We catch up with yoga teacher Ucci to learn more about her practices and inspirations.
Join Ucci for a special class on Yoga for Recalibration, learn more and sign up here: https: //www.yogamatters.com/pages/community-yoga-classes-2023
Tell us a bit about yourself…
I’m Ucci and I have been teaching Yoga classes and courses for nearly 20 years. I live and teach online from my home in Sweden after spending the previous two decades learning, practicing, working and enjoying life in the UK!
What does a typical day look like for you?
A typical day in my life starts with a coffee and, if it is not covered with ice, a “refreshing” swim in the Baltic Sea! What follows depends on the times of the classes I’m teaching, but would usually include my practice of Somatic movements, gentle flow Yoga and / or different kinds of Restorative Yoga – all guided by what my body tells me about my needs and feelings of the day! I spend a lot of time outdoors and I can truly say that nature and the different seasons of the year inspires my Yoga practice and teachings. My friends and family are very important to me and for my sense of belonging, so I make sure to stay in touch with people near and far.
How did your yoga journey begin and what inspired you to become a yoga teacher?
I started my Yoga experience and journey when I first moved to the UK in 1999. I was a Social Worker and I felt lonely, stressed and generally a “bit lost” so I joined the local gym and a Yoga course for beginners in the hope of finding a new interest, learn better ways to relax and to make new friends. It wasn’t long before I was totally hooked! I truly fell in love with Yoga. It felt “just right” for me and has since been a constant companion in my life. I was lucky, early on, to connect with fantastic Yoga teachers who fully understood the concept of embodied practice and I’ve made long-lasting and wonderful friends along the way. Fast-forward a few years, after completing some different Yoga teacher training courses, I made the decision to leave social work behind, and I’ve been a full-time Yoga practitioner ever since!
What inspired you to specialise in your practice?
With my social worker background, I wanted to identify complimentary therapeutic practices to empower people in different life situations – hence the diverse trainings and courses. My Yoga path has led me through Sivananda Yoga, British Wheel of Yoga, Donna Farhi advanced teacher training, Judith Hanson Lasater restorative Yoga courses and Somatic movement training with Lisa Petersen. I’ve learned from multiple intensives and workshops with Shiva Rea, Tias Little and Julie Martin, just to name a few incredibly inspiring teachers! I feel truly humbled and grateful for my years (so far!) of learning and living Yoga.
How have you seen yoga benefit your students?
Yoga students are my greatest teachers and an inspiration on my journey. As Yoga teachers, we meet people in different life situations, and students’ needs change over time. I think what benefits students most, is that we (as “Yoga guides”) can adapt the practice to meet students where they are in their bodies and life. Everyone should feel welcome and not have to fit into a certain mould. It helps me as a teacher to have experienced and learned various forms of movement practices.
In today’s fast-paced world, we all deal with various forms of stress from studies, work, family issues and life, perhaps suffering with pain, mental and /or physical illness. I spent 7 seasons teaching Yoga classes at Newcastle United Football Club, and apart from dealing with the obvious tight hamstrings and football injuries, it inspired me to specialise more towards gentle, mindful Yoga practice. Slow flow movements, stillness and space is something we all need, no matter who we are and where we are in life!
Yoga helps us to make lifestyle changes, to feel and sense more, to become more present and live life more fully, just as we are. To find that we can act from a centre of calm and strength, both in body and mind! We can self-educate, self-regulate and self-heal with the right tools in the box! The benefits of Yoga and embodied movement practices are endless, and to share the Yoga space with students and communities is an amazing and humbling experience.
What is your favourite quote or life motto?
Live and let live!