed from last time I did a particular pose, being in the moment. Having said that, Gary also makes sufficient changes week by week to keep things interesting.
Another key thing that Gary gets right (and is not easy) is to speak the right amount. So in terms of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, he doesn’t talk too much, or too little; he gets it just right.
Also the hall that Gary uses for the class (Mondays Stoke Bishop 7pm to 8.30pm) is very good: quiet, spacious and with good temperature control.
I’ve been doing a weekly class with Gary for three or four years and I’m happy to say that I’m seeing tangible benefits in not only my health but also my marriage (Monday night is yoga night and date night…both with my wife I hasten to add).” – Jim R, August 2018
“Really enjoyed the (workshop) last Saturday (June 9), Gary. Thanks. A challenging yet very therapeutic three hours which left me feeling relaxed and invigorated, mind and body. I’ll admit the hour on breathing and meditation at the end was the biggest challenge for me. I don’t easily sit still for long! Something to work on. I’ll definitely look out for your November workshop.” – Chris Stevens, June 2018
“I really enjoyed your session (yoga workshop June 9)… and (was ) completely chilled out when I got home. I ended up going to sleep at 9:15pm and waking up on Sunday at 7:30am. It felt like a complete reboot. I loved it.” – Sarah Dodd, June 2018
“I do hope to come to the (next) workshop, having really enjoyed the session on Saturday (April 21). I particularly appreciated you checking with me re the injuries, and also I was very happy that you are so comfortable with silence! A lot of facilitators seem unwilling to let go of “leading” and talk through meditations (which can be fine of course) but it was refreshing to just be allowed silence.” – Rachel B, April 2018
I have been intending to give you feedback on how much I enjoy your class for some weeks but haven’t quite been able to articulate what it is I enjoy about it. Over the past 2-3 weeks I have attended other classes in addition to yours and these have helped me identify what it is about your class that I enjoy. Without wanting to criticise the other classes, I find that yours is unique in your focus on the detail of each pose. I really like the way you break each pose down and help us to learn how to do each one safely and with the correct alignment. It’s easy to get into bad habits without that sort of focus. I like that you focus on a different theme each week and build up confidence for both beginners and those more experienced. I also like the way you integrate some teaching about the principles of yoga into each class. My yoga practice has definitely improved since I have been attending your class. Thank you” – Billie Oliver, November 2017
On the benefits of yoga when it comes to child birth: “On the big day I stayed at home as long as I could and managed on gas and air at the hospital. The midwife asked if I’d gone to special breathing classes because she was impressed with my breathing I told her it must’ve been the yoga!! The other thing I think that yoga helped with during labour was the ability to hold still in certain positions which may not be the most comfortable/natural!” – Kirstyn MacFarlane, October 2017
“There are a number of reasons why I continue with yoga, in no particular order:
• Value for money (class is discounted for staff) – this is a good one-hour class, you can afford to miss the odd week or two due to a busy diary and the average per class is still more than competitive. Plus there is usually the option to switch to the other day, or attend two classes in one week to make up if you want to.
• Enhances & adds balance to my fitness routine – this is an excellent way of getting more stretching and a gentler form of exercise which then helps me to improve in other activities that I do (gym, running).
• Convenience – what is more convenient than walking across the office to the class bang on 5:30pm! I’m still home in good time, feeling virtuous!
• Teaching – Gary has an excellent background with groups of mixed ability, and always makes sure that the class is suitable for all. Those who want more of a challenge can continue to progress, while those just starting out or with particular health issues are also fully supported and don’t feel they are holding back the class. Gary makes yoga accessible.
• Meditation – the chance to just stop and breathe, and focus purely on myself for an hour mid-week is invaluable. I always come away feeling more relaxed and ready to face the next day.” – Liz Millar, Staff class at DACBeachcroft, July 2017
“Many thanks for the wonderful workshop on Saturday. The extra space and time meant that I was able to ease myself further into better alignment. I was very pleased with my progress. I found myself happily tired and content afterwards – and slept long and deep which was glorious. Looking forward to the next one.” – Louise Chapman, June 2017
“I’ve only just taken up yoga recently – I’d done a bit online but was happy to have found your class in Long Ashton. I’d been joking to family that one of my goals (probably not that achievable, I’d thought ) was to be able to do a headstand at some point in the future. (The last one was roughly 50 years ago.)
