"Make your practice an act of love and kindness to become the embodiment of the peace that you seek".
In 2001 James travelled to India where he had his first and profound experience of yoga. He returned to the country in 2004 to qualify as a teacher and has been teaching full-time ever since while continuing to study, teach and expand his knowledge the world over. Based in Oxford, UK, his yoga school Restful Being offers classes, private sessions, workshops, retreats and trainings that help people connect with their deepest, wisest self.
James’ regular classes typically incorporate Hatha yoga, meditation and Yoga Nidra, and he also helps clients overcome physical difficulties using yoga therapy techniques. James has taught at organizations such as Oxford University, Oxfam, and Khiron House Trauma Clinic, and his work has even taken him to the Oscars (though not quite down the red carpet), where he supported one of his regular private clients.
James has studied with a wide range of teachers, taking favourite insights and practices from the schools of Hatha, Tantra, Advaita Vedanta and Sankhya philosophy. He has taken inspiration from Donna Farhi, Mukunda Stiles, Kali Ray and Rod Striker and while his teaching style is a blend of these influences (and more), James’ greatest inspiration has been the work of Richard Miller, PhD. Richard founded the Integrative Restoration Institute (IRI) in the US and established the iRest Yoga Nidra protocol; a system of deep relaxation and meditative inquiry. James is currently the only IRI-sponsored teacher trainer in Europe.
Although James finds it hard to describe his approach to teaching as any one thing, he would say that the thread that brings it all together is very simple: to make your practice an act of love and kindness and to become the embodiment of the peace that you seek.
James describes his experiences of discovering yoga and where this has led him:
“In 2001, I was hoodwinked into going to a yoga class. I was a burnt-out software salesman, travelling in India, and I wasn’t the least bit interested. The class went on as many yoga classes do – stretching, bending (or in my case, creaking) ourselves into strange shapes – but it was at the end that something life-changing happened to me. I relaxed. I entered a state of never-before-felt blissful awareness. I had been coerced into meeting my innermost peaceful self...
It took me many years of studying, teaching and experimenting with various forms of yoga, meditation and personal inquiry before I understood who, or ‘what’, this version of me was, and how it was the key to living a balanced, peaceful life. Importantly, this doesn’t mean living a life locked away from real-world challenges – it’s about being able to face every emotion and experience that life throws your way and respond from a place of deep wisdom.”
Visit James’s website www.restfulbeing.com