“Living life dynamically”:
the journey of a yoga teacher
Jo Kemp is a yoga teacher and photographer, whose journey has brought her from West Yorkshire to now practice in Sitges. Jo is one of only five senior Dynamic yoga teachers in the world.
26 years ago, Jo took a break from modelling and fashion and went travelling in India. This influenced her profoundly: there she found a sense of freedom in the nomadic way of life and she learnt to live simply and freely. Her life became absorbed in the practice, of at first Hatha yoga then Iyengar yoga. She sought out and learnt from many experienced teachers. Her journey in Asia took her to many places and along with yoga she explored other practices: fasting, detox, spiritual dance, Tai Chi, Qigong and trained in Reiki, Thai massage and nutrition, looking for the possibilities they offered and absorbing experiences from each. Yoga remained the strong, constant presence in all this exploration. As Jo practiced (in public spaces such as beaches and parks) she had people joining her.After nine years of dedicated practice she started to teach by ‘sharing’ her yoga. This ‘sharing’ still embodies the philosophy she practices today. Over time, as Jo immersed herself, she noted there was a lot of dogma and doctrines in traditional yoga practice, which stirred a feeling of unease and disquiet. When Jo returned to Europe she undertook teacher training, recognised by the governing training body in the UK, but this sat uncomfortably with her beliefs and the vast experience she had gained. Jo describes herself at this time as a “yoga geek” who read, studied, practiced and trained extensively to discover and know as much as possible. This led to a book by Godfri Devereux about Dynamic yoga and Jo instantly felt the connection she was looking for. She travelled to Ibiza to train with Godfri who has been her mentor for the past 16 years. So what is Dynamic yoga and what is it about Dynamic yoga that captivated Jo? Jo feels Dynamic yoga offers something to everyone; it has lost a lot of the doctrine and offers a process of working with what you feel, following the natural wisdom of your body. It is a process that brings about a rediscovery of the body’s natural integrity and reconnects with what it needs. There is no “you should/must” but it is an open and inquiring practice. Jo says it makes sense, not just physically but intuitively, she says “it works; you can feel the results and although subtly, pretty immediately”. It is adaptable; it accommodates and works with your life. There is no need to be “a devotee”, to subscribe to huge challenges. It can be integrated into your life and you can feel the benefits of what you “can” put in.
Jo lives in Sitges today. She works with small classes, private clients and with the dancers at the Institute of Arts in Barcelona. The yoga Jo teaches is accessible to all and highly adaptive. It is also very transformative. (As a working mum of three I managed to incorporate it and within the past year I have seen and felt the results: a stronger frame, less chronic pain, as well as a new mental space to reconnect with myself). Jo takes obvious pleasure from her teaching: she says as each client is unique and through each contact she deepens her teaching and learning. It is wonderful that we have Jo here, sharing her skills and experience. It gives us an opportunity to open our minds and bodies to create our own journey through the practice of Dynamic yoga.
Jo teaches classes, courses, meditation, and beach yoga in Sitges and Castelldefels alongside Selma Leistner, Dynamic yoga teacher and leads workshops and retreats throughout Europe. Jo also mentors other yoga teachers.
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