Saturday’s workshop was great – like the classes- friendly, and supportive with clear instruction. After all the back stretching, shoulder opening etc. etc., the headstand moment came –everyone seemed to be having fun trying, but my shoulders and neck are often quite tight and I thought I probably wouldn’t be able to get even half way there. I looked down the line at my daughter-in-law – ‘You need to do this’ she said – TWICE!. And then I did! Amazing. I’m absolutely delighted!
Thank you again for your steady, clear instructions in both class and workshop – I feel so much better.” – Judith Gibbison, June 2017
“Gary has been teaching us privately for 2 1/2 years on a weekly basis. He has been consistently punctual and reliable and has extensive knowledge and experience of yoga practice. He is able to tailor and differentiate sessions to our needs and individual abilities and accommodate our requests e.g. for restorative yoga or energising. Having yoga lessons at home means we always do it and it’s cheaper than a babysitter and a local class or going to the chiropractor on a regular basis. Gary is good humoured, kind natured and we are both grateful for his flexibility, consistency, and obvious experience. We consider we have benefitted enormously. Many thanks!” – Lucy Cooper and Emily Ingle, March 2017
“Thank you so much for your wonderful workshop on Saturday (March 11), it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done! I’ve already recommended you to several friends. You explained everything so clearly and I felt really supported during the practice. My body and mind feel both reconnected and at peace. You are right Yoga is meditation! Can’t wait for the next one! Very best wishes.” – Emma Graham, March 2017
“I had a great time at the yoga workshop on Saturday (March 11) – as always, your tuition was amazing!” Beverley Duggan, March 2017″
“Gary is a great yoga teacher offering a mix of support and challenge with the postures, as well as some interesting stories, musings and viewpoints on how yoga can help us deal with the challenges of day-to-day life. I always feel revitalised after my Friday morning session.” – Sally J, December 2016
“Even though I haven’t been able to attend classes every week, I can really notice the difference from when I first came to the class almost a year ago. I feel stronger, more supple, and more focussed mentally. I really appreciate the clear and detailed way that you explain and demonstrate the postures and techniques. As I hadn’t done any yoga for many years, I still have a long way to go, and I’m determined to keep coming to the classes.” – Sylvia Holliman, December 2016
“You have truly changed my life….not to sound over dramatic. When I started your class, my depression was at an all time high. Introducing yoga in my life has had such an impact. Your blogs have made me investigate things for myself further. I recently finished the Bhagavad Gita. Which I actually thoroughly enjoyed….who knew?? I just wanted you to know the positive impact you have brought.” – Carla, December 2016
“I recently attended Gary’s three-hour workshop (June 11) and wanted to say how beneficial and enjoyable I found it. The two hours of asanas was intensive and effective, and perfectly paced so that those of us who were out of practice (!) could easily keep up feel unpressurised which was a relief, and made it feel very inclusive. I particularly liked hearing Gary’s introductions to various poses and learnt about the purpose/benefits of what we were doing, and this gave an added dimension and mindfulness to what we were practising. The pranayama session (last hour) felt hugely effective after the dynamic asanas, and I left feeling invigorated and restful in equal measures. If like me you haven’t done yoga for a while, sessions like this will remind you why you love it, and encourage you to do it more..!” – Charlotte C, June 2016
“Thank you for such a wonderful workshop, it was set at the perfect level so that beginners and advanced could enjoy it.” – Francesca Strode, June 2016
“Thank you for the excellent yoga workshop on Saturday (June 11). I thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of it and learned a lot.” – Claire Stewart, June 2016
“I just wanted to thank you for this afternoon (yoga workshop). What a wonderful yoga session. I hadn’t had the best week and almost cancelled this morning. But I am so glad I pushed myself to come. I loved all of it; extended on a few positions I haven’t quite managed before.
“I loved the meditation session and in particular your talk on contentedness v happiness. Truly inspirational and peace giving. I will be back.” Jo L, June 2016
“Gary was one of my first yoga teachers when I lived in Bristol eight years ago. Coming back to his classes (at the start of this year) has really helped build my confidence as I can see how I have progressed. Gary is patient and offers the perfect corrections that help click the position into place. His musings on meditation are really on point and I always leave a class feeling reflective on what I have learnt not just in asanas but in the spaces in between and in the final pranayama. I would recommend his classes for all levels of ability.
