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In Chattanooga, Tennessee (USA) there is a very lovely bellydance and yoga teacher called Lauryn Peterson. She works at Zanzibar, a great studio that I’ve mentioned before, here here and here.  In fact in the first of those links I mentioned a Yin Yoga and Shimmy workshop which was the very first time I had encountered Yin Yoga.

Tribal Fusion bellydance, via Zanzibar, first got me interested in yoga several years ago and I’ve now tried many styles – Flow, Power, Hatha, Iyengar, Ashtanga and Swasthya are the main types that spring to mind.  Yin Yoga holds the poses for longer than the other forms I’ve tried (2-5 minutes is normal in Yin) and works on the connective tissue more so than muscles.  It prefers to work with cool rather than hot muscles.  I really enjoyed it when I tried it last year and was keen to do it again on this trip to the States.

Due to scheduling conflicts I wasn’t able to attend the Yin/Shimmy workshop Lauryn was teaching at Zanzibar so we made arrangements for a private Yin Yoga lesson.  She tailored the session to my specific requests and gently guided me through a practice I feel comfortable taking home and working through by myself.

The necessity or otherwise of yoga with bellydance is something I want to come back to later, but I do believe the body awareness and mindfulness that yoga encourages, in addition to the health benefits, improves my dance practice greatly.  And having now taken a full term of Ashtanga yoga I have found that the body awareness and mindfulness that bellydance can encourage has helped me there too.  The feedback between dance and yoga is interesting to me, and I do have a post more specifically about this currently percolating through my head.

But the bottom line is that I really enjoyed my private lesson and am definitely looking forward to continuing my Yin practice at home.  If you’re interested in this (or bellydancing) and in the Chattanooga area I thoroughly recommend Lauryn for both types of lessons, both public and private.  Her teaching style is respectful, knowledgeable and often fun.

You can get more information both on the Zanzibar and the Asala Center websites (and the other Zanzibar teachers are also wonderful, just so you know).


Yesterday I had the extreme pleasure of taking the Yin Yoga and Shimmy workshop facilitated by lovely Lauryn Elise Peterson Higgins of Zanzibar studio.  As well as teaching bellydance Lauryn and leading her own troupe, Mirabai, is a certified yoga instructor and also, in conjunction with her mother (who was at the workshops) is a constructive living instructor.  Read the rest of this entry »

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