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Yoga, Yoga Therapy & Contemporary dance with Roosa Leimu-Brown
My passion in life is to make the planet and its people happier and healthier. I believe that happiness and health are intimately linked, and can be achieved by looking after and being better connected to ourselves, each other, and the environment. There is ample evidence showing that those who enjoy loving, personal relationships and a close connection with a sustaining local environment lead substantially happier and healthier lives.
Sharing YOGA is my way of helping people to a healthier and happier life. I started practicing yoga in 1999 after a career as a professional ballet dancer. The physical challenge of ashtanga yoga appealed to me and I immediately felt at home on my mat. I soon realized that I had encountered a life changing practice that was much more than just physical exercise. Yoga became a part of my everyday life. I started teaching yoga in 2002.
In 2011, after having practiced yoga very intensively for over ten years, I found that my practice was no longer meeting my needs. I was suffering from severe back pain caused by spondylolisthesis and an eroded disk in my lumbar spine, an old injury that had gradually got worse. I needed to work out how to alter my yoga practice to cope with my injury and how I could better use yoga to manage the pain. Yoga also supported me through my pregnancy and continues to nurture, vitalize and support my physical and mental wellbeing as a busy mum.
Inspired by these experiences, I started another life-changing yoga journey and joined the amazing yoga therapy diploma course at the Yogacampus in London in 2013. I am now a BCYT qualified yoga therapist and feel that this training has made me a much better yoga teacher being able to focus better on the individual needs and challenges of my students. I am also a qualified pregnancy yoga teacher and a qualified yoga nidra facilitator.
Over the years I have trained with various inspirational teachers including Petri Räisänen, Juha Javanainen, Lino Miele, Rolf Naujokat, Pattabhi Jois, Chuck Miller and Maty Ezraty. More recently, I have been privileged to train with the wonderful Uma Dinsmore-Tuli on pregnancy yoga, women’s yoga, and yoga nidra.
For me yoga is a practice that helps me to be who I really am and live according to my true values. It is a way of being. I believe that a regular practice keeps you grounded, happy and healthy. My old teacher Lino once said to me that “life is not there for yoga, but yoga is there for life”. Today my practice is defined by what I need yoga to help and support me with that very moment.
I believe that in order to thrive and blossom in life, we all need to do something creative to channel and deal with our emotions, feelings, thoughts, and everything that is going on inside and outside. My creative channel is DANCE. It is also an ultimate fun factor in my life. I started dancing when I was three years old and obtained my professional dance training with Helsinki Dance Institute and the Swedish Royal Ballet School. After dancing a year with the Swedish Royal Ballet I realized that it was not the way dance would best serve me in life. I jumped from the dance career ladder and decided to follow my passion for science and nature, while I continued taking contemporary dance classes for fun. Today I teach contemporary dance classes in Oxford and also coordinate the in.motion dance company that we established with the wonderful Anja Meinhardt.
In addition to sharing yoga and dance to make people happier and healthier, I am passionate about the wellbeing and health of our planet. I am a research biologist with a PhD in ecology. After 15 years in academia I left my job as a lecture at Oxford University, because I wanted to use my skills and knowledge for doing something more meaningful, and because I could no longer relate to the values of the highly competitive academic world. I teamed up with two brilliant ladies and established a little environmental partnership SEED. I am deeply committed to reducing the environmental impact of my own actions and life, and am a trustee of a local group that aims to battle climate change.