“I recently attended his three-hour workshop (March 5) which I would also highly recommend. The opportunity to go deeper into asana and pranayama is really helpful and I picked up some perfect tips. Gary has the ability to cope really well with all class sizes and no matter how big or small the class he makes you feel like you are having a one on one. Thank you!” – Tori Rogers, March 2016
“I was diagnosed with breast cancer seven years ago and, very fortunately, made a very good recovery after a mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. When I started taking Gary’s yoga classes at my workplace in 2014 I informed him of my medical background and my concern that some positions may not be suitable for me as I am at continued risk of developing Lymphodoema in my arm plus I have permanent limited mobility in that shoulder from the surgery. Amazingly (given the number of students Gary must teach every week) he remembers this issue and will suggest alternatives so that I can continue to feel included in the class. I’ve noticed that he also continually pays attention to others who might have other issues, from beginners to those carrying injuries, so it’s not just me who benefits from his watchful style of coaching.
“I have a very busy job which regularly becomes stressful. I’ve learnt that regular attendance at Gary’s classes is part of my coping mechanism and I very quickly miss any sessions that I can’t attend.
“I took part in my first 3 hour workshop last Saturday at David Lloyd in Long Ashton and found the final hour of meditation of particular benefit as it left me feeling very relaxed for the remainder of the weekend, ready to face the challenges of the new week.” – JW, March 2016
“My daughter and I attended the workshop on the March 5. Ava is currently right in the middle of a stressful time of A levels and intense studying. She had only done yoga as a young child and was inquisitive about the benefits of yoga for relaxation. We both found the practices energising and challenging which kept us focussed throughout. The meditation practice and techniques were really calming and I hope that this will help her when pressure of studying increases. She is now wanting to book onto the June 11 workshop and also is looking at your class in Stoke Bishop [Mondays 7pm to 8.30]. She’s hooked!! As for me I have been trying to tell both my daughters about the amazing benefits of yoga for many years. I think they just needed to experience it for themselves. I think it should be taught in every school. Thank you Gary, it was also wonderful to see a packed room. I have never been to a workshop quite so well attended. The energy was good.” – Rachel Parry, March 2016
“Just wanted to thank you for a very enjoyable workshop (March 5). As you know, I am just starting my journey into yoga. I suffer from depression, and I can whole heartedly say I have seen improvements in my health, both body and mind due to yoga and your teachings. Many Thanks, Namaste.” – Carla E, March 2016
“I have been attending Gary’s classes for more than a year now. It is really convenient that he comes to our office so I can fit in nicely the yoga practice into my busy lifestyle. Gary is very precise in his teaching, so both our breathing technique and the postures are constantly refined, adjusted. Such a nice relaxing and refreshing way to finish a busy day in the office. I also highly recommend the workshops Gary organises. It is a great way of further mastering the yoga techniques. These workshops are longer as the usual lessons, so there is plenty of time to focus on on physical exercises, breathing and meditation as well.”- Tibor Bicsak DAC Beachcroft LLP, February 2016
Thanks very much Gary, Emily and I were very pleased that we attended (November 28 workshop). It was excellent having more time to focus on the postures and to learn more about technique. In particular, it was beneficial to have more time to breathe into and relax into the postures. In addition, having a whole hour at the end to focus on breathing and meditation was a real joy especially in the busy and stressful run-up to Christmas. Although we didn’t know many of the other workshop participants we felt that there was a nice atmosphere and energy in the class which also enhanced our experience and contributed to our feeling of well-being.
I was particularly pleased to have been able to do something I had not done before and did not know I was capable of (it was only having my feet up against the wall but it certainly pleased me!) and Emily’s objective in practicing yoga is to retain her flexibility and build strength in her core and upper body and the workshop gave her extra impetus to keep going with yoga which is a struggle to fit in to her busy schedule.
