Hi, I’m Stefan.
Hey! My name is Stefan, and I do a lot of yoga. I’ve delved so deep into the different aspects of the practice that I’ve managed to find the limits of my body and, at times, ended up with injuries. That has taught me a lot.
Since 2012 I’ve been studying and teaching yoga, and since 2016 I’ve been leading teacher trainings. Throughout that time, I’ve been lucky enough to study extensively, including six study trips to India totalling more than 18 months. Since then, I’ve helped guide more than 250 students through the evolving versions of this training program.
My yoga journey has had many twists and turns; the most recent coming through persistent injuries I attained from working too rigidly in my practice. Around this time, I had a lucky encounter with Yoga Synergy founder Simon Borg Olivier. Simon’s methods helped me immensely, and within one spontaneous weekend of study in 2019, he revolutionised my thinking on yoga.
Since then, the teaching team and I have been studying with Simon online and in person to learn about his methods and apply it to this course.
My approach now, as always, will be to share the most meaningful and useful practices at my disposal. Although this is directly influenced by Simon, there is much from my history in Vinyasa, Iyengar and other inspirations to share as well.
My essential beliefs
I believe that yoga practice should always:
- Be healing to the body and mind
- Be in general a relaxing practice
- Be enjoyable and fun
- Take into consideration all the latest available knowledge
- Be respectful to the philosophy and history of yoga
- Be built around individual needs
I believe yoga should never:
- Injure or compromise its student’s health or wellbeing
- Leave people more stressed than when they arrived
- Be uninformed and out of date
- Be stuck in ridged lineage
- Be guru focused
- Be based on dogma
My beliefs significantly informed my approach to teaching and learning, and therefore all classes and courses I teach.
the yoga I teach
I teach yoga based on the principals of Yoga Synergy, a practice that fits with and is familiar with modern postural yoga. Yoga Synergy has a strong focus on working with and understanding human physiology. At the same time, it is strongly influenced by Taoist Yoga, like Qi Gong. This evidence-based approach creates a safe practice accessible to students of all levels.
Synergy has three interlinked practices. These can be considered elements for any class or practiced exclusively:
Joint Movements: a movement practice often likened to Qi Gong. This practice explores the simple and then associated movements of each joint complex. After exploring basic movements, we combine these into flowing circular motions. From here, we explore how this joint affects others and can flow through the whole body. Eventually, these flowing movements look like the yoga you know, as we find ourselves moving between traditional postures. This practice works independently or in shortened form as part of any yoga sequence.
Spinal Movements: this practice, usually done standing, teaches the movement and actions of the spine. It is accessible to students of any level and is the perfect warm-up in any yoga class. It can be made challenging for advanced students and simplified for beginners; it is even possible while sitting on a chair. Spinal movements teach us the spinal actions needed for yoga poses without the complexity of shapes we see in modern asana.
Asana, flow, and posture: this is now our take on modern vinyasa yoga. We take the lessons learnt in the earlier practices and apply them to these common postures and transitions. We learn guidelines and cues for different spinal actions and joint positions, which we then use for each pose. For example, we know the strategies or actions of a front leg. We then apply these to the front leg in W2, W3, seated forward fold, standing knee to chest, etc., simplifying learning new poses into an equation of position and understood action. This approach to vinyasa is practical, easy to understand and safe.
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