The Swimoga Story
I live in Bristol, with my two children, and work at the BBC Natural History Unit. I also teach yoga and coach open water swimming.
i came to teaching after practicising for 17 years and wanting to take my practice further, was inspired by a close friend to do my teacher traning with her at Bristol School of Yoga. I completed my 200 hour Hatha with them over the course of a year which was an incredible and emotional journey, as my father had just died. The course helped me to deal with the anxiety and grief I was trying to process.
I then went on to start my 500 Hr TT which I am still completing, I have come to realise life is about the journey not the destination! So true with being a student of yoga!
My teaching style is about accesibility and taking a reality check, being true to what we can achieve, working with our 'Satya' (sanscript for truth or essence). We won't always have time to practice for an hour, but every posture and breath helps. Little sequences we can learn to take away with us to use where and when we need them, have been of enormoue benefit to me and I would like to pass those on to anyone who comes to my classes.
What is Swimoga?
Swimoga is breathwork, stretches and yoga, the breath linking to the body, and providing us with that reset of calm, in and out of the water.
Yoga means to 'yoke', bring together. Stretching and breathing and dipping / swimming, feels like a natural partnership. Every good yoga session starts with the breath, every perfect swim has breath as it's building blocks. Breathing is at the heart of the way I coach on land and in the water.
And my watery journey?
I have always loved being in and around water, from an early age splashing around in the waves in Devon and the rivers of Dartmoor, to training as a PADI rescue diver in my 20's and diving shipwrecks in the English Channel. Whilst living in London in my early 30's I still found a way to swim outdoors, whether it was in the Crouch End Lido on my way to work or Hampstead Heath ponds at the weekends. Outdoor swimming seemed freer and more elemental than being in an indoor pool.
Around 5 years ago I rediscovered my love for the watery wild, when my father was taken ill. I found the water helped to process the many emotions I was feeling at the time. I then trained as a Yoga teacher in 2017, and was teaching breath work (pranayama) in studios in and around Bristol, and felt the innate connection between the calm from my yoga breathing practice, and the calm of a regular breath on a long swim, or even a shorter dip.
I experienced the flow of emotions whilst swimming down rivers, in Lakes, quarries, and estuaries, and the meditative effect of a long swim. In 2019 I completed the Dart 10k, swimming for nearly 3 hours in water at 13 degrees, and raising as a team over 1.5 k. I wanted to take my curiosity further so in the summer of 2020 I trained with Olympian long distance swimmer Keri-anne Payne to become an Outdoor Swim coach.
Cold water reset.
A few winters ago I discovered cold water swimming, and something shifted in me, and every day stresses seemed to lift away after a cold dip. Having done some research now I can understand the science, and what is happening to help reset the nervous system. Please contact me to book a introduction to cold water swimming session.
I also teach yoga classes for corporate clients, private clients and on 1:1 basis, click on the link below to find out more
I hope to be able to meet you soon and help you on your your yoga, breathwork and wild swimming journey! Amelia x