If you're new to yoga it can be quite daunting going to a new class, imagining there might be lots of bendy, accomplished students around you who know what they're doing.
So it's important to quickly be at ease and find your way without feeling intimidated by the teacher and the others in the class.
My yoga classes are suitable for ordinary people like you and me. Whether you are as flexible as a wooden spoon or have joints that allow you to naturally hyper-extend into the shape of a pretzel, it doesn't matter.
You'll receive down to earth guidance relevant to your individual physical state, from someone who's aware from personal experience about the usual limitations of the average body.
Also, you'll learn correct technique, oft neglected, so you can identify and avoid bad habits that might cause long-term issues.
You will learn, at your own pace, just how practical and vital yoga is to our modern way of life.
After several years teaching ashtanga and hot yoga at the Yorkshire Yoga & Therapy Centre, I started regular classes in Harrogate at Sweaty Betty, Go Yoga, Nuffield Health Fitness & Wellbeing Centre, Brimhams Fitness Centre, The Academy, and in Knaresborough.
An approved local authority teacher, I periodically teach at Brimhams, Ripon, Nidderdale and Rossett leisure centres.
Apart from weekly 'public' classes, I have regular 'one to one' students of all ages. These sessions greatly benefit a wide range of people, with or without yoga experience, and with different levels of health and fitness.
"As a slightly sceptical 65 yr old, new to yoga, I have been most impressed with Robert’s one-to-one tuition. He goes at a gentle, but comforting pace, and recognises my limitations, while encouraging me to overcome them. He is patient but firm in correcting my ‘good enough’ (but wrong) approach to some postures, and clearly has very good teaching skills. My chronic aches are slowly responding to his ministrations." Keith Barnes, Harrogate
Previously an actor & singer, I had developed what I considered to be a strong physical awareness, and I was in the gym 5 times a week. I thought I was fit. Until I went to my first ashtanga yoga class.
The next day, everything ached, and I realised my fitness was superficial. But regular yoga practise progressively reduced the aching and started to enhance every aspect of my life - physically, mentally and spiritually.
Typically for a sporty chap, I was not flexible. I had stiff hips, tight hamstrings, and various injuries including carpal tunnel syndrome, a damaged knee which needed surgery and a Morton's Neuroma (an inflamed nerve channel in the foot).
But regular practice improved flexibility, and the symptoms of these conditions are under control 15 years later.
"Robert is a great teacher who ensures safety in the practice at all times. I would definitely recommend his Sun Power Yoga classes which are fun and energetic." Lucy Croucher
After practising for a number of years at the Yorkshire Yoga & Therapy Centre in Knaresborough I was asked if I would like to teach there, so over the next couple of years I trained for my teaching qualifications with the internationally renowned teacher trainer Ann Marie Newland of Sun Power Yoga, gaining the following qualifications:
First Aid Certified
Also, I have studied and attended workshops with a variety of well-known teachers including:
David Swenson, David Sye, Stewart Gilchrist, Amanda Latchmore, Swami Vishwamandala, Laura Bissell, Rob Leadley & Indra Singh
A gentler class for those less physically active. No regular class at the moment, but this is the style I teach when asked to sub at local authority health clubs.
Suitable for beginners but challenging for intermediates. A regular Thursday night class which everyone of average fitness can attend.
Powerful and disciplined, this is one of the most demanding physical practices. No current classes.
Based on the Barkan Method and around 20 or so classical poses, this is great for those who like heat and to sweat! No current classes.
Students with experience can practise safely, with guidance. No regular class, for obvious reasons, but I have 'subbed' a few times and been well received!
"I first joined Robert's Class in April of 2012. I was fairly new to Yoga, and I initially felt intimidated because of how capable everyone else in the class seemed relative to my physical capabilities. Robert told me to follow the modifications and to not get "flustered and tired out" while trying to keep up with everyone, "not try to compete with anyone else, just allow your body to do what it can, and your stamina and technique will build over time." He was right - I did need to check my ego and focus on my own progress and practice. I have become much more physically able. With his guidance, I was able to continue taking classes right up to 34 weeks of pregnancy; and I felt much healthier and in control of my breathing for my labor and delivery. I attribute his instruction and yoga in general for helping me maintain my body for a healthy pregnancy. Yoga has simultaneously made me feel more powerful and more introspective. Thank you, Robert!"
Rachel Sakelaris, Harrogate