Santosa Blog | In Conversations with...
Catching up with Sharon Iacono, one of the studio's regular teachers, to find out more about her Yoga for Sports and Yoga for Strength and Flexibility classes.
What inspires you in your own yoga practice? What brings you back to your yoga mat every day?
The teachings I have had from so many different teachers, from a wide range of schools of yoga. Due to the diversity of my learning, I put this into my classes and also into my own practice. So, sometimes I crave a long, slow yin practice, some days I need the energy from my Ashtanga practice and some days I mix it up completely according to what my body needs when I step on the mat.
I come back to my mat every day as it gives me the time and space in my busy life to re-connect. Through breath work, movement and meditation, I have a bit of much needed ‘me’ time each day. Also I need my regular asana practice to keep my body going. With all the cycling, a past career working in hospitality and now teaching full time, it’s really important to keep up a regular movement practice to avoid injury.
Describe your yoga mat - how long have you and your mat been partners?
I have many mats, both at home and in the studios I teach in. Most of them are from Lululemon and have been kindly gifted to me. Love them all in a different way . I still have one of my first mats that I use for my home practice, a rubber Tree Mat. It’s been with me for at least 10 years and is still going strong.
What does cycling give you that yoga doesn’t?
Fresh air, mountains, scenery and escape from the city. Much needed to clear the head sometimes.
Tell us about your toughest cycle/favourite cycle journey?
Every year when we go to Spain, we embark on a new mountain biking challenge. Some more successful than others! Once we cycled up a mountain and couldn’t find the way down, so we ended up hiking our bikes all the way down (almost 1500 metres). Took us ages and when we reached the road, we had to send my poor husband half way back up on his bike to get the car while we sheltered in a cash point as there was nowhere even open to get a drink. Not our finest ride….
The best ride has to be last year when we cycled over 3500 metres almost to the top of Spain’s highest mountain. Amazing views and epic journey
This time last year you took the awesome decision to step away from the security of working regular hours to teach yoga full time – that must have been pretty scary. How does it feel now, a year on?
It was pretty scary, but I had a good following of amazing regulars at Santosa, most are still with me today, and also the support of Allison at Hot Yoga Edinburgh. I’m really lucky to have been given the opportunity and really love teaching every day. Every day there is something new to learn and I meet such inspiring people.
As one of Edinburgh’s leading yoga for sports teachers, how do your classes help with performance?
As I have always had the battle between strength and flexibility due to the fact I cycle, spin and climb as well as yoga, I can really relate to my students when they come to me looking to open up and stretch out either after or before events or just in general. The mixture of Yin and Yang is the perfect combination for those who do sports as we work on both strengthening and lengthening in the practice. Working to open up the fascia in our Yin practice and making spaces for the muscles to grow or lengthen in our Yang after. I work on different areas each week, so if you come regularly, you will eventually feel a difference in the whole body.
Sharon has practiced yoga for 20 years and spent many years under the wonderful tutoring of Rowena Warren (now Morris) at The Yoga Room. After training with the Classical Yoga School (CYS) Perth she went on to study with Chi Therapeutics 200 RYS with its focus on Yin, Therapeutic Hatha and Acupressure.
Her teachers include Jambo Truong, Forrest Yoga, Clara Roberts Oss in Vinyasa, Leslie Kaminoff, David Keil and Chris Kummer is about to embark on a new anatomical journey with Gary Carter this autumn.
Sharon teaches a mix of yoga styles dependent on the class, but with a focus on building strength, flexibility and stretching those overused muscles and fascia. Her specialty is teaching a mixture of Yin and Yang Yoga for Sports and Flexibility - especially good for those with injuries or people who do sports.
Learn to Flow | Mondays | 10 - 11 am
Yoga for Strength and Flexibility | Wednesdays | 6 – 7.30 pm
Yoga for Sports | Fridays | 7 – 8.30 pm