My Story: Emma Lloyd
I can't really say when I 'started' yoga as I feel as if it has always been in my life. It was around 1991 when yoga really became the 'point' of my life; inspired by my tenacious and hard-working grand-father, who was a Jamaican immigrant of the Windrush generation and life-long practitioner and devout Yogi. My grand-father was the first person to enlighten me to the depths of the philosophical aspects of Yoga. The many teachers I have been privileged to meet and learn from over the years, whose diverse practice and philosophy has had a profound effect on me, continue to be a constant source of inspiration. They have embedded a deep passion within me.
As a young person already captivated by yoga and a passion for travel I opted out of Further Education; I travelled extensively in South East Asia, Turkey and Egypt and spent time studying with various teachers from a wide range of yogic disciplines. I embarked on my first informal teaching experience in Thailand.
1997 brought a turning point in my life and I had my first child and settled in Manchester. I set up a weekly community class in an inner city area of Manchester with a view of making the practice more accessible in the local community. This class led to working closely with Youth Services providing yoga courses for young men transitioning from Rehabilitative Services.
In 1999 I began formal Yoga Teacher Training with the British Wheel of Yoga and attended a 3 year Diploma in Holistic Therapies at a local college.
After a chance meeting with a life-long practitioner of Bhakti Yoga, I began to attend private sessions in Yogic Studies. This relationship quickly developed and I soon realised that I had met my Guru (at that point in my life journey). I spent 12 years in regular contact with my Guru, attending study sessions, learning as much as I could about the topic of Prana and Pranic Anatomy, Pranayama Practice, Yogic Texts, Sanskrit, Tantra and Yogic Science. These were not easy sessions and on a many occasion my ‘training’ with my Guru was administered in such a manner that every level of my being was challenged. I consider this time to be the most formative in terms of my own understanding of the deeper side of yoga as a life path.
In 2007 I started teaching the BWY Foundation Level One Course which I have facilitated for over 10 years. In 2013 shortly after the birth of my second child I successfully completed the rigorous and robust Diploma Course Tutor Training with the BWY and ran my first successful BWY Level 4 Teacher Training Diploma.
My teaching style is influenced and reflective of a variety of different schools, I do not take a dogmatic approach, my style is somewhat eclectic; I feel a particular affinity for an approach that cultivates mindful focus to precision, detail and anatomical alignment in Asana, with an approach that incorporates spiral and somatic movement. I place equal emphasis on classical and traditional techniques in pranayama, relaxation, meditation, chanting and 'living' philosophy. I have a great interest in Shakti Yoga and Tantra and the cultivation and exploration of female goddess empowerment through yoga. I believe that each individual holds a personal connection with yoga, and yoga itself is fluid and adaptable to suit the individuals' needs and personal connection - there really is no one size fits all as far as I am concerned.
My teaching experience is broad and varied having taught extensively in adult education, colleges, community settings, corporate environments, leisure centres, schools, studios, private classes and the Scuba and Free Diving sector. Over the past 14 years I have been involved with several local schools and have assisted in designing and delivering educational yoga projects for children in the school environment along with training provision for school teachers. I have also been involved in the design of the ‘yoga zone’ educational playground facilities, that are currently present in several national schools.
In 2009 I was initiated into Jignasu Sannyasin by Satyasangananda Saraswati (Rikhia Peeth India) and given the spiritual name Deva Shakti. This was a deeply profound experience for me and a turning point in my life; for me it symbolised and further established my commitment to ‘living yoga’ and my dedication to teaching yoga to others.
From an early stage my vision was to create an independent teacher training course that enabled student teachers to develop a thorough understanding and education in Yoga as a philosophical science and continual life practice.
Over the years I began to formulate my own syllabus. In 2015 while recovering from a near fatal car accident, my house was burgled and my PC containing 25 years worth of research and work was stolen. I was devastated, and felt stripped down to the bare minimum on every level, but I brought my syllabus back to life. I was delighted to say the least when it was approved and registered by the Independent Yoga Network in 2017.
AtYoga Teacher Training Courses continue to go from strength to strength.