Aimee offers regular weekly yoga classes in Barnstaple; private group and 1:1 yoga sessions; massage therapy in the comfort of your own home. My first experience of Yoga was when I was 14. Like many teenage girls, I was battling with self-esteem and body-confidence issues, and needed to find an exercise regime that worked for me. I came across “Yogalates” – a combination of Yoga and Pilates – and found that it not only changed my body-shape, but my confidence levels and overall attitude as well.
My passion for Yoga grew even stronger when I went to University and attended regular Iyengar and Vinyasa classes.
After our last class together, my Iyengar teacher asked me if I had considered becoming a Yoga teacher. I had thought about this a lot throughout my time at university, but my deep-routed lack of confidence and westernised view of what it meant to be “good at yoga”, lead me to believe that it was not something I would succeed in. I explained that I was going to focus on finding a career that would utilise my degree instead.
Having a much deeper understanding of Yoga, my teacher told me that being a brilliant Yoga teacher had little to do with how many poses you could achieve. Due to my enthusiasm and passion, she encouraged me to pursue a Yoga teacher training course, and at the age of 21 I found myself in Australia’s beautiful Byron Bay, studying a Level 2 Teacher Training in Hatha Yoga.
During my training, I delved more deeply in to the philosophy of Yoga and began to understand that it was not just about a series of poses/stretches that would help me stay slim. I realised that the breath was intricately linked to our physical, emotional and mental states, and was the key to balancing the nervous system. Above all, I learned that self-love and acceptance were far more important than being able to achieve any particular pose.
After completing my training, I taught public classes in Barnstaple for a short while alongside holding down a full-time admin job. But confidence issues got the better of me once more, and I backed away from teaching for a good few years, focusing on office work.
Eventually, with a lot of help and encouragement from friends and family, including a strong support network amongst other yoga teachers in North Devon, I returned to the mat as a yoga teacher in 2014. I also completed my Level 4 Sports Therapy Massage course in 2015, and after being made redundant from my office job in 2016, I registered as self-employed and Aimee Hill Massage Therapy and Yoga was born.
My name is Naomi Chunilal and I'm a British Wheel of Yoga teacher with 16 years of teaching experience and the founder of YogaDevon (www.yogadevon.com)
I offer the following mindful yoga classes at the Tarka Clinic:
Wednesday morning at 0930-1100, a gentle Scaravelli-inspired class for beginners and those who want to deepen their practice with a beginner's mind
Wednesday evening at 1805 -1905, a mindful flow class for intermediates and beginners who like a physical challenge.
My yoga classes are friendly, welcoming and suitable for down-to-earth people with ‘not trying to be perfect’ bodies of all shapes, ages and sizes – all stiff, tense and creaky parts included! The only thing I ask is that you are open to exploring yoga on many levels, rather than expecting a purely fitness-based physical class. Coming to a class will definitely help your body to become more flexible, balanced, toned and vibrant. Yet it may also help us to discover new paths of insight, understanding and happiness in how we connect to ourselves and the world around us, off a yoga mat.
I also facilitate monthly Saturday morning yoga workshops. These are lovely informal gatherings to practice mindfulness, breathwork, meditation, chi gung, heart vinyasa flow, Yin, Yoga Nidra and restorative yoga, and relaxation. Vegan chai tea and cakes are always included!
Twenty five years later after first stepping onto a yoga mat, I am still inspired each day by my yoga and meditation practice. I find guidance on my own path from wonderful teachers including Elena Brower, Jo Tastula and Bhante Bodhidhamma at Satipanya Buddhist meditation centre. I’ve been a holistic therapist for over 25 years of reflexology, Indian head massage and aromatherapy massage, and am also a Usui Reiki Master. Also an author, the Mindful Mother - a guide to enjoying pregnancy, birth and beyond with mindfulness (Watkins Publishing 2017) was written from my experience as a mother of my two children, receiving glowing reviews from national birthing and yoga professionals.
Teaching with compassion, individual attention and empathy, I will guide you to enjoy a living yoga practice that supports you through the ebb and flow of life. You can contact me via my website - www.yogadevon.com, or on Facebook (NaomiChunilalyoga) for more information.