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"Jay's style of yoga and wonderful way of teaching was a turning point for me and was really inspirational. Felt like a new path "
I had a brain haemorrhage and a speech and language disability (aphasia), 25 years ago, aged nearly 29. As a result, I'm half paralysed down my right side and I have a blindspot on my affected side. About 7 years ago, I had a breakdown and I gained over 3 stone in weight. I had to go to a local neurological unit for 3 weeks because my mobility was very bad. I had private physiotherapy but last year, this stopped because the physiotherapy said that functionally there was nothing they could do and I was doing everything I could do.
Jay has been working with me for the last 7 months, on a one to one basis, each week and it has transformed my life! He focuses on what I can do, not what I can't do now and he's so positive about my abilities. As a consequence, I'm really motivated to work very hard and yoga, through Jay, has become a large and invigorating part of my life. I'm very disabled now (although Jay didn't say this), and I've got lots of challenges but, through Jay's work on me, I'm both more flexible and strong and my wellbeing is probably the best it has been since my brain haemorrhage. If you are keen and work hard, I would highly recommend Jay and he's holistic approach and we have lots of giggles too! Thank you Jay!
"Thank you for your terrific retreat.
Your deep thinking, technical knowledge, energy & charisma were very much appreciated-as always"
My experience of Jay's teaching and how it has cultivated my Resilience
For the past year I have been attending a yoga class. This has benefited me both physically and mentally and I would like to share my experience with you.
Jay Rossi has been doing yoga for over 20 years. He has a studio on the top floor of Castle Gym Building (the one you are facing as you cross over Castle Boulevard on the way to the Broad Marsh). The toughest physical thing you will do is to climb the stairs!
A session lasts between 60 and 75 minutes and you begin (and end) lying on your back. Jay practices “old school yoga” with an emphasis on mind as much as body. We often begin with a series of breathing exercises. Focusing on the breath is a key tool in mindfulness. I have gained enormous benefits from using these exercises: for example when I feel I am going to have a panic attack on public transport or, when I might in the past lost my temper. It brings the stress levels right down and enables you think right.
There is a physically side to yoga. Some people find this daunting. It is only so for 2 reasons; firstly because you are not sure what to do and; second, you are worried that you will look silly and everyone else is doing the movement better.
Jay will demonstrate the general position on a mat in the middle of the room, with lots of supportive comments. There are no mirrors and most of us are in bays which we share with only one other. You can see other people, if you chose to look around, but there is a sense of space and you don’t feel ‘watched’. The most important thing is what Jay is actually telling you: he goes on (and believe me he does go on!) about it being ‘your practice’ and not others. It doesn’t matter where you get to, that is the right position for you.
There are two dialogues, the external one coming from Jay and the internal one in your head. It doesn’t matter what Jay is saying, it’s the internal one that counts: “she’s doing it better than me. I can’t do that position as well as I did it last week. Did I lock the car? Blah, Blah Blah”. A constant stream of distraction and sometimes negativity. Jay keeps taking you back to the part of the body you are focusing on (or should be!). . I practice with my eyes closed. I don’t want to see what other people are doing: I am doing it. I keep my thought process directed as much as possible as to how I am feeling and what feedback my body is giving me. It isn’t easy: lots of stuff is crowding around for your attention, but that’s where the breathing helps.
At the end, we lie on our backs and do a meditation. People fall asleep (that’s OK but try avoid snoring or drooling!). Your breathing is less than half of what is was when you started. You feel relaxed and many of aches you started with (physical and mental) are gone. Don’t knock it until you try it! I keep going back and whilst I’ll never be a gymnast, I have no problem picking stuff up off the floor any more and I smile an annoying amount ☺
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