Emma first came to her Yoga Practice just over 21 years ago, initially embracing its wisdom very casually. However, following her first visit to India in 2000 Emma began to develop her LOVE of the Philosophy which naturally enhanced her personal practice. Her introduction to Classic Hatha Yoga, through the Teachings of Swami Satyananda Saraswati of The Bihar School of Yoga, began at that time. Emma feels she became a Bhakti practitioner initially and drew much wisdom from the teachings of Sri Anandamayi Ma and has spent time at her very understated Ashram in Haridwar, India.
After this time, and upon returning to live in Brighton, Emma studied/practiced in Vajrasati Yoga and Iyengar Yoga for 8 years and during this time came to meet her philosophy teacher Satyananda (Bernardo Lischinsky) who follows in the lineage of Sri Ramana Maharshi. She began attending regular Satsangs and occasional retreats with him where she developed her practice of Self Enquiry.
Emmas’ Yoga Education then took her New Zealand in 2009 where she underwent her 7 month formal training through Ashram Yoga in Auckland under the guidance and wisdom of Swami Shantimurti Saraswati who studied and taught for thirty years in the Satyananda ( Bihar) tradition. She also (and finally!) began teaching Yoga classes during that time for The Whanganui Womens’ Refuge and as therapy for the Bi-Polar group ‘Balance’ and also some general classes. Her thoughts very much at that time were on how she could begin teaching yoga in prisons as she thought this to be where her heart lay. This was her first encounter with Prison Yoga Trust NZ and her first time inside a prison.
Again returning to the UK, Emma taught regular general classes around Sussex, this was a time of putting into practice her teaching skills and laying firmer foundations for her understanding of yoga in daily practice. Emma encountered a re-visiting of her own trauma at this time and underwent many months of personal trauma therapy from one of Peter Levines’ Somatic Experiencing qualified practitioners. This was when she saw the depth of scope for combining modalities and sought out further teachers to guide her.
Emma became more involved in the therapeutic world of Tantra as assistant to Jewels Wingfield, one of the U.K.’s well respected Tantra teachers for a period of one year. She studied Sexual Somatics and Trauma awareness under the guidance of Joseph Kramer Phd. Also drawing closely towards the work of Marshall Rosenburg (Non-Violent Communication) she became inspired to study with his protege Kelly Bryson (The Language of Compassion) in California and consequently was mentored by him on the Facilitation of Zegg Forum:
These few years were a time of huge personal growth and integration that subsequently led to the birth of “The Temple of Love” and Emma’s development of Trauma Informed Yoga and Intimacy Coaching where she combined all of her developed skills. After delivering workshops, yoga and Zegg Forum in some British and European communities she took her work back to New Zealand where she has been working for the past 5 years with high school groups, individuals and the incarcerated. Arohata womens’ prison and Rimutaka mens’ prison. During this time, she took further yoga training with both Shirley Hicks from Trauma Sensitive Yoga Australia and Julie Teetsov Phd. Under Julie’s exquisite and comprehensive guidance Emma became truly grounded in her work.
Emma’s Yoga practice and teachings follow an authentic path, encompassing Shatkarmas, Yoga Asana, Pranayama, Meditations from the Tantras, Yoga Nidra and Self Enquiry. All with a sensitivity to trauma. When people study with Emma they can expect to enter a place of concentration and depth. Providing opportunity for self-reflection in a gentle and non-judgemental way. Often remarked upon as an Authentic Yoga Teacher Emma is fluent in providing a nurturing space for practitioner/students to understand embodied learning and enter a space of nurturing peace.
Her personal practice is now directed more towards daily simple breath awareness and Pranayama. Regular two-syllable based mantra using Rudraksha, very simple Asana practice and occasional longer meditation sessions.
Emma’s given Sanskrit name is Divyananda which means Divine Bliss.