Meet the Teachers

Yoga with Soul

Gemma Soul recently joined us at Islington. She teaches a range of alignment based Hatha Vinyasa really focusing on connection of breath to movement. Her classes offer a safe space for release and transformation. In this week’s interview we catch up with Gemma to get to know her a bit better.

When did you realize you wanted to teach?
I always had a profound love of moving. From being very active as a child to then taking movement and dance classes at Drama School (Guildhall School of Music & Drama) and eventually finding Yoga. I guess I love it so much I want to share that passion and help others realise the freedom which Yoga gives you in mind, body and spirit.

Who or what was your biggest inspiration so far on your yoga journey?
My biggest inspiration was my teacher and good friend, Idit Hefer Tamir who I trained with in Sydney, Australia. I remember the first time I went to her class and it really was a light bulb moment for me and I knew I had to take her training. She is an amazing inspiration and what I love about her is that her teaching always comes from her heart, combining the traditional line of yoga teachings but being able to wonderfully apply them to the modern day life we live today and this link is so important, and what I strive to continue in my teaching.

What do you think makes a good teacher?
I think I answered this above, but the teachers who inspire me are able to relate the ancient teachings of yoga to the modern day, with what we face with in our lives on a daily basis. Another inspiration to me is Jack Kornfield. I love all his books, meditations and podcasts, if you get a chance have a listen as he is also a wonderful teacher of applying lessons to life here and now.

  • What is your single favourite asana, and why?*
    What a difficult question! I guess it changes everyday depending on what my body cries out for but nothing can beat a great Balasana (Child’s Pose). Its the pose I automatically fall into every time I step on my mat. That time to curl up get grounded and acknowledge the sanctity of being on your mat and then you can expand out.

Tell us about your musical background/ what do you do other than yoga?
My musical background! Well, I am a pianist and trumpet player, though I play much less now. I love music and it was a massive part of my childhood. I’ve never been the best with words, but I find expression through music and moving my body for sure. And the combination of the two? Wow, I love it. I use music in my classes as I think it allows a freedom of movement I am also a Psycle fitness Instructor. I love a challenge so I just completed the London Marathon 2015 raising money for RNIB, for whom I also teach Yoga. I am an actress, I trained at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. A continuing love of telling stories and sharing experience. Travel. Cook. Read. Learn.

What are you reading at the moment?
A friend recently recommended a book called “The Sacred Journey of the Peaceful Warrior” by Dan Millman. I’m only a third of the way through but oh it’s great, I can’t put it down. A book that really reminds us to follow our heart and that we all have a path, sometimes it’s just a matter of letting go, following your intuition and trusting in your journey. A staple book of mine is also Jack Kornfield’s “A Path with Heart” I always have it out in my room as once you’ve read the book you can then open it on any page and read a paragraph for a little daily inspiration as he is so eloquent and beautiful in his writing. Truly inspiring.

  • A tip for Beginners*
    Be present on the journey, it’s not a race. Every body’s body is different, enjoy yours, there will be some asanas (poses) you can do straight away, some that will take time and some that will test you… this is the same and different for everyone! You get me? Get interested, and learn from everything, you’ll probably find the reason you started yoga becomes very different to the reason you continue.

What is your personal motto?
“What if?”
If I am struggling with something, I often ask myself “what if I just tried?” or “what if I let go?” “what if I say yes?” I tend to get the answer I need, often its a feeling but I’ll know what to do.

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