Laura Hancock - Oxford Yoga Teacher

Laura Hancock

Yoga Teacher - Oxford

Laura is a committed and passionate teacher whose enthusiasm for teaching is evident when you attend one of her classes or workshops.

If you are looking for a teacher to get you really fired up about the joys of regularly practicing yoga then you must try one of Laura's classes.

Read on for details about Laura's classes, experience and thoughts on the ACUYOGA Programme:

Can you share some thoughts on your experience of the ACUYOGA Programme?

Throughout my practice I've been confronted by a persistent and sometimes deeply frustrating resistance in my right hip.  Having tried numerous treatments - physio, sports massage, rolfing, osteopathy (just to name a few) - I have to say that the ACUYOGA sessions I had with James felt to be the most effective.  

I felt a relief in tension, increased mobility and flexibility, and more fluid in my motions.  Particular poses - such as ardha baddha padma paschimottanasana - were much easier to get in to.  James' manner throughout the treatments was sensitive, compassionate and natural.  I felt relaxed and at ease and like I was in safe hands.  Thank you!  

How would you describe the style of yoga you teach?

Whilst my influences range across Ashtanga Yoga, Vinyasa Krama (the Moon and Lion Sequence) and Vipassana meditation, my main focus is the Moon Sequence.  Created by Matthew Sweeney, a teacher I have been stalking (I mean following) for five years, its intention is to provide a counterbalance to the rajasic nature of our lives.  

The sequence is introduced with chandra namaskara - the moon salute - which sets the tone for the rest of the practice.  It's grounding and introspective.  The practice encourages students to move with the breath, hold postures for a number of counts, and pay attention to how the body feels.  This is a challenging practice - but nurturing and asking the student to adhere to their intuition and to learn to be kind to themselves and accepting.  I encourage self-practice as much as possible and with time hope to introduce a more taditional mysore approach to my classes - which is, from my understanding, the most beneficial way to experience asana yoga.  

What advice would you give to someone starting yoga?

Forget about any concerns you may have about being flexible enough, strong enough, fit enough...we all have them, but don't give them any importance.  Just start.  Get a mat, sit on it, breathe in, breathe out...observe...that's it - you've started.  Explore a variety of classes in your area (in Oxford there are plenty!); be open to the experience, and find a teacher you resonate with.  If one style doesn't click, let it go and try another.  We are constantly changing, as are our needs.  The right teacher, the right practice for you in this moment - will present itself if you give it a chance. 

What do you love most about practising yoga?

I love having a space that is my own.  A space that nobody can ever take away from me.  As long as I have this body, and my breathe - my yoga practice exists.

How might a student describe you as a teacher?

Amazing ;)  No, seriously - the feedback I've had from students so far is that my teaching style is honest and drawn from personal experience.  I put them at ease and give them the space to really explore their own practice.  I focus a lot on the breath and that even though it's not as dynamic as Ashtanga or Vinyasa flow it challenges them on a more subtle level.  I have a lot of compassion and patience.  My love for the practice inspires them.

When, where and how much are your classes?

My schedule is: Monday - 5.50 - 7.20 pm at St Albans Hall, Charles Street (£10)

Tuesday - 7 - 8.30 pm at Oriel College (term time and restricted to Oriel College affiliates)

Saturday - 10 - 11.30 am at Wild Honey, Magdalen Road (£12)

I also do private sessions on request (£45 per hour)