Jon believes that yoga is essentially about building bridges across into more positive and engaged ways of experiencing and seeing the world, and that through sustained, careful and caring attention to our own embodied experience, we can make real changes to the way we think and feel day to day.
Jon first discovered yoga in London 15 years ago, taking classes at Yoga Junction and a few one-to-one lessons with Tara Fraser, and has been doing it ever since! He returned to India in the winter of 2016 to study and travel more widely, and plans to go back as soon as he can afford it and has the time!
Outside teaching yoga, Jon has a PhD in music and works part-time as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of York Department of Music. He is active as a freelance composer and, sometimes, can be heard singing. Recent projects include the critically acclaimed Shoreline (July 2016), where 100 community singers and 5 professional dancers performed on 3 beautiful beaches in Cornwall.
(see Jon’s Website for more info)
Jon teaches a simple and effective form of hatha yoga and tries to integrate a wide range of interests into his practice, including Alexander Technique and Somatics. He studied Alexander Technique for several years in London with Anne Battye, one of the world’s leading teachers. He also has a keen interest in Thomas Hanna’s Somatics and Somatic approaches to yoga in general, such as those developed by Eleanor Criswell and others. Another related interest is the work on Trauma Sensitive Yoga developed by David Emmerson and Bessel Van Der Kolk. Somatics, Trauma Sensitive Yoga and Alexander Technique are all approaches that focus on the release and regulation of muscle tension, and as a result, Jon’s yoga style emphasises a gentle approach to working with the body. The focus is on interoception – developing our attention to and awareness of the sensation of one’s own body and ‘kinaesthetic’ experience. That is, our embodied, physical sense of self.
Jon doesn’t do any adjustments in his class (physically adjusting students), instead being more interested in creating the conditions in which people have the space to explore their own experience with minimal external interference.
Jon considers himself to be in a constant state of learning and development with yoga: the reason he is teaching is to learn more about it and share it with other people. This attitude was very much encouraged in India studying at Rishikesh Yog Peeth – the emphasis was on developing one’s own philosophy, style, and approach, whilst understanding the cultural and textual roots of yoga. As a general rule, Jon’s suspicious of the guru mindset and ‘lineages’ in yoga, and tends to avoid them as much as possible. He’s more interested in people who are engaged in a process of exploration in their practice, who retain the ability to think critically and constructively about what they’re doing, and who encourage others to do the same.