Vinyasa Yoga with Adrian Cox
I have distilled down over 25 years of yoga teaching and practice to teach what I do now. My method is grounded in Vinyasa Yoga- a flowing, moving, breath-centered yoga and blended with three of my own distinctions:
The Breath Comes First: The sequences I use are firstly centered around the breath and work to develop the balance and symmetry of your body for more open breathing both on and off the mat.
Effective Alignment: “Effective” means emphasizing awareness and making precise changes in each pose can lead to big improvements in your practice overall. When necessary, I slow the practice down so that awareness and Effective Alignment come first. My students often get surprising breakthroughs that did not come through force but rather through ‘ah-ha’ moments.
The Aim To Transcend: In and around the physical practice of yoga I use my language, rhythm, breath techniques, focus and chanting to encourage trance states of mind. I believe that non-ordinary states of consciousness are inherently healing and can give us the opportunity to interrupt negative cycles of thought and emotion. This gives us new room to make positive changes.
Why I teach
I have been pursuing all things yoga for more than 25 years, practicing mostly every single day, rain or shine. Mostly because I am curious and I believe in what I do. I started what is now a famous school for yoga in Bangkok. I have taught a lot of people in many different countries and many of my trained teachers have gone out around the world to teach as well. Had two very short lived TV shows in Thailand about yoga. Memorized long lines of Sanskrit mantras, slokas and sutras. Fasted. Drank my own urine and even poured it in my nose to purify my nasal passages. Drank salt water to induce vomiting. Stared at candles and intriguing geometry for long periods. Traveled across the Himalaya. Spent time in ashrams with gurus. Received blessings, empowerments and intitiations. I even have a spiritual name somewhere but I just couldn’t get into calling myself that. And of course, I put my legs behind my head.
I get that this intensity is unlikely to be most people’s path. What I know is that just beginning yoga, breathwork or meditation is a Very Big Deal for many people. Simply making that effort to change, to feel more and become aware of one’s body is a meaningful step. It is easier (but not wiser) to dissociate from your body and not feel uncomfortable emotions. But this leads to ideas about living rather than fully living. This leads to abuse of the body because we don’t feel what bad posture, being out of shape, over eating, bad eating, smoking, too much alcohol or drugs is actually doing to us. And that, of course, leads to much more pain.
When we open up to the intelligence of the body, we are able to hear what ‘it’ needs. You will find that you will naturally begin to prefer a lifestyle that leads to better health for your body, mind and emotions. It is remarkable how a practice of yoga often leads to bad habits easily fading away.
While I have not achieved enlightenment, at least not yet, I can distill years of experience and knowledge and communicate it. That is, what I have come to know as what is really important in this practice: it is really about how we can wake up our soul, become healthier, kinder and more conscious. When practiced with breath as the focus, yoga delivers this and thankfully, without having to do half of the strange things that I mentioned earlier. Yoga, when taught well, will help you to live longer, look and feel better, have more awareness and self control, reduce depression, obsession and anxiety. You become a better person. A happier person.
How I Teach
What I look for is how to best help people open up their breath and energy. To open to a relationship with the intelligence behind the breath. To understand how to get there, one needs to know how breathing happens and what can block it. Our breath patterns reflects our thoughts and emotions, both in the moment and in our history. Just as a breath pattern can indicate stuck emotions and trauma, opening your capacity for a free and open breath can liberate ones soul to shine.
Interestingly, the Greek word ‘diaphragm’ (our main muscle of breathing) is related to Greek word for mind. To the ancient Greeks, the “mind” was originally thought to lie in the diaphragm. When you consider that the in-breath encodes memories and regulates emotions, this notion is not that far off.
The diaphragm is a huge dome-shaped muscle beneath your ribcage that contracts and flattens out to fill your lungs with air. Two other smaller diaphragms in the throat and pelvic floor work in tandem with the breath. As you exhale, they relax and expand upward. As you inhale, it goes in the opposite pattern. If you have a balanced body and mind, the diaphragm (and intercostal muscles) should handle most of the work.
However, if your body is not well aligned the three diaphragms can not move naturally. In this case, a secondary set of muscles in your upper back and neck take over and can lead to tightness and pain. These muscles are also not meant to be working all the time as the diaphragm can, which in essence wears you down and can make you tired. It is a vicious cycle, the breathing become compromised which also has deletrious effects on the psyche such as insomnia, anxiety, poor memory and depression.
There are many ways to work on this and they all lead to good results. In my yoga, I work at the physical level with posture to open the breath, in Connected Breathwork we go deeper into how the mind and emotions can be freed through the breath. Again, I sequence my yoga so you can open up your breath and energy. So that you find your relationship with the intelligence behind your breath.
The Bigger Picture
The bigger picture as I understand it, is about energy and information. When your body becomes balanced and your breath is open and free, what was stuck starts to move again. Stuckness could be the way one obsesses about the past or a person. Stuckness can be a relationship. A job. An illness. When we become unstuck, energy can begin again to flow within and around our lives. This is when you begin to meet the right people at the right time. Opportunities appear. Synchronicities. We become healthy again and can tap into more intelligence and creativity. There are many ways to describe it. A rational materialist may say that since none of this can be repeated in a controlled experiment that it is hogwash. However, once you experience it happening to you, you won’t need any convincing, nor will you feel the need to convince others. It is what happens when your consciousness opens.
Because I work with body, mind, emotions, energy and spirit, the whole person, in addition to Breath and Alignment Yoga and Connected Breathwork, I also explore the hidden energetics of magick through what I call Pentagram Yoga- a unique synthesis of ritual magick and yoga.
If you would like to experience this work for yourself, simply get in touch. I’m looking forward to meeting you.