Gili Yoga’s Ashtanga Guru, Lynne Paddon, shares on yoga, massage and herself


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Continuing with our theme of introducing our teachers, we’ve sat down with Lynne Paddon for a chat about yoga, massage and life. Lynne teaches an energetic Ashtanga ½ Primary Series class Thursday and Sunday mornings here at Gili Yoga, as well as therapeutic Hatha classes. She also keeps everything under control in the front office and gives a magical massage. This multi-tasking beauty has mastered sharing yoga in a fun and relaxed light for new comers and knows how to challenge and inspire the most experienced students.

Where did you do your first yoga class and why?

My first yoga class was when I was 14 and in all honesty, my mum, my big cousins and myself all ended up having a bit of a giggle over the positions that we found ourselves in.

My first serious yoga class came later in 2002 when I lived in London. Throughout my late teens, early 20’s I’d been working night shifts, casino and bar jobs and generally living a fast paced life, I kind of knew I had this need for something else, some sort of balance.

I practiced Tai Chi in a martial arts school in London and decided to stay on one night for the later yoga class. That’s where it all began. That’s where I found that stillness, that other side to me that I’d been looking for.

I quit my job and completed the British Wheel of Yoga Foundation TTC course as well as a diploma in Holistic massage and Reflexology. I had suddenly become aware that we don’t just have to sit and suffer the constant noise, stress, aches and pains that have become an inevitable product of the way many people live their lives in today’s world.

What yoga style do you like to practice and teach the most?

Definitely Ashtanga. The energy in the air during both self practice and when teaching an Ashtanga class is intoxicating. I love the feeling of absolute dedication to the practice and the empowerment of the Ujjayi breath. An hour and a half Primary Series Practice feels like I’ve just had the best massage ever.

Who are your most influential teachers?

David Swenson for being so humble. I laughed so much on my Yoga Teacher Training, he brings such humor and a light heart to his teaching. It’s so refreshing to know that the image of us all trying to wrap our legs behind our head is not all that yoga is. David made me realize that Ashtanga, and all yoga can be done by every single person on this planet. My other inspirations are Cameron Shayne and Seanne Corn, I could listen to their words of wisdom all day long.

Where did you do your teacher trainings?

I trained most recently with David Swenson at Triyoga in Soho, London and in 2009 with Jacqueline Purnell at Yogashala Ibiza. Contrary to the party island reputation that Ibiza has, the beautiful White Island has a very spiritual nature to it. The hippies moved there in the 60s and it has since become well known island for its powerful energies. It was the perfect setting for an immersion into the world of yoga, however, we did come across the all nighters on their way home from the clubs a few times on our 5am walking meditation to the yoga shala.

What’s your favorite yoga pose?

Sirsasana (headstand) or Pigeon Pose

Favourite name of pose: Triangamukhaekapadapaschimottanasana. Try saying that 10 times standing on your head!

Where are you from?

A town called Falkirk in Scotland. It’s central Scotland, in between Glasgow and Edinburgh. Cool fact: It has the Falkirk Wheel. A wheel which transfers boats from one canal to the other so that boats can travel directly between Glasgow and Edinburgh. It’s the only one of its kind in the world! I love my hometown, it really feels like home every time I go back there.

Is there a link between yoga and massage?

Yes. There is a link between all things holistic. They complement each other as forms of healing, recovering and maintaining the body and mind. We all need to maintain our bodies and minds, imagine they’re like cars, if you don’t maintain them they get cluttered and break down. Yoga and massage work perfectly together either to keep the body and mind free from dis-ease or to alleviate symptoms from any existing pain or discomfort.

Did you get into yoga first or massage/ what interested you in massage therapy?

I practiced yoga first and completed a Foundation Yoga Teacher Training course. I was then drawn to them both as a means to transform my life and be able to make my way through life sharing this new knowledge I was learning. During my massage course I loved being in anatomy class and whilst discussing the systems of the body being able to touch, see, hear and relate to how your body actually works. I was blown away by how complex and intelligent the human anatomy is.

Massage should not be a luxury or a treat, it is a necessary part of looking after ourselves.

Thanks for sharing, Lynne. See you on the mat for a morning flow!

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