Beth Cox - yoga teacher profile.
I’ve been asked to answer some questions for the ‘get to know the Kulafest Teachers blog. I thought I’d share my answers on my blog as well.
How did you first discover yoga?
My first class was in the ’80s in the local leisure centre with my Mum, even then I knew yoga appealed to me. I practised in weekly classes on and off over the next 10 years working with strong asana, pranayama and meditation. I then had a car accident and found a general group class was physically too strong for me at the time. I saw an osteopath who recommended individual yoga lessons, I began one-to-one sessions in 2008 with Yvonne Summons. I gradually built my strength up and within a few months had a massive reduction in pain caused by the accident. 6 years on I’m relieved that my yoga practice keeps me free from pain after spending a day kayaking or gardening.
Why do you teach?
I want people from various backgrounds to feel that yoga is accessible to them. I teach yoga to people as a tool for them to develop physical and emotional strength to cope with the strains of daily life. I find teaching individual students so rewarding particularly when I witness the changes they experience from practising yoga.
My yoga practice is…
My foundation, I find my daily discipline of practice helps me keep afloat both in calm and rough times. My practice is a way for me to connect with the deeper side of myself, and a means for exploration without even leaving home.
To me, yoga means…
To quote Patañjali Yoga Sūtra I.2… Yogaḥ citta-vṛtti-nirodhaḥ
Yoga is the containment of movements in the psyche.
What does ‘living your yoga’ mean to you?
Action with awareness. The time I spend formally practising yoga on a mat will hopefully, with years of practice, alter my actions or re-actions off the mat. I know I am much more aware of my actions since practising yoga regularly but we all have some deep-seated patterns (vāsanā) that will re-appear if the conditions are right. It’s a lifetime’s work and requires disciplined practice and is one of my many reasons for coming to my yoga mat.
Who or what inspires you?
People who stand up for what they believe at the same time as accepting the views of others. This may be linked to the film I watch last night… (see my last answer).
What is a food you could not live without?
Chips! – no seriously, raspberries I just love them and picking them fresh, mmm.
What quality do you value most in others?
The ability to make a change in life. My teacher Yvonne always says, “yoga changes us whether you want it to or not”. People can accept change and take it in their stride are the ones who make things happen.
What is your favourite quote?
Following my previous one of them is
Mahatma Gandhi — ‘Be the change that you wish to see in the world.’
Linking to this theme my favourite matra is
yogena yogi jñātavyo
yogo yogāt pravartate
yo’ prama tastu yogena
sa yoge ramate ciram
“Only through yoga, yoga is known.
Only through yoga, yoga changes.
One who is patient at yoga,
enjoys the fruit over a long time.”
From Vyāsa’s commentary on the Yoga Sūtra
Where are your favourite places you have travelled to?
I love Rickets Head in Pembrokeshire, the spring flowers are amazing, the sea can be wild and it’s a place of solitude. I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to South America, Africa and Asia but I love Wales.
The last great film I’d recommend…
PRIDE, I saw it last night and thought it was great; I love British movies that portray historical events.
I posted this on the Kulafest blog on Tuesday 23rd Sept 2014