Liz Lark has been teaching yoga for almost 25 years, developing from British Wheel of Yoga (Hatha) Teacher Training foundations, Astanga Vinyasa Yoga ( see footage of practising in mid 90’s in under Derek Ireland, Vimeo.com: Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga Practice, Agios Pavlos, Crete), Teacher Training in Goa and Mysore (1995).
Liz ia a Board Member of Yogacampus since its inception in 2003, during which she teaches and shares sequencing, adjustments and teaching skills, running retreats and workshops (see www.lizlark.com). Tending the Self is a major theme in Liz ’s practice, inspired by Pema Chodrun’s quote :’the root of compassion is compassion for oneself’.
Liz is approaching 25 years of teaching, since acquiring degrees at Art Schools (Bath, Art Foundation 1984, Cardiff, B.A in 3D ceramics 1988, London M A in Performing Arts 1995), focusing on Life Drawing, Colour celebration, and tactile clay sculpture. Art inspires her teaching today, with singing and creative authentic movement. Teaching began earlier (children in Pakistan Himalayas, 1985) & The Lake District, (School Artist in Residence 1990).
In 1995 Liz began teaching yoga (BWY) Great inspiration and drive carried Liz through the Astanga Vinyasa system (1990’s), training in Astanga vinyasa under Derek Ireland, diversifying into other Hatha Yoga practices to broaden her learning . The Life Centre Notting Hill became an anchor for teaching in 1995 and in early 2000 she joined Sangam, an Astanga Shala (Battersea) with Gingi Lee.
Since 1998 she has written 8 books (see ‘1001 Pearls of Yoga Wisdom’ Watkins), her own self publications and most recently the Sequencing Chapter in ‘Yoga Teachers Manual’ (Jessica Kingsley 2018). Liz brings together Nature, Travel & Art with her inner travels to share Yoga through creative sequencing, somatic practises, visualisation, meditation & relaxations.
She has been connected with The Life Centre London since 1995.
Thai Yoga Massage training in Chieng Mei has informed hands- on adjustments, which Liz teaches along with Creative Sequencing, for the London Teachers Training Course www.yogacampus.com, on which she’s a board member.
Artist trained (BA, MA Ceramics & Performing Arts) , Liz draws inspiration from Nature, the Body, Poetry, Music and contemporary Bodywork.
She now fuses Yoga as Art in a series of Mandala Drawings, illustrating sequencing, layered with motifs for visualisation, contemplation and mudra (gesture) and mantra (heartsong). Her teaching draws on these inspirations, with a contemporary interpretation of philosophy (see book: ‘1001 Pearls of Yoga Wisdom’).
Drawings are available, DVD ‘Yogalibre’, and a CD of Yogasongs is available, along with a number of books
Based in East Sussex, Liz runs classes and special workshops in Tunbridge Wells and around the UK.
She teaches retreats and workshops nationally and internationally (see workshops to join).
Video clip from Liz’s Kerala India Yoga retreat…
Clients have included Conductor Sir John Eliot Gardiner & The Monteverdi Choir, English National Ballet, Indian Dance Company Sujata Bannerjee, Ralph Fiennes, Alan Rickman, Mariel Hemingway, Peter Gabriel, Mariella Frostrup,
THANK YOU, SHAKTIPAT!
RETURN TO PURUSHA
Wandering around the watery lilting landscape of Dalyan yesterday after teaching a week’s retreat in a magical part of Turkey, I stopped on my bicycle to greet some adopted stray dogs, one a silver colored shaggy mix of retriever poodle, reminding me of my puppy Willow. Such gentle affection exudes through these beautiful dog spirits, filling me with bliss as I spoke with a girl, also sitting on the grass, who began with a comment
‘ Karl Marx said ‘ Love is a form of extended selfishness’. Wow, I thought, as I felt material for my class offering itself the next day, where I ‘d be teaching in Catford Bridge to Lewisham Foster Carers.
She continued to explain other Sufi mystic poems. she was so generous and delighted to know that I ‘d be using her thoughts in my class the next day:
‘Oh, how I love the bird
But to own the bird I must break its wings
Oh How I love the Bird’
Another quote came, which I shared today with the carers:
If I like the flower I pick it
If I love the flower I water it daily’
All these quotes probed the nature of love – Does the spirit of love die when obligations and expectations are brought to it, with ‘strings attached’ ?
The spirit of the seeker imbued my trip to Turkey, one who gathers inspiration as she travels, not to accumulate and own, but to feed the inner life and share as she goes.
Today in Lewisham, a lady arrived wearing the veil and gently asked if any men where coming to class? No men were attending, so she unwrapped her scarf and said ‘ I am free’. During the class, her shoulder aches surfaced and dissolved, her eyes deepened, her face softened and her whole persona changed. I think this was facilitated by the inclusion of ayurvedic massage balms applied to the neck (‘yogassage’), from Kerala (Rumalaya Gel), to facilitate self nourishmnent, releasing oxytocin and endorphins, (well being chemicals).
In the previous class I was touched and honored to welcome Mohammed, dressed in full Shalwar Kamiz, which I had worn during my year spent in a school in the Pakistan Himalayas in 1984, a gap ‘Yah’, my way of avoiding ominous Orwellian echoes of being drawn into a life I would not want to live, of certain boxes to be ticked (university , marriage, kids, mortgage…). I did not want these things, I wanted to be a wandering Troubador.
The previous day, a Turkish politician, opposition party to the current president, walked for 25 days, from Ankara to Istanbul, in a peaceful pilgrimage protest to the way that the government is taking away people’s right to be expressive and creative, a trademark of the mystical legacy of the Mevlevi (Whirling Dervishes) of Turkey and Persia.
Speak my Soul
Express my Song
Dance my Rhythm
God is in my Feet
God is in my Throat
She is in my Heart
I like the spirit of collaboration of ideas, to evolve, with shared values, rather than trying to fly a flag of righteousness on the top of a building. Yoga is a shared evolution, a wonderful mixing pot, a palette of many colours and textures. Let’s experiment with the ‘felt sense’ of proprioceptive awareness, the primal feeling place (hanna somatics) where separateness fall away.
Arriving home to the cottage at 3 a.m this morning, my teachers, Timmy Quizlet (Cat) and Willow (dog) lay on the bed as I ‘bridged the gap’ before teaching the class, inspired by the wings of these quotes.
The final poem of Rumi’s ‘Guesthouse’ resonated with these noble carers, who really do allow the world to sweep through their ‘Guest house’, in their noble Dharma (purposeful path), critical in our over populated, under loved world.
The Meditation training course I am completing this weekend with the wonderful spirit, Alexander Filmer – Lorch, captures this elusive, beautiful approach – ‘No One Way’, to draw upon the richness of any teachings and not to confine oneself to one ‘camp ‘ only. We can find it in a pop song……