We’re over the moon that Frankie Walker has joined us at The Well Garden with two beautiful new classes on a Monday evening. Frankie has practised a huge amount of yoga since discovering it in 1997 starting with Iyenger and studying Ashtanga, Sivananda, Vinyasa Krama and eventually the deeply creative and intelligent practice inspired by Vanda Scaravelli. Her classes are infused with warmth, encouragement and a deep understanding of the postures, practices and philosophy of Yoga. Since 2011 Frankie has also been teaching pregnancy and post-natal yoga classes, inspired by her own pregnancy and the birth of her son. We catch Frankie for the low down on what inspires her and how yoga has changed her life…
What inspired you to become a yoga teacher?
After practicing yoga for 10 years and travelling in India many times I found myself standing on the banks of the great river Narmada watching a Yogi Sadhu practice at sunrise (whilst i had a terrible case of dissentry!) I felt uplifted just being near him. This moment helped me unpick my own experiences of practice, the sense of contentment, the sense of self acceptance, the engagement of the will, the willingness to meet myself and the refuge that practicing Yoga had offered me over the years. A couple of years of travelling later I went to live in an ashram to begin to study and eventually teach yoga in the hope that some of the great and very relevant benefits could be shared.
What do you love most about teaching?
I love the courage of people who come to practice and to meet themselves on the mat. That might be the challenge of a physical posture, it might be the release of some emotion through the practice or it might be learning to approach themselves and life in a different way. I love to sit with a group of people who are not trying to be anything other than themselves be with the beautiful, often turbulent and vibrant experience of living and moving in this city which we love.
Who are your classes aimed at?
Every Every Everybody! I believe that everyone can practice yoga and that it’s my job as a teacher to make these practices available to everyone.
What does Yoga mean to you?
Yoga, for me, is an endless journey of discovery. It’s a vessel which can hold me in all of my complex and colourful emotions and constantly connect me to my body, my breath and therefore to this moment. Yoga is an ancient tool which can connect us back to a more primary way of being, allowing for a deep reorganisation. It allows us to let go, to breathe and to see ourselves and our lives with a clarity, in doing this we often find that old habits and conditioning begin to fall away.
How has yoga changed your outlook on life?
Yoga has definitely changed my outlook on life, it’s given me the understanding that I have the power to decide how I move through this world and it’s given me the strength and flexibility, both physical and mental, to weather the storms. It’s also taught me that if I feel something the likelihood is that you feel it too, there is something not only reassuring about that but that develops a real sense of empathy and compassion. I teach from my own practice, I only teach what I experience in my own body and being and in this way we connect.
What do you find is the most difficult thing about yoga?
All sorts of things at different times! Sometimes finding time to practice in a busy life of London, working, mothering etc…. getting on my mat if I’m in physical or mental discomfort, letting go of wanting to be able to do a posture because I’ve seen someone else do it! It’s the most delicious thing when the body opens and almost spontaneously does a complex posture but its torture when you’re trying to attain or chase a goal that feels out of reach.
Have you been to any yoga retreats, events or festivals that you’d recommend to your students?
Catherine Annis offers wonderful retreats and intensives in Scaravelli inspired yoga, I hugely recommend her.
What do you like to do when you’re not on the mat?
I love to make great food, to ferment things and to travel as much as I can. I love to hang out with my 4 year old in Queens woods and make dens or spot pixies on Dartmoor. I love to hang out in saunas at festivals, to play my guitar and to sing. I love to dance, rhythms, chat with friends and throw big communal dinners.
Join Frankie each Monday evening at The Well Garden. Kick of the week with an invigorating and uplifting dynamic yoga class at 6:30pm or relax and restore with her beautiful Scaravelli inspired yoga class at 7:45pm. For full details and to book, click here.