The purpose of yoga is to find peace?
It’s all about feeling connected – to yourself, but also to nature. I’ll be holding two classes on a Wednesday at Daylesford in Gloucestershire: a dynamic, 90-minute Vinyasa Flow; but also a gentler, 60-minute Vinyasa Flow. The location is the best part – we’ll be based in the gorgeous Haybarn studio, and having the windows open means you can hear the cows mooing, the birds singing and the breeze whistling past…
Why is Autumn so significant in your practice?
My training was in Vinyasa Flow; however, my classes also address the chakras, and we always work with an intention and visualisation. Recently, I’ve been doing a lot of grounding work in my classes, and really focusing on the root chakra: the first of the seven chakras, which helps to anchor us and reconnect us to the earth. It’s especially good for Autumn, as it encourages us to re-focus and get back into a routine after a summer of flying around and feeling very airy!
How did you discover yoga?
I first tried yoga while I was at Edinburgh University: I always flitted back and forth but it wasn’t until we went on a four-month sabbatical to Sri Lanka as a family that it became such a huge part of my life. Every day I woke up and did yoga – and then it became something that I just needed to do. Back in London, a friend introduced me to yogi Julie Montagu and when a spot came up on her teacher training course, I did it. I never intended to teach yoga, but more than any other career, it just feels right. That’s why I believe in doing what you love – then everything else falls into place.
How can yoga help us?
I teach Vinyasa Flow to music, which is quite typical of this style: but I find that continuously flowing to a rhythm with the Vinyasas, and not stopping, starts to feel like a moving meditation. For me, it’s the easiest way to get into the body, to breathe and to let go of the outside world. My brain is a completely mad universe, but if there’s music and I’m flowing, there’s no room for the noise. The Pranyama breath is also important: people come out of Vinyasa feeling amazing but it’s not the yoga (though, of course, you’re gaining in strength and flexibility) – it’s your breath! Normally we take the smallest sips and only just skim the surface of our lung capacity – but all of those deep inhales and long exhales really work to energise the body.
Book a class with Rose van Cutsem online here
What's on the horizon for the Daylesford Harvest Festival?
I’ll be teaching yoga in the Wellbeing Tent in the Bamford orchard – so we’ll be really close to nature, which is a wonderful reminder of the shifting seasons. I’ll also be doing Ayurvedic dosha readings for people, helping to identify their constitution as Vata, Pitta or Kapha, and advising the best foods they can eat, exercise they can take and teas they can drink. All of the classes and workshops are quite short which is wonderful, as it means that you can dip in and out and try new things.
Learn more about the Harvest Festival here