Overall, great teaching and a lovely way to start the weekend (although we really ached on Sunday!).- Rachel Ferris, November 2015
“The stress reduction session was very nice by the way, I enjoyed it very much! Gary had a lovely voice, so relaxing! Hope to apply what he told us, his explanations were very nice.” – staff member at Airbus, September 2015
“Gary, you taught this (Viloma Pranayama) during one of the sessions at work. I use it frequently when I wake in the middle of the night and feel restless and cannot get back to sleep. Concentrating on breathing really helps me settle and before I know it the alarm is going off! – Lynn Jones, September 2015; to read blog on Viloma go to https://www.yogabristol.co.uk/2015/07/13/viloma-in-practice/
“I have now had a few months of classes with Gary which he runs in my office. I would otherwise struggle to find time to attend yoga classes and so really value the convenience. His classes have been great for winding down after work as well as building core strength and flexibility.” – Martin Langley, DAC Beachcroft LLP, July 2015
“Really enjoying the sessions and my one hour of peace and quiet during the working week!” – Kirstyn MacFarlane, DACBeachcroft, May 2015
“I am in my mid-60s with a long standing heart condition and have for some time been trying to find exercise that my heart condition will allow me to do but will also be challenging. I started private classes with Gary in 2013. This was my first experience of Yoga and I have found it invaluable and rewarding as the 1-to1 sessions have enabled Gary to introduce me to a range of Yoga exercises and positions which whilst challenging at times I have been able to achieve and also provide firm foundation for me continuing with Yoga in the long term.
“I can’t say enough about Gary’s style, teaching and coaching skills and encouragement. I have enjoyed the sessions with Gary enormously. Gary explains the ‘why’ as well as the ‘how’ in all his coaching and an important advantage of 1to1 lessons is that he can focus it on my particular requirements.
Thank you Gary.”- Peter Stanley, May 2015
“This weekend’s breathing workshop was just what I needed. I’ve been stupidly busy at work lately and have fallen out of rhythm with my practice, so it was a last-minute decision to scramble out of bed and turn up at the venue. I’m so glad I did. A restorative combination of slow, gentle yoga postures and seated pranayama. Plenty of time in savasana (relaxation posture) too. I left feeling much calmer and lighter. Would thoroughly recommend to lapsed yogis and newbies alike. Thanks Gary.” – Natalie H, March 2015
“Some 7 years away from regularly practising yoga, a busy job and young family all led to me booking a series of private lessons with Gary: Gary’s approach through the initial sessions quickly re-established a good core practice at a level suitable for my ability. The advantages of private tuition for me have been that Gary has tailored his explanations and teaching for my particular needs – my technique has improved along with my awareness of the minor corrections needed to really get the most benefit from the postures. It has also been great to be able to flex my practice with Gary to particular needs and energy levels I have on any given day.
“I would recommend private lessons to anyone needing a bit more attention or confidence to develop or kick-start their yoga journey. (I also recently supplemented my private lessons with a three hour workshop and came out feeling fantastic – relaxed, energised and balanced!)” – Felicity B, Jan 2015
“The yoga classess focus on fundamental moves which I feel are safely within my comfort zone whilst still pushing me enough to progress my strength and flexibility. I really enjoy having a focus on both my physical and mental health. The weekly sessions keep me injury free so that I can keep up my other sports commitments, along with the added bonus of feeling refreshed at the end of a long Monday!” – Dr Kim Hannam. Musculoskeletal Research Unit, University of Bristol, Jan 2015
About classes: “I have attended Gary’s Monday night yoga class (at Stoke Bishop Primary School, 7-8.30pm) for nearly 10 years, a fact which is in itself a testament to the quality of the teaching!
As a busy secondary school teacher, I find it hard to switch off and relax, but the Monday night class certainly helps me towards achieving that goal; I always sleep better after the class.
Gary guides you through the yoga postures, differentiating each one to suit a full range of experience and ability. He also gives useful tips on how you can incorporate what you’ve learnt in the class into your daily life. I also like the fact that there is a different focus each week.
If you’ve heard lots about yoga but have never got around to giving it a go, I recommend try one of Gary’s classes.”
