about halcyon yoga
Halcyon yoga was set up in 2002 by Jacquelyn Cooper, a qualified British Wheel of Yoga & Meditation teacher based in Bedford, UK. She chose the word ‘Halcyon’ as it reflects the essence of what yoga means to her.
The word ‘halcyon’ (pronounced hal-see-on) comes from Greek mythology and is used to refer to a period of calm weather amidst wintry storms. Our ‘halcyon days’ are the happy days in our lives when we feel completely free to be ourselves and enjoy the moment, and it is this which we can re-discover through our yoga practice.
Halcyon yoga specialises in personal development via sensitively led yoga, mindfulness and meditation classes to small groups (maximum 9 students) as well as in private, individual sessions.
Halcyon Yoga offers termly courses, drop-in classes and personal one to one sessions, all tailored to suit the needs of the individual.
The sessions are held in a beautiful garden room studio, located on the outskirts of Bedford, which Jacquelyn designed herself. Stress Reduction, Chronic Pain and Anxiety Management courses are available by special arrangement. Jacquelyn is happy to give talks to businesses and run seminars for business-related groups as well as in schools and health centres.
I am a qualified yoga and meditation teacher with the British Wheel of Yoga (BWY) www.bwy.org.uk . I completed the 4 year BWY Teaching Diploma (including the foundation year) in 2004 & the BWY Post-Graduate Meditation & Personal Development qualification Level 1 and 2 in 2011/12. I am a fully insured teaching member of the BWY. (copy of liability insurance policy is available upon request)
I have been teaching weekly mixed ability adult classes and one-to-one sessions in Bedford since 2002. Clients are individuals from all walks of life and professions including people managing specific debilitating health conditions, everyday general stress and anxiety.
I practice mindfulness yoga and meditation on a regular basis. This practice supports and prepares me for the ups and downs of everyday life and relationships and helps me to stay open to the moment with increasing courage and patience. I feel fortunate to be able to share my own experiences and support others to investigate the practice and resulting effects for themselves.
I continue to study the Mahamudra tradition of meditation which incorporates the practices of shamata (mind calming) and vipashyana (wisdom/insight) under the experienced guidance of my teacher; Maarten Vermasse, BWY Diploma and specialist module course tutor and founder of the Mahasiddha Yoga Group in Oxford.
In 2008, I began working voluntarily for the BWY as the County Representative for Bedfordshire www.yoga-east.co.uk. This role included looking after the needs of county members and teachers, organising training days and being a member of the Regional Committee playing an active role in the development of the BWY Eastern Region. I handed over the role in 2012.
I grew up in Bedford watching my inspirational Anglo-Indian mother doing headstands and encouraging us to join in! I did not connect what she did with yoga until I started going to classes in the early nineties. The weekly class became a haven from my every day stresses.
Over the years I have practised many different styles of yoga and have been influenced, inspired and supported by some very special teachers including; Maarten Vermaase, Peter Blackaby, John Stirk, and David Sye. I am extremely fortunate and grateful to all of my teachers including my husband, two daughters and close friends.
yoga and you
Is yoga for you?
The word yoga means to yoke or join, it is the re-union of all of our fragmented parts. Yoga is a holistic system of education for our whole self and a practical aid to a healthy way of life.
The Halcyon Yoga Approach
Please feel free to browse the rest of this web site for more in depth details of classical yoga practice. The following few paragraphs describe my personal approach to teaching which I consider to be the essence of yoga.
During classes, I will guide you in the development of your own ability to discover and release your embodied tensions. After a while you will start to know what feels good and what works for you. I encourage interaction and welcome feedback, and questions. This helps to shape the class and we end up with a general feeling that we are all co-investigators together! It also means that the practice becomes tailored to your individual needs. I like the challenge of a mixed group, it all adds to the fun and feeling that we are not so different from each other after all.
The classes involve physical postures and breathing techniques. The postures are a means to connect to our bodies and develop body awareness in order to release tension. Relaxation and meditation help us to remember how to ‘let go’ and rest in presence.
I like to think of the yoga sessions as an opportunity to adventure into the unknown where we can be open to new experience; to move and ‘play’ like we did as children. It can be lots of fun!
The best advice I can give to anyone curious about the possible benefits of the wonderful practice of yoga is to come and try it for yourself. Contrary to popular belief you don’t need to be flexible to ‘do’ yoga or to have any other special skills. Yoga is for everyone, in fact it’s best if you come exactly as you are right now!