Uma was first introduced to yoga at the age of four by her mother and began meditating at nine on a pilgrimage with her maternal grandmother. Yoga and meditation have been part of her daily life ever since. As a naturally curious and enquiring yogini, she has engaged passionately and critically with a variety of quite different schools of yoga, most especially Satyananda Yoga and Iyengar Yoga.
After completing the Yoga Biomedical Trust Diploma in Yoga Therapy in 1999, Uma has continued to find the fully integrated approach of yoga therapy to be the most practical route to the healing power of yoga. She further trained in Structural Yoga Therapy and Ayurvedic Yoga Therapy with Mukunda Stiles, and works as a yoga therapist with special expertise in women’s health. Uma has a PhD in Communications and is a recognised teacher of the British Wheel of Yoga. She has been a training tutor in Yoga Therapy since 2001 and also teaches British Wheel of Yoga In-service training days. As a mother of three, she has been both personally and professionally engaged with the development of pregnancy yoga, yoga for birth and postnatal recovery, and family yoga, and has been training teachers in this field since 2002, when she first tutored for the Birthlight Trust. Since then she has delighted in creating her own courses to promote excellence of teaching in this field, including Well Woman Yoga and a uniquely responsive Integrated Mother and Baby yoga teacher training. With the intention of widening access to pregnancy and postnatal yoga, she founded Sitaram Yoga with her husband in 1998, and it continues to offer pregnancy and postantal yoga classes in London, including at King’s College and St Thomas’s hopsitals.
The heart of Uma’s daily personal and therapeutic practice is yoga nidra, which she believes to be the most powerfully transformative of all yoga techniques. She first encountered the technique at the Satyananda Yoga Centre in 1995, and has been exploring all aspects of it with fascination ever since. She has studied a variety of different approaches to the practice both in India and the UK, with nationally renowned exponents including Swami Muktidharma (Satyananda Acharya, New Zealand), Mukunda Stiles, and Richard Miller. She has refined a range of particularly feminine therapeutic applications of yoga nidra, including its use for the promotion of fertility, positive birthing, postnatal recovery and conscious menstrual health a source of spiritual empowerment. She has taught yoga nidra to hundreds of people, in every conceivable environment, from nursery schools, hospitals and airports, to giant geodesic domes filled with yogis sheltering from wild storms at yoga festivals and gatherings. She has been sharing the technique with teachers from all lineages on Yoga Therapy training courses and retreats since 1999.
Uma leads retreats and courses worldwide, sharing the approach to yoga therapy set out in her CDs, DVDs and books: Mother’s Breath, Teach Yourself Yoga for Pregnancy and Birth, and Feel Confident: Yoga for Living. Her new book Yoni Shakti is about the evolution of feminine spiritual authority through yoga and tantra. Uma is currently refining Womb Yoga through a series of international workshops and retreats.
I most enjoyed the variety of yoga nidra. It has given me the confidence to now use the practice for the benefit of others.A Yogacampus student on Learn to Teach Yoga Nidra 2011, November 2011
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