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 160 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- Be uninformed and out of date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. That is a practice based on the traditions of yoga as you likely know it, but approached with a strong understanding of human physiology and anatomy. That is, that nothing is done without a reason, and there is a big focus on making the practice safe, and accessible for everyone.
I work with not one, but three interlinked practices. These can be considered elements for any class, or taught exclusively:
Joint Movements: a movement practice often likened to Qi Gong. This practice explores the simple and then compound movements of each joint complex. After exploring the basic movements of each joint, we combine these into flowing circular movements. From here, we explore how this joint effects the others, and can then flow through the whole body. This practice is essential for teaching you, and your future students about joints, range of motion, how to move, and even mindfulness.
Eventually these flowing movements begin to look like regular yoga, and we can find ourselves moving between traditional postures. This practice can be a simple sequence to take into your teaching for students of any level.
Spinal Movements: this foundational practice, usually done standing but available from any position, teaches students the spine’s movements and actions. It’s accessible by students of any level and is a perfect for the start of any modern yoga class. It can be made challenging for advanced students or simplified for those who need. Students can even practise this sequence while sitting on a chair. This sequence demonstrates actions and ideas for regular yoga poses without the funny shapes of the later practices.
Yoga asana, vinyasa and posture: this practice is now our variation on what you know as modern yoga. Here we take the lessons learnt in the earlier practices and apply them to common postures and transitions. Much of the course explores the common poses you will encounter through this lens. There are limitless postures you can make, as modern yoga so often demonstrates, so it’s impossible to learn separate rules and cues for each of these poses. So instead, we do two things: Firstly, we apply the lessons from the first two practices here, which is easy. Then, we learn sets of ‘rules’ or ‘cues’ for different situations. For example, whenever you’re in a standing pose, here’s what you do with the legs, or whenever you’re in a forward fold, here are the rules for the torso. Therefore, you can work out the needs for any pose, as well as have the ability to easily apply what you’ve learnt in various situations.
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