Anna Blackmore, BA(HONS), DO, MNCH, C-IAYT
Anna has been teaching yoga and practicing as a bodywork therapist since 1982 and currently lives and works in London, UK. She has done extensive training in western and oriental bodywork; osteopathy, massage, shiatsu and Chinese medicine and in many styles of yoga including Iyengar, Sivananda, Astanga Vinyasa, Scaravelli and Shadow Yoga. She also has a great deal of experience of a number of other yoga methods, mindfulness, meditation, non-duality, hypnosis and mind training.
"My first yoga teacher was Clive Sheridan, whom I met in India in 1978. Clive has his own unique style. I found him an inspiration because of his depth of philosophical knowledge and astonishing mastery of the postures, but also by the way he combines a deep and genuine devotion to his yoga practice with being a very normal, fun-loving person, fully engaged in life, love and adventure. We persuaded him to teach us yoga on the beach under the palm trees. Someone would regularly disrupt the class by topping over in the unstable sand into a pile of giggles. But with great patience and good humour Clive persevered with us! I was hooked and came knocking on his door again the following year asking for more teaching"
She initially did a Sivananda yoga teacher training in South India in 1982 and lived and taught in the Sivananda Yoga Centre, London for 3 and a half years. She qualified as an Iyengar teacher in 1986 and in 1990 she spent 6 months in India studying with the Iyengar family in Pune and with K. Pattabi Jois in Mysore.
"I am very grateful for having had the opportunity to meet and study with some of the great teachers of the previous generation, such as BKS Iyengar, K Pattabi Jois and advaita masters; Jean Klein, J. Krishnamurthi and briefly Ramesh Balsekar.
I would also like to acknowledge the late Derek Ireland for all the inspiration, fun and laughter he brought to yoga and the way he could use a joke or wry comment at just the right moments, to puncture competitiveness and release the tension of excessive striving"
Anna has for many years been involved in training yoga teachers and first studied yoga therapy in India in 1982 and later in the UK and the USA, before returning to India to do a certification training. She was one of the founders of the Yoga Campus yoga therapy diploma course and served as a board member and clinic supervisor for 7 years.
"My initial encounter with yoga therapy was 2 weeks intensive study at the Yogic Prakash Hospital for Chronic and Incurable Diseases in India in 1982. When I arrived at the gate of this unprepossessing building in a residential area of Ernakulam, the first thing I saw was a completely sheet-swaddled white ‘mummy’, sitting on a chair alone in the middle of the yard!! It was a [live] patient having a sunbath under the orders of Dr Satyanand. He proceeded to put us [two] students on a stringent régime of only raw food and lemon juice, regular salt water purges, early morning asana and pranayama practice and long, late evening lectures. Part of the training was to absorb his teachings while learning the mental discipline to endure the avid attentions of millions of mosquitoes! I have to confess I was young and impatient and did not stay the course, but a seed was planted and I learned far more than I realised at the time"
Wanting to learn more about the body, Anna then studied and practiced several forms of bodywork, including massage, polarity therapy, pulsing and reflexology, before discovering shiatsu. She has qualifications in shiatsu from The Community Health Foundation (1984) and The College of Shiatsu (1993), was registered for many years with the Shiatsu Society as a practitioner and senior teacher and was an assessor for several years. She taught shiatsu, oriental medicine, anatomy, physiology and pathology for the European Shiatsu School for 12 years.
"In 1982, while on a yoga retreat, I met the late Chris Jarmey, who was the founder/director of the European Shiatsu School and wrote many successful books on shiatsu, oriental medicine, anatomy and tai chi. He was one of the most inspiring, talented (and humorous) teachers on these subjects, a close friend, mentor and great source of inspiration to me."
Anna qualified at the British School of Osteopathy in 1989 and was in practice as an osteopath for 11 years.
" I chose osteopathy because I wanted a thorough training in anatomy and physiology and in a well established complementary medical therapy. After 11 years in practice, I had gradually moved away from what is usually expected from an osteopath and more towards using yoga therapeutically and teaching people the tools to treat themselves. I therefore took the decision not to re-register with the GOsC when it replaced the Register of Osteopaths in 2000."
Having done an NLP practitioner’s course in 2002, she went on to complete an advanced Clinical Hypnotherapy training with the late Gill Boyne in 2003, followed by a Cognitive Hypnotherapy and NLP Diploma with the Quest Institute in 2009.
"After taking some short courses in self-hypnosis I became fascinated with the mind, how we use [and misuse] it and the parallels between yoga psychology and hypnotherapy.
I was very fortunate to have had a chance to study with Gill during the time he was based in London. He has been one of the most innovative and courageous pioneers of Transformative Hypnotherapy and opened some long locked doors deep in my unconscious."
Over the years Anna has been gradually evolving a style of yoga therapy, which combines yoga with hypnotherapy and also bodywork, when appropriate.
" I have learned that working with the mind, which the ancient yogis knew all about, is by far the most powerful tool for healing and for achieving whatever we want in our lives. The combination of mind techniques with the physical experience of yoga asanas, breathing and relaxation is what helps anchor the transformation deeply in the body-mind. This also empowers the client with the tools to support and continue the practice on their own and enormously increases the lasting effectiveness of the process.
Anna still continues to study and extend her knowledge. She did levels 1 and 2 of the 3-level Phoenix Rising training in the USA in 2002, completed a yoga therapy certificate with the International Vasishta Yoga Research Foundation in India in 2010, has done Ayurvedic training and retreats in India and regularly attends courses and workshops.
For me, yoga therapy brings together the different strands of my training and experience in a way which I find endlessly fascinating and fulfilling."
Anna is certified by the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT).