Author name: Safia Bowley

After discovering Yoga in the mid 1990s I attended classes and workshops with a variety of teachers while working in arts administration, looking to it as a way of staying flexible - very much aware that much of my working day was spent sitting at a desk.

After the birth of my daughter, I attended Wenche's Mother and Child classes and my interest deepened; this lead to embarking on studies with the British School of Yoga in 2010, and the completion of a Hatha Yoga Teaching course, supplemented by the invaluable experience of assisting and observing Wenche in classes at the Yoga-Life Studio.

I have experience in running yoga classes for children, the elderly, pregnant women, students, and currently offer regular Hatha Yoga sessions at the Yoga Life Studio, at Herstmonceux Integrative Health Centre as well as at a health and fitness retreat, a care home and a mental health unit. I love helping others to discover what Yoga has to offer them, and feel privileged as I continue to explore its wonderfully energising and deeply relaxing properties.


Quick interview with Safia:

Can you tell us what we can expect in your class?

Our friendly Friday morning class is a gentle Hatha Yoga session - starting and ending with relaxation, some breath exercises and incorporating a variety of stretches on the mat and standing postures. A great way to treat yourself and let go of the week in preparation for the weekend ahead.

When did you first realise that you wanted to be a yoga teacher? What was the wow moment if any?

It was something that felt quite natural to me - I had put it off as something I might do sometime, then one day I realised there was no time like the present!

Where is your favourite place to practice?

I'm not just saying this because you are asking me(!), but I think of the Yoga Life Studio as my yoga home. It has a very special energy and it's always a joy to practice there. I also love to practice at home (however what was my yoga space has recently been taken over by my daughter's new pet rabbit!) Outdoor yoga is a real pleasure, especially near the sea.

Have you got any advice for new students?

Yoga is for everyone... yes, really! Try a variety of classes if you can, so you find the style that suits you best. Take your time, and be kind to yourself. Stay aware of your breath, and whenever in doubt, come back to simply observing it. Don't push yourself to stretch or reach as far as the person on the next mat if it doesn't feel right.

You love yoga because....

It keeps me on an even keel, no matter what's going on around.

What is your favourite posture/practice and why?

Hard to choose, but a gentle flowing cat/cow/child sequence to calm and balance + wonderful for keeping the spine in check.

Can you share 3 interesting facts about yourself?

1. Many years ago, while studying Art History, I travelled to India to photograph a Persian illustrated manuscript kept in a library, which had once been a Nawab's palace, in a remote town - I have the photographs of the paintings, though not of the trip - it was like a fairytale.

2. Before I was a yoga teacher I worked for an opera singers' agency.

3. I am half Scottish and half Pakistani.

What is your personal motto or favourite quote?

Be humble, for you are made of earth; be noble, for you are made of stars.

Safia Bowley
Low Lunge/ Crescent Moon

Posture of the month – July – Low Lunge/Crescent Moon – Anjaneyasana

What a lovely sunny start to July, inspiring some extra Sun Salutation practice, which can include this beautiful Low Lunge. From Downward Facing Dog pose, exhale and step the right foot forward, bringing and keeping the knee in line with the ankle. Drop the left knee to the mat and point the left toes away. …

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Posture of the month – June – Side Plank – Vasisthasana

Summer is here at last! It’s a perfect time to dive into a joyful, playful practice celebrating the sunshine and the abundance of the season as it unfolds. Side Plank/ Vasisthasana is a great preparation for other arm balance postures, strengthening and giving a wonderful revitalising stretch to the arms, the spine, abdomen and legs. …

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Warrior 2

Posture of the Month – May – Warrior 2 / Virabhadrasana II

Posture of the Month – May – Warrior 2 / Virabhadrasana II The month of May is a time for celebration of the earth turning green, flowers bursting into bloom and an abundance of fresh energy all around – a particularly potent time for expressing ourselves and initiating creative plans. Warrior 2 helps us to …

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Matsyasana - Fish Pose

Posture of the month – March – Matsyasana – Fish Pose

  It’s blizzarding this morning…. but signs of Spring have been coming fast lately – buds appearing, hours of daylight increasing and little splashes of colour as primroses and crocuses open themselves up. After huddling to keep warm through winter we’ll soon be ready to stretch and do the same, opening up and breathing deeply as we launch into fresh plans and …

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Downward facing dog

Posture of the month – February – Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward Facing Dog

February has breezed in, snowdrops are beginning to pop up and there are patches of blue sky to be seen, but there’s still a nip in the air so it feels good to keep moving – warming and stretching the body,  energising and refreshing the mind as we look forward to spring. Downward Facing Dog …

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Happy New Year to all!

Happy New Year!  We wish you all a happy, healthy, successful and peaceful year ahead and look forward to sharing our yoga practice with you this month and throughout 2013 as it unfolds.  If you are new to yoga, what better time to start – join us and try something new!  See you soon…. x

Asana of the month – June – Warrior I

So, here we are the other side of the longest day. The mid-point in the calendar is a good time to take stock of our achievements since January, and also perhaps to consider how we can build on those achievements in the months that lie ahead. Warrior I is a strengthening, focusing posture but I also see it as celebratory: taking a confident stride forward feels empowering, and as we sink into the …

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