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Interview with Joanne Jackett - Shraddha Yoga Centre

Joanne Jackett from Shraddha Yoga Centre recently sat down with us to discuss the benefits of yoga, the importance of incorporating meditation into your yoga routine, the best poses to relieve stress, and her wonderful annual yoga retreat in Bali. Have a read for a beautiful insight into the world of yoga, and if you’re in the Brighton area, feel free to head to one of her weekly classes for some rejuvenation & relaxation.

Tell us a bit about your background and how you got into yoga.

The twists and turns that took place in my life led me in 1974 to seek the answers to some of life’s ‘big questions’. A business associate at the time, said to me one day – ‘you have a permanent frown on your face, you really should do yoga’. Hearing this made me think that perhaps I should do something about it. So it was on that day that I enrolled as a beginner at the Gita School of Yoga. From that very first class to this present day I have enjoyed the exciting journey of discovery along the yoga path.

Margrit Segesman was the founder and principle of the Gita School and I was most fortunate to be her student for many years. I learnt from Margrit that with a positive attitude life is limitless in its magnitude. Life is exciting and it can be a continuous adventure.

After many years of teaching and ongoing study I have been drawn to the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda. I am a member of the Self-realisation Fellowship which has its headquarters in Los Angeles, California and was founded by Yogananda in 1920. I continue my studies with the Self-Realisation Fellowship as the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda give his in-depth instruction in the practice of the highest yoga science and offer his inspiring and practical guidance for attaining physical, mental, and spiritual balance and well-being.

What do you think are the main benefits for someone wanting to get into yoga?

There are many reasons why people want to get into yoga these days. There are various traditions available to people who may want a very physical experience or practice. Then there is the more classical yoga which consists of the postures which are practiced slowly, effortlessly and mindfully, allowing one to work with and understand the body and the human condition. Of course the management of stress and learning to slow down in everyday life attracts people to yoga. This is what we all need and that is addressed in the practice of yoga and meditation.

Regardless of the tradition chosen the underlying message is to be present and awake, often referred to as being a Spiritual Warrior whose qualities are that of gentleness, open hearted and open minded.

What is your go to yoga pose to relieve stress.

It is necessary to have a regular or daily practice of the postures to help keep stress levels down, but then I would say my go to for stress relief is a mindful breathing meditation and Shavasana or Corpse pose. It requires relaxing your body and mind while fully conscious. So I would say that the combination of postures followed by relaxation definitely relieves stress.

There are a lot of yoga fads at the moment. What type of yoga should people avoid?