About workshops: “I have now been to a number of Gary’s yoga and meditation workshops and would thoroughly recommend them to anyone in need of a bit of stress relief or just a few hours of ‘me time’. I admit to initially feeling daunted by the length of the session but I needn’t have worried – Gary breaks the session down into small manageable chunks, so that the time flies by. The workshop is split into two sections: the first part focuses on a variety of yoga postures whilst the last part involves practicing a series breathing exercises, both of which Gary guides you through, step-by-step. I left the session feeling much lighter, both in body and mind!” – Lucy Cowles-Brooks, Sep 2014
“Having taken a 10 year break from yoga, I was a bit apprehensive about getting back into it. However, I really enjoyed my first session at one of Gary’s evening classes and even though I found it challenging I got quickly back into it with some helpful instruction from Gary. The evening classes are a perfect mix of yoga and breathing exercises and have become one of the highlights of my week. Gary is the best yoga teacher I’ve had and I really like the format of his classes plus his useful teachings and insights on both yoga and meditation practice. The weekly classes and workshops, which help to deepen both of these practices, have helped me manage back pain and stress much more effectively.” – Mel Randhawa, April 2014
“I have attended a few of Gary’s saturday extended morning workshops and have found them to be a really positive experience – being able to more fully engage and immerse oneself into the practice. Gary communicates really well on the subject and this is clearly from a deep interest as well as many years of experience practicing and teaching. I can definitely say that my own yoga practice has improved as a result of attendance.” – Myles Furr, March 2014
Today’s Breathing and Stress Reduction workshop was excellent. Wish I could bottle this and send it to my patients. Would make my life a lot easier.” – Dr Lynn Thompson (GP), March 2014
“I have been coming to Gary’s yoga classes for a while now, I suffer with frequent migraines and advanced arthritis in my hip due to congenital hip dysplasia. The result of these ailments is that I have taken over 2,500 strong painkillers in the last 5 years (possibly more). I’m 36 now and know that this is not a sustainable way to live. I was starting to get even worse headaches from taking the painkillers amongst other side effects!
“I recently attended one of Gary’s workshops which is a longer session of 3 hrs, so there is time to really focus on the breath and meditation practice. I can be a fidgety anxious person at times. A few days after attending the workshop I got my usual monthly migraine in the evening, I unconsciously reached for the painkillers and for the first time I stopped and decided not to. I lay down and concentrated on my breath, (something that was fresh in my mind from the yoga classes), I was able to observe my usual racing thoughts that come at a time like this. I watched myself stressing about the migraine. Was I going to feel sick? Was it going to be a really bad one with a thumping headache? Was one side of face going to feel numb? Will I feel like death tomorrow? Oh no I have so much to do tomorrow….. and so it goes on. I realised that none of this was going to help me and what will be will be. As I concentrated on my breath my anxiety came down and down until I had feeling of calm, this was physically tangible, not just psychological. All I knew after that was that the sun was coming up and the birds were singing and I had no headache, just a really good night’s sleep.” – Nicola H, Feb 2014
“I started attending yoga classes over 2 years ago. I have been practising yoga (on and off) for 15 years; I crawled into his first class recovering from broken ribs. I was unaware that the impact from my rib had misaligned the hip and I was astonished to find that I couldn’t sit cross legged without pain; something I have been doing easily all my life. Within a few weeks under Gary’s instruction I was soon sitting comfortably cross legged once more, the yoga postures quickly helped my body to realign.
“I attend Gary’s classes at work, my job is busy and stressful, I often arrive with my head full of thoughts and in a stressed state, within minutes my mind clears and I think only of the postures and breathing or simply nothing.
“Gary has a very authoritative way; I am very impressed with the way he commands a large mixed class (25-40 men and women), they listen and do exactly as he says, very impressive. I see some men come to his class for the first time, unable to move their muscled bodies into the basic positions, within weeks under Gary’s guidance they get there. Most keep coming back and I have seen his classes continually increase in size as word gets around; a testament to Gary’s ability as a first rate instructor.
“Gary runs longer workshops on Saturday mornings, these are a great way to start the weekend and to master the postures and breathing techniques.
