Yoga on the Suffolk Coast...

Suffolk fields in snow and with blue sky.  The light, space and peace of Suffolk coastal area (an area of outstanding beauty) inspires Cathie's teaching as the ancient yogis were inspired by nature.Living in Suffolk on the coast gives me huge inspiration for my teaching. The ancient yogis were closely connected with nature and many postures (asana) are inspired by nature, for example: mountain, cat and dog.


It is well known that many creative people are drawn to Suffolk for its space, peace, countryside and wildlife, and its beautiful light. It is possible to find remote places that have a quiet stillness, near the sea or many rivers, or in the forests, marshes or heathland. Being on the east of England gives a clarity to the air and we are blessed with more sunshine hours that many other areas in the UK. The softly undulating rural countryside, the coast and heathlands and the many rivers support much wildlife and we are truly exposed to the changes in the weather through the seasons. The big skies allow us to be delighted by the glorious sunrises and sunsets, and the lack of ‘light pollution’ allows us to be in awe of the wonderfully clear night skies.


For me this connection with nature and the seasons is essential for me to thrive – when I was a student in London I literally craved for the green fields and quiet that I had grown up with in the South West. Having lived now in Suffolk for 32 years I have a strong allegiance to this area as it truly connects me to what I need and to what I teach. As a yoga teacher and energy therapist I need to teach what I ‘know’ and embody on a deep level and I am only truly integrated when I have nurtured myself in nature. My daily dog-walking in a place of beauty (and whatever the weather!), is part of my personal yoga practice and what I experience in nature is fed back into my teaching.


The River Deben (dear to Cathie's heart) - a view across the water to the famous Woodbridge Tide-Mill. Rivers and tides symbolise the ebb and flow of the breath and the flow of Prana (life force) within the body.In yoga this awareness of our connection with the earth and nature is very important – we can embody the qualities of things we see and experience in nature, for example, the inner strength and groundedness of a mountain, the power and fluidity of the movement of a cat, the warmth of the sun on our skin or a sense of our inner sun. We also have qualities of all the elements within us and I truly believe and teach that the macrocosm (the universe and the world around us) is reflected in the microcosm (what is within us). The flow of the breath is like the ebb and flood of a river or the rhythm of the waves on the shore.



...the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty covers ancient woodland, commercial forestry, the estuaries of the Alde, Blyth, Deben, Orwell and Stour rivers, farmland, salt marsh, heathland, mudflats, reed beds, small towns and villages, shingle beaches and low eroding cliffs along 60 miles of the Suffolk coastline.  


Orwell bridge over the river Orwell with boats at moorings. The beautiful rivers of Suffolk connect with Cathie's previous experience as a sailor and the drive over this bridge to her Holbrook class on Mondays. Bridge and Boat are both yoga postures.


In yoga an awareness of our connection with the earth and nature is very important.