31 Aug Zephyr Mercer
Having danced since I was three, movement and finding expression and release through the body feels like an intrinsic part of my life. In my teens I developed a painful knee condition that stopped me dancing for a year. A period of crisis ensued and an interest in Psychology blossomed. Therapeutic support at this time offered great solace and steered me towards pursuing a Psychology degree. However a Psychology degree turned out to be more theoretical and academic than I had hoped. On finishing university I again felt lost, but fortunately at this point stumbled into a yoga class, 20 years ago, back when yoga was low key and found in the local community hall. The fusion of body and mind and the underpinning philosophy captured my interest, as did it’s existence outside the mainstream. I decided to go on a yoga retreat in the summer of 2004 to Yoga Plus in Crete.
I arrived keen and green with no specific knowledge of Ashtanga Yoga. The first week I attended the beginners guided class and yet was mesmerised by the small room next door where students self practiced ‘mysore style’. My previous dancing experience afforded me the ability to retain sequences in my memory with ease and so with some serious studying that week I joined the mysore class for the second week. I was captivated and on my return adopted a daily Ashtanga practice.
This was the beginning of walking a devoted yogic path involving many trips to India, including a couple of years working at Purple Valley Yoga retreat in Goa. Whilst there in 2008 I was fortunate to meet Dena Kingsberg. I instantly resonated with her way and being closer to her was a strong incentive in moving to Australia. Having now studied with her for many years, Dena’s poetic, devotional and heartfelt teachings are a great influence on my teaching style.
In 2011 and 2013 I was also incredibly blessed to spend time in London apprenticing and assisting at Ashtanga Yoga London with Hamish Hendry. I have completed the third series under both Dena and Hamish’s guidance and am also a Level II authorised KPJAYI teacher, deeply committed to sharing Ashtanga Yoga with authenticity and sincerity in accordance with the teachings of the late Shri. K Pattabhi Jois and his grandson the current lineage holder Sharath Jois. The list of authorised/certified teachers can be found at- https://sharathyogacentre.com/europe/
Teaching yoga internationally since 2007 in Australia, Bali, South Africa, Dubai, New York and in London for Ashtanga Yoga London and Triyoga, I decided to relocate to Cornwall in mid 2021, yearning to be back near the sea. I currently teach on Mondays at Limehouse Yoga near Perranporth, a monthly sutras class online and offer intensives and retreats.
Throughout my life in moments of crisis and transition I have also benefitted significantly from counselling and psychotherapy. Although yoga practice encourages a great self exploration and offers daily practical tools for physical, mental and emotional well-being, I feel this is enhanced through being in therapeutic relationship with another, be that a professional counselling/therapy relationship or a well boundaried teacher/student relationship. This steered me back towards further study and in-depth personal work. I am now a qualified Psychosynthesis counsellor registered with the BACP and see clients in Truro and Falmouth.
Moving forward I hope to bridge both worlds and offer an integrative approach that blends the best of eastern and western perspectives.