“In our busy lives, we often say we don’t have the time to do these things; Gary’s classes give time and space back to ‘me’; essential in our hectic lives. My mind and body feel nourished.” – Beverley W, Feb 2014
“Gary has been my one-to-one meditation/life coach for nearly a year now and I am completely satisfied with the way it’s working. It’s great to have someone to talk to about meditation’s ups and downs and is a most valuable tool for me. Gary is very knowledgeable and I feel ever so slightly more enlightened after each one of our meetings! Thank you Gary!” – Jamie Bell, Sep 2013
“I had regularly gone to Gary’s workshops in previous years, but for about a year I stopped going. At some point I realised that something was missing in my life and I decided to renew my practice and came to this summer’s workshop. I cannot remember when I felt so good! After the workshop, I felt that I could do tons of work without being tired and exhausting my mental energy, I felt like wanting to do things, even mundane, even my admin, which I usually find tedious (does not everyone?). In short, I found that vital energy and love to life again. We all need from time to time to see a new perspective in life and Gary’s workshops help me to see my life at a different angle. All we do is yoga and pranayama, but this practice, actually, in combination with Gary’s inspirational teaching, help you to get rid of repetitive thoughts and old ideas, which seem to dominate your mind at times, such ideas become so unimportant and distant and your mind starts ticking in the more productive and positive direction.” – Maria G, June 2013
“Gary taught me yoga on a one to one basis and from the first meeting I felt comfortable and relaxed. I had pre conceived ideas of what yoga was and the potential benefits and through discussion, practice and meditation, I feel I was able to reach the relaxation and physically demanding element of yogic practice. Gary is patient, encouraging and will work at your pace, whilst helping you advance and reach the level of mental, physical and spiritual potential. I thoroughly recommend Gary.” — Charlotte S, June 2013
“Just wanted you to know that I haven’t deserted your Monday evening yoga class. I’ve had acute pneumonia and been in hospital for a week. Apparently if I hadn’t been fit this would have been a lot worse. So I thank you for your excellent yoga class, I’m sure it all helped. Also, when I had difficulty breathing I did some of your breathing exercises which helped to calm me down. So I won’t be along for a while, but will come back as soon as I’m able.” – Caroline, February 2013
“Mum and I have fallen in love with yoga and it’s totally changed both our lives not just physically, but emotionally/psychologically too. I didn’t realise how much it could change things. Your patience and passion for yoga is infectious and has given us both the determination to keep trying even when we find postures difficult. Many people have commented on us both looking healthier and happier and we certainly both feel it, so thank you! I would recommend you as a teacher to anyone looking to discover how much yoga can improve and help maintain a healthy mind and body.” – Ruth E, November 2012
“I’ve never experienced anything quite like Gary’s yoga and meditation workshops. It is for me a very rare opportunity to spend three hours completely switched off from the world. It’s difficult to describe the sense of total and absolute relaxation that I always reach by the end of the sessions. Any worries I may have about work, family or finances all seem to fade away. I can’t recommend the workshops enough.” – Lee D, November 2012
“I have dabbled with Yoga for years but never really ‘got it’. Gary is the first teacher I have met who actually teaches rather than just stand at the front of the class doing the poses. From one of the first classes when he went over and over how to actually do Down Dog properly , then how to do sun salutation correctly. Never rushed never trying to do too much. Holding the pose or the twist or the stretch long enough for the pupil to feel the benefit. I think I might finally be getting it! — Lynn Nov 2012
I wanted to share this experience with you. I do practice the breathing techniques you taught me, they help. Particular help was needed yesterday in the middle of my exam. I was not feeling well, I had a hay fever attack and took some tablets to stop me from sneezing during the exams, but of course, such tablets have got a side effect, I felt drowsy. I was beginning to lose concentration in the 3d hour of my exam, I went to the bathroom and did the breathing technique (with one nostril closed at a time). I came back, one must say, re-energized and calm and the symptoms of allergy almost gone (later re-appeared though). I was able to continue focused on my exam.
I have got another exam coming up, need to focus more. Feel like have got more control after some breathing exercises. Helps a great deal. — Maria G, May 2012
“I was initially rather daunted by a full 3 hour’s workshop as I have only been practicing yoga for around six months (and only 1 hour a week) but I wanted to take things a little further. I need not have worried – Gary made the time fly by very quickly and successfully managed to cater for the varying abilities of the people attending. I also enjoyed the meditation session far more than I was expecting as Gary broke this down into bite sized, manageable sections of ten minutes or so. I will certainly attend another of these workshops” — Tracy C, May 2012
Thank you for the blog on your website. You’ve answered my question on how much yoga one should do and The Guardian article was interesting.
I’m ever so grateful to have you as my yoga teacher. Your method is so precise and intense. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I’ve benefited and continue to benefit from the practice.
— Renny, May 2012
I think your website is excellent – your writing on issues of yoga and philosophy in general are inspirational and informative. Your classes are also the best I’ve ever been to; I’ve practiced yoga for very many years, sometimes alone, sometimes in classes and although I’ve had some very good teachers (and a couple of mediocre ones), you are definitely the best. Your style is a perfect combination of teaching, the physical elements of yoga and the spiritual connection of yoga/Buddhism.
