Meet Rebecca Spooner who is teaching our new class Contortion, a yoga class that focuses on flexibility and the opening of tight muscle areas. "I love to play deep house in my classes!" she says.
Hi Rebecca! You are new to Gymbox, teaching new class Contortion, how has it been so far?
It has been very exciting so far, getting together with all the other Contortion teachers and brain storming stretches and themes. I have really enjoyed being part of the Contortion photoshoot and wearing a black and white striped jumpsuit whilst bending and twisting!
Tell us about the new class? What can members expect from it?
We will focus on one part of the body per session. If, for instance, I was teaching a legs class, we would start with a warm up, leg lunges, forward bends, seated stretches – then we would get into partners and do partner stretches. Your partner will add pressure by gently pushing or pulling you into positions you didn't think were possible. You can stretch further with someone else guiding you. Working with others in the class helps you to progress more quickly.
It sounds a bit intimidating for yoga newbies, is it for all levels?
Intimidating? I do hope not. Fun? Yes! It is for all levels, that's the beauty of it! I know a ton of variations for all stretches so you can take it as far as you are able and willing to. Newbies can practise their splits with the help of blocks whilst experienced stretchers can practise theirs upside down on their heads! In this class anything goes, as long as it is safe.
How do you encourage people who find yoga a struggle in the beginning?
I'm a pretty motivational instructor, I'm always challenging and helping my participants to do things they never thought possible. I find that this encouragement helps a lot. If I believe in my participants, they can believe in themselves. I also believe that props are there to help us, and I always encourage my students to practise with them. This can make inaccessible postures accessible for a lot of people. I give variations to all postures and always teach the basic posture first which everyone does then if people would like to go a step harder I add on variations from there. I think this way of teaching lets the experienced practitioners experiment, but doesn't make the less experienced practitioners feel self conscious about being in a slightly different asana.
How do you want people to be feeling when they leave you at the end of the class?
I would like my participants to feel calm, uplifted, inspired and confident in themselves.
What does a typical work day look like for you?
Each day is different for me. I teach between 3-5 classes each day, Monday-Friday, and 1-3 each day on the weekends. This morning I taught a children's yoga class, then I went home and caught up on emails, invoices and admin. I then went and taught a hot yoga class, after that a corporate yoga class and then in the evening attended a yoga class myself. Some days I leave the house at 6am and don't get back until 10pm but on other days I just teach for a couple of hours and then I'm done.
What's the first thing you do when you get home after a hectic day of training?
Cuddle my cats. I have three adorable cats: Maggie, Jeffrey and Eddy. They are all super cute, and they spend all night playing kiss chase around my bedroom.
You originally trained as a dancer, how has this transferred into teaching yoga?
My years of dance training has given me a great understanding of my body. I'm always coming up with new sequences to teach in my vinyasa classes, and I think that comes down to my years of choreographing dances. In my classes you will find yourself turning to the side to get into a posture and the next thing you know you will be facing the back of the room and I will have sprinted around to show you what to do next to get you back to the front again. I also think it has had an effect on my music choice – I like to play deep house in my yoga classes.
This month is #gymboxmakesmehappy. What is it about Gymbox that makes you happy?
The yoga! There is such a great range of yoga styles taught in Gymbox. The members love it and seeing a full class always brings a smile to my face.
Follow Becky! @spoonsyoga
Find your Contortion class right here.
More about all our classes right here.