On Wednesday evening I attended a vinyasa flow workshop with renowned teacher, James Higgins. I’d heard a lot about James’s special style of practice from a few people but know one could really explain to me what it was in particular that was different. As soon as I arrived at Fumbally and found the last space to roll out a mat was right up front and centre, I was sure I would get the whole experience!
From the beginning of the class it was clear James has a high sensitivity to the communal energy of whatever group he’s teaching. We started with an extended lying down centring that focused on a lot of breath work and guided meditation. After this we launched into a series of warm ups and vinyasa sequences. What seemed unique to me was the way in which James interwove direction to the physical body, emotional body and mind into each instruction. Attention was directed into triggering all the muscles required to enter an asana before engaging in it. The language he used seemed to honour both our physiological understanding of our bodies and the way they feel. Breath work and focus was maintained throughout the class. The practice was strong throughout the class and definitely helped me explore my own strength but this was in no way at the expense of the stability and quality of the practice which was illustrated the entire class achieving a set of very challenging variations on Tree Pose. During the warm down sequence and shavasana James’s particular blend of meditation, spiritual insight and philosophy was really evident.