Friday, September 26, 2014

Local Profile - Pamela Speldewinde

Imagine my delight when I found out the parent rep for son number one's class was none other than Pamela Speldewinde of Action School of Yoga, where I actually did a class many, many years ago as it was located right opposite my original yoga school, Dance of Life, in Smith Street, Fitzroy.  Even better that Pamela is now bringing Iyengar yoga to the local community in Ivanhoe with classes starting next term at the Ivanhoe Senior Citizens Centre behind Hatch Contemporary Arts Space.  Read on for more about Pamela and her passion for yoga.
Name: Pamela Speldewinde
Occupation: Iyengar Yoga Teacher
I live in Heidelberg Heights. I work in Fitzroy and more recently will start a class in Ivanhoe but have taught Yoga all over Melbourne for the last 18 years.
How long have you lived/worked here? 
I have lived in Heidelberg Heights for 13 years and worked mainly in Fitzroy as principal teacher and manager of The Action School of Yoga. The school was established in 1983 and was one of the first Iyengar Yoga Schools in Melbourne. Although my base for the last 18 years has been at the Action School in Fitzroy I have taught all over Melbourne in educational institutions, prisons and corporate companies, fitness clubs and sporting groups, adapting the practice of yoga to benefit each particular group's needs.
Describe yourself/what you do:
I first started yoga at the age of 18 as part of a training program for a physical theatre company that I was involved in. I found yoga a very stabilising force in my life at a time that was very challenging. Eventually I shifted away from performing and began training to be an Iyengar yoga teacher under senior Iyengar teacher Glenn Ceresoli. After working many years at the Action School of Yoga doing group classes I am now concentrating more on private one on one sessions where I can design programs that are personalized to each student in order to address specific needs and maximise the benefits people can have with their practice. I am also starting a new group class in Ivanhoe on Sunday October 12th. This class will run for 9 weeks in term 4.

What I have always been drawn to with this style of yoga is how grounded and accessible it is to everyone. It is a practical skill that allows you to cultivate many beneficial qualities, such as increased attention span, focus, sensitivity, coordination, balance, physical confidence and a general state of wellbeing. It can also help with physical injuries and health conditions. I’ve found that working with the body through the asanas (poses) and meditation shifts me from identifying just with my habitual thoughts that can be very narrow and limited to a much more open and receptive way of being. There are many reasons for starting a yoga practice.  Ultimately, Yoga practice is transformational. It refines our attention and cultivates conscious awareness.

Best thing(s) about living/working in Melbourne’s north-east:
I love the thought of providing classes for my own community. My family and I have found a great place to live where neighbours talk to each other and help each other when needed. During the summer months everyone in the neighbourhood gathers in the street once a week for a barbeque and cricket match. Being part of a community like this is priceless.

For more information:
phone: 0425 730 396

Nb. In addition to general group classes on Sunday, there will be beginners classes offered on Thursday nights from term 2 in 2015

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