1 Oct 2018
My daughter’s attendance at the Pre School play group in 1983 marked my first connection with Shrewsbury House and I helped during the mornings. We had just moved to Shooters Hill and we regularly used the library, especially the comfy children’s section (now the bar area).
I started Iyengar yoga at Shrewsbury House in 1986 when the Inner London Education Authority ran Adult Education classes here. The office ‘stable door’ was opened for the first couple of sessions and we would pay by the term. I felt so fortunate to have a community centre within walking distance where I could learn and practice with expert teachers who were Pat Davies and Sue Purl, both of whom taught classes during the day in the lovely, airy and light Room 7. My children were just of school age and I worked part time so I was able to fit my work around these sessions. And so my love and involvement with yoga began here at Shrewsbury House.
The inclusive nature of yoga, regardless of age or ability really impressed me. I started to attend other local Iyengar yoga classes and having passed my yoga teaching certificate in 1999 I began to teach yoga for Bexley Adult Education. In 2000 and 2003 I travelled to Pune, India, to learn directly from the Iyengar family in the month-long courses that were held at the institute there. This inspired me to learn and practice more!
Throughout this time I was still coming to classes at Shrewsbury House, taught by Brenda Hobdell – we had started on our yogic pathway together back in the 80’s. I still come to her Tuesday evening classes here, so the association of yoga and Shrewsbury House have continued for well over 30 years.
I worked as a part-time Maths teacher at a local secondary school and my part time status allowed me to set up my own classes at Shrewsbury House in 2006. The Monday evening and Thursday morning sessions are popular, and include those in their twenties to those who are over seventy. I trust that these sessions reflect the fine teachings of Pat, Sue and Brenda and of course the influence of other Iyengar yoga teachers who have passed on their knowledge and experience.
My involvement with Shrewsbury House, and the gratitude I felt at having this wonderful facility on my doorstep, resulted in my becoming a Trustee for over 6 years. Now I am happy to volunteer and regularly work in the office on Monday mornings.
So Shrewsbury House and Iyengar yoga have really made me into who I am. It is a partnership that I hope will continue well into the next decade.
Cressida will be showcasing her Iyengar Yoga at our Shrewsbury Showcase on October 13th.