Actually, Donna Gianniotis doesn’t use the Sanskrit names for the asanas in her teaching. She reckons that when people recognise the name they automatically drop into the pose without checking if they are doing it correctly, whereas when she describes the action, they are more likely to get the correct alignment.
Hers is a gentle, nurturing practice, exploring the yoga of opening the heart. She starts with the breath and an intense awareness of the body, moving up from the legs and coming to rest in the heart centre. Each pose is slow and even slower, so controlled that some limbs start to tremble. Each stretch is calm and aware, leaving bodies satiated with a feeling of deep contentment. And each shivasana is long and thoughtful and brings you back to that heart centre.
Donna is also a practitioner of AcuEnergetics (Accurate Energy Medicine) and incorporates this into her yoga teaching. During the week she offered each student a private session when they could either focus on their own practice, or receive a session of AcuEnergetics. Everyone came out glowing.
The sum total for her week in June was a very joyful group of yogis. The yoga platform was a place of companionship, jokes, support and finding out new ways to do things. New ways to breathe. New ways to still the mind. And then later on between the yoga practices, fun and play – even new ways to integrate a yoga practice with snorkelling!