— Yvonne Holland, Feb 2012
Gary’s classes have become an essential part of my routine to manage and maintain my back since I was diagnosed with a lumbar disc prolapse (or ‘slipped disc’) nearly two years ago. With Gary’s style of adjusting and varying the poses I can always manage the class whether I am having a good or bad week and leave feeling like I have achieved something. It’s also obvious that my ‘bad’ weeks are less frequent and the days that my pain spreads down my leg are more and more rare. This is my fifth yoga class/teacher I have tried and the first I have stuck with long term. I am particularly impressed with his efforts to manage and adapt for injuries which takes the fear out of getting back into exercise without it taking over the class for the rest of the group. It remains the one day of the week I leave work on time!
— RF, Feb 2012
“Gary’s yoga class gives me the perfect start to the week. I’m a working mum with very little ‘me’ time. Going to Gary’s yoga class every Monday nourishes me with tranquility and restores my sanity. The physical exercises reward me with a sense of achievement. I’ve been coming to Gary’s classes for 3 years, but feel I’m still growing into the postures; each week that goes by, I get a little more out of them. I need the Monday yoga class as my weekly fix!”
— Mary Harrison, Feb 2011
“Having been left blind from a dreadful car crash I started to learn about yoga. Several years later I discovered a class at my old School and just up the road my house. I went along, explaining to Gary what had happened to me and how I had done a bit of yoga etc. As the positions are explained and performed its not too hard to follow, added to that Gary will always come around to check I, personally know what to do, if not he will position me correctly, likewise with others in the group. Myself and a friend also had a personal session at my house one time and again Gary gave very good instructions and guidance, making sure we were in the correct postures.
“I thoroughly enjoy Gary’s classes and feel yoga has given me a good posture, of which people have also commented on.”
— Jenny Hodges Feb 2011
“I have participated in many different yoga classes, most of which have been mediocre – either too ‘fitness’ based or too slow! Gary’s classes quite clearly derive from an extensive knowledge of what yoga really is. Classes with Gary are enjoyable as you learn the ‘whole’ asana, from a safe introduction, progressing to hands on adjustments (if desired) to attain a more challenging posture. If you want a yoga class which is authentic, precise and safe with a teacher using clear and concise instruction then Gary’s class is the one for you!”
— Sarah Claridge, Yoga Stars
“Gary gives excellent classes – well-explained and he manages to adapt the postures for all levels. I always look forward to them and feel energised afterwards.”
— Pauline Elkin Feb 2011
“I have had a problem with my right leg for years, but yoga helps me to stretch it out and it has been noticed by others how much better I walk since taking up classes with Gary.”
— Katherine Harrison Feb 2011
“I really enjoy your classes because you explain the movements and poses so well. I have attended other yoga classes, but yours always left me feeling like I’d actually had a proper ‘work out’. I would (and do) happily recommend you.”
— Angela G Feb 2011
“Gary manages to strike the right balance between theory and practice, lightness and seriousness. I always leave the Stoke Bishop sessions feeling stretched, relaxed and all warm inside.”
— Louise P Feb 2011
After a yoga workshop: “I cannot stop myself from expressing the joy I felt after today’s workshop. I wanted to come to the session and I feel so good after it. It feels like that I only truly live on the day when I go to these workshops.”
— Maria G Oct 2010
“I would like you to know that I felt the classes did me good, increased my strength and flexibility and awareness. I also enjoyed the workshop we came to – a good balance of the various elements of yoga – physical postures, breathing techniques and meditation. Thank you!”
— Lynda N Dec 2010
“I like the classes and mainly the balance of exercise with a little meditation.”
— Pat P Dec 2010
“We tend to “do what we can” so building up the exercises in the way you do explaining that we can stop at a particular stage if the body won’t bend/stretch any more is good for us. Also I like the approach of getting the posture right rather than achieving the end position but not in the correct way.”
— Angela J Dec 2010
“I really enjoy the class, all the stretches, twists, warriors, and the fact that you come round and correct the position if necessary which is really helpful in feeling how the position should feel when done properly. I like the way you keep the poses going so we have to keep trying rather than give up as soon as we start to feel stretched.”
— Anita O Dec 2010
“I find the class is challenging and varied and thank you for your help and support, I am sure that I would feel lost without the stress relief of yoga practice.”
— Carole P Dec 2010
“Gary’s style of teaching is a perfect balance between explanation and giving you quiet space, between pushing you a little bit further and encouraging you to listen to your own body. No matter whether you’re a total beginner or quite experienced, you’ll benefit so much from his classes.”
— Susanne Frank