Yoga Teacher: Rachel Lightbird

When, and how, did you discover yoga? My mother had a book, when i was a child - I think it was very ambitiously called 'Learn Yoga in a Weekend', (that was the 70s). In my 20s I was a typically harrassed Londoner, and was always thinking about doing yoga, but never got round to it. Eventually I did - it was a very stylie hatha yoga school in West London, and pretty soon i was hooked. I liked the glamour as much as the yoga, but like many people the yoga soon got into me

Rachel Lightbird Can you describe your yoga practice? I practise all sorts of yoga - at the moment I am practising Astanga, for around half an hour to two hours most days, in the morning. I am committed to doing a little bit, even if it is only the sun salutations and standing postures. I have discovered leniency mixed in with gentle discipline, is the best way for me. Orignally I had to do a full practise everyday, then I would go to the other extreme and not practise for weeks. I have always lived in areas where it has not been easy to get to particularly Astanga classes, so I have always had to rely on myself for motivation, which isn't always easy. It is a big step forward to be able to practise every day, and actually want to.

What is your favourite yoga book? I love 'The Heart of Yoga' by Desikachar cos he is great, the original compassionate yogi, who really understands the heart, the human, and the individuality of each person, and has an amazing wealth of knowledge to go with it. I love his approach and thinking about hatha.

what was the last yoga product/book/dvd that you bought? I haven't bought one for a while cos I am on a budget. A friend has lent me 'Health, Healing and Beyond', again by Desikachar, which is great. I've also taken in all of Shiva Rea's home practise CDs.

Where is your favourite place in Scotland? I've not been everywhere - to date, I really love Iona - it is a special place for me. I also like a place called Achiltibuie, on the West Coast.

What is your favourite quote? "the Universe will bow to your beauty when you do." - Rumi

What are your favourite aspects of yoga? I like the energetic side of yoga, and the feeling of the flows of energy around the body, as well as the relaxation. I also love getting to know my body in ever more intimates ways.

Besides yoga, what are your other interests? I love my dog, and writing and rock-climbing. I love being in nature full stop, anywhere, anytime ..... within certain climatic restrictions..

Who do you most admire? I admire a woman I know in London called Kathy, cos she is beautiful, kind, practical and warm. She is probably the most together woman I have ever met. To me she embodies all aspect of woman - mother, wisdom and sexuality and sensuality. Although I don't know her well, i really like and admire her energy.

What are your favourite yoga postures? I really like the warrior positions at the moment, my legs are not strong and grounded naturally, and I have stiff hips so they are great for stregthening that whole area, and improving grounding.

Written by Lorna

Rachel Lightbird teaches Astanga, Hatha and Vinyasa flow Yoga in the Aberdeen area. She has studied with many of the top teachers in the world, including; Patthabi Jois, John Scott, and Erich Schiffman. Rachel was initially trained by the Sivananda school of yoga, and holds their advanced teacher training qualification. She has also trained as a teacher with Shiva Rea, in the Vinyasa Flow style of yoga, and is a qualified Yoga Trance Dance teacher. Rachel's website -