mary philly
From a very young age I was curious. Curious about people, curious about food and curious about creativity. I joined everything I could in School to satisfy this curiosity much to the dismay of my mother who wanted me to concentrate on “serious subjects.”
I joined the steel band (I played the bass and loved it) I joined the track and field team which I wasn’t good at but persevered, creative writing courses you name it I was right there trying it as long as it wasn’t maths! The odd thing was that I was curious but quiet and shy. A tale of two cities. The differing sides of me often clashed resulting in feelings of anxiety and awkwardness as a young teen in the world – I’ve since learned that I’m an introverted extrovert, it’s a thing…
One of my secret clubs was gymnastics. I was quite good at this and tirelessly practiced new tricks with my friends in the playground. Eventually I was called to train with the school team and was just fascinated by what the human body was really capable of. I loved the daredevil backbends and no handed cartwheels but my mum put an almighty stop to it when a shoulder injury prevented me from going to school. So that was that. We soon moved to Africa to immerse ourselves in culture, people and education. This was an amazing time of my life. I felt free to be curious and mischievous not only that, I felt I had connected to myself. Something about being closer to nature, I felt more at ease with myself to integrate with people, to develop my real personality and it helped me overcome the shyness I battled with for so long.
Leaving Africa for London was sad but life changes and we have to deal. My sister introduced me to yoga as a way to help me to relax from my anxiety, I thought it was a bit boring, (not exciting like the gymnastics) I fell asleep in the class, and didn’t really see the point in these slow languid movements and therefore didn’t reap benefits that the yin was trying to bring to all my yang. The one thing I did get from it was how peaceful and calm I felt after. hmmm.  I did a few classes, tried a few teachers but didn’t feel like it was really happening but continued to go (I’m like that) in the hope of a breakthrough.
I then discovered Bikram (don’t we all) which changed my perspective totally so I am thankful for that. Firstly the heat was a game changer. It reminded me of Africa so felt like home. I loved the energy, the fact that we were all in this together, going in looking fly coming out looking like hell, and the connection the teacher had with the class. I had fantastic teachers in the forms of Paul Spencer Dobson (he’s like a school headmaster) and Naomi Clark (she’s like your best mate in school) they would read passages from the sutras while we were in Savasana. I remember a particular one about being kind to yourself (maitri) that made me cry and I knew from that day I would one day be a teacher of yoga if not only to share snippets of beauty such as those but to make people feel something, something good about themselves. I was happy with Bikram and met some beautiful souls and my skin looked great. But then a visit to Long Island changed all of that, from hereonin my life was never the same again.
Eating a lot, sleeping till noon was the order of the day. Eventually I decided I have to do some yoga. We found my beloved Bikram had a class happening in town and I set out to practice. I arrived to a charming lady who extracted $45 bucks from me. I started sweating $45 bucks this better be the best teacher and I better see myself in the mirror! I run in to the front all is good. So the class starts (not in the way I know it) but I think oh maybe this is what they do in the states as a warm up. After about the fifth posture I realise I am not in a Bikram class and not only that I have no idea what type of yoga this is! Its too late to leave, $45 bucks and I’m here so I have to soldier on. The one thing that struck me was the strength, power and fluidity of movement the practitioners displayed. Suddenly there’s a bit of free styling going on and I see the girls doing things I can only dream of! Balancing their full body weight on one hand – one hand! I used to be able to do that back in my playground days! I join in but realise these people are on another level of yoga that I have to get to like now! The class finishes and the teacher mentions something once again about being kind to yourself. I’m instantly taken back to my Bikram class and I smile. I go to speak to the teacher who gives me a huge slice of watermelon smiling and says yeah the Bikram class was cancelled you’ve just done a Vinyasa…
I was intoxicated with this new style I had discovered $45 bucks well spent methinks. I started to read up about it online, look for studios in London as I now knew that this was the yoga that I wanted to teach. I came back to London quit my Bikram studio and my new 9-5 job on the spot (that job lasted 10 days BTW) and enrolled onto the teacher training course with The Yoga People, just like that, and I don’t believe I’ve ever been happier. I am a qualified and certified 200 hours Ashtanga, Vinyasa and Rocket teacher and will be forever grateful to the woman in my job who was a nightmare forcing me to quit and seek my true purpose, the universe for guiding my path, and my teachers, gracious Jamie and Dulce for sharing their knowledge, guiding my journey and changing my life with this gift that I can now share with others…
The Small Print…
Mary has studied under many phenomenal teachers including Manju Jois, Richard Freeman, David Swenson, Donna Farhi, Tara Judelle, Kino McGregor and Chad Hamrin but is always eternally grateful to her very first teachers The Yoga People; Jamie and Dulce for their knowledge, love and continued support. She’s regularly in the states topping up expertise with  some of these teachers.
She believes Richard Freeman had a major influence over how she taught Astanga and from there didn’t really consider herself to have a style as such but decided to teach what works as a practice rather than what is expected.  Through her eclectic influences moving with intention, softening and spirals triggering Facial tissues have become a major feature in her practice and sequencing. Connecting with every cell in your very being. Because of this her Vinyasa classes are inspired and peppered with a balance of Yin and Yang. Dynamic sequencing coupled with an attention to alignment, fluidity and philosophical perspectives that relate to everyday life situations. She builds sequencing with Krama influences which allows the practitioner to go as deep as they wish to in the asana taking into account anatomy, ability and personal practice.
She also studied under the phenomenal Uma Dinsmore Tuli for her pregnancy yoga qualification and believes every woman needs to meet Uma at least once in their life.
I drive through the power and importance of Pranayama (the breath), without the breath there is no yoga! I’m fascinated by the anatomy and how the bone structure of the skeletal system determines the precision of alignment so I adjust students subtly where possible giving them the best alignment adjustments for their body – one size does not fit all people. I’m also a fan of building core strength coupled with a dynamic flow of asana all done with loving kindness for oneself and a little touch of humour.
I believe that a moving mediation connection of the physical, spirit and an loving open soul is an amazing cocktail that everyone should be intoxicated with… this is the true essence of yoga that should be embraced!

Contact me here for info about upcoming classes, private 1:1 sessions and more