I’m not your typical slender, lithe yoga type – more of a welsh mountain pony with the strong streak of stubbornness. But I have LOVED doing yoga with Lorraine. It’s hard, I sweat, a lot, and I often topple over but the sense of satisfaction is huge. And you can literally see yourself improving with every session. I move countries every few years so I’ve tried yoga with a variety of teachers. But having had classes with Lorraine has spoiled me and nothing else quite compares. It’s always Lorraine’s voice I hear inside my head when I’m taking other classes. Her way of explaining things just makes sense. Did you know you can quite literally “suck up your thigh bone”. I can now do a head stand in the middle of the room and a “bridge” without having to be literally held up. And, unheard of for me when it comes to physical exercise, I can’t wait to get back for the next class.
I was diagnosed with a herniated disc in August 2014 when I fell on my lower back whilst rushing down the stairs. The orthopedic surgeon I saw told me that this was an extremely serious injury, that I most likely needed a surgery and that I wouldn’t be able to undertake any further sports activities, such as skiing or dance. I was prescribed pain killers, Vitamin B. Eventually I was not able to move and had to lie in bed for 2 weeks and all of this just before my MA degree started in London.
Lorraine McConnon was recommended for 121 remedial yoga classes and I felt I had to try every option as the prognosis was so negative. I could barely move; my leg and my lower right hip were hurting a lot. Lorraine gave me a lot of homework and I began to do the exercises every single day, after the 4th session the pain disappeared almost completely. I also realized that although my pain had disappeared I still was very sensitive and had to maintain doing the yoga exercise on a regular basis. The lesson I have learned, thanks to Lorraine, is that through the disciplinary connection with one’s body and a good yoga plan, one can remove such serious injury.
For years I had back problems. For years I had been in and out of physiotherapy. For years I had been going to the gym. But for every two steps forward I would take three steps back.
Then my problems became much worse and I developed radiculitis caused by a pro-lapsed disc. More physiotherapy and a lumbar epidural followed and, just when I thought all of this had finally worked, I pulled my calf muscle.
‘Have you tried yoga?’ asked my physiotherapist as she explained that this latest set-back was all part of the same thing.
I was lucky that she recommended Lorraine who took an interest in my symptoms, scans and recent treatment even before I met her for my first session. Lorraine then set about designing a remedial yoga programme for me.
I can honestly say, six months on, that Lorraine’s meticulous yoga programme has changed my life. Even after the first couple of sessions I felt better. I started to understand my body; the imbalances, my bad posture, the importance of breathing properly.
Don’t think yoga is easy, it’s not. That’s why it takes many years to perfect and novices like me benefit from experts like Lorraine. It’s also why I no longer go to the gym, turns out this was counter- productive in any case.
Lorraine is the best teacher I’ve ever had. Somehow she manages to get you to ask more of yourself, and not in a pushy way. The ‘spiritual focus’ is hard to define but the emphasis on wholeness and wellness is ever-present. She’s warm, funny and wise. I can’t recommend her highly enough.
Regardless of how you learn, Lorraine will help you connect to Iyengar yoga in an exacting yet accessible way. She is proof that high standards and empathy are not mutually exclusive.
Nowadays, the practice of Yoga is an integral part of my daily life. Even though I lead a very full life I always make the time to do a daily yoga practice. It improves everything else I do; it off-sets the stress of my demanding job, and enables me to be a devoted family man and lead a healthy and fulfilled life with a great sense of well-being. And more important, yoga has induced me to look inside, to be aware are the consequence of our own action. The discipline and patience in yoga practice has convinced me that we can reverse our imbalance and frustrations or, at least, learn how to bear then..
The reasons why I started Yoga have definitely evolved over the years. In the beginning it was different: slow, hard, difficult to focus … and this is where if it hadn’t been for Lorraine’s particular teaching approach I would have given up, without a doubt, because I tried other teachers in my first years.
Every day my yoga progresses, it becomes more enjoyable, and for some reason more natural. I always believe that I am just starting to scratch the surface of what Yoga is all about, and I want to discover more and more.
But, to have dropped Yoga in the beginning it would have been so easy…
I really feel I had the privilege of receiving Lorraine’s attention from day one! She was able to guide me according to every stage of my practice. Always, teaching with outstanding standards, and encouraging me to discover my own freedom.
Even though I don’t live in London anymore, I try my best to visit her every year. Her words simply connect, and her intuition is unique.
I have no words to thank her, for having introduced me to wonderful science and art of Iyengar Yoga.
I first met Lorraine almost 14 years ago, prior to this, I had attended the odd yoga class in difference locations. After my first class with Lorraine, I was hooked. I had found a teacher and a style of yoga that really spoke to me. Since then, I have attended over 10 consecutive years of her yoga retreats and loved every minute.
Yoga, in particular Iyengar, affords me the space to undo the physical and mental knots that working in a stressful environment and in a fast paced city can often create. It’s always there and with it’s endless benefits.
I feel very lucky to have discovered Yoga and to have found Lorraine. She has a warm, informative and wise approach to her teaching and has been an inspiration in guiding me through all weathers of my yoga journey. One of her many skills is having the ability to work with a range of experiences with in the one class so you always feel that you benefit from individual attention to aid the development of your practice.
Lastly, her genuine warmth, compassion and sense of humour always make for an enthused class and attracts like minded students which have become friends over the years. Yoga, particularly Iyengar, has become very much part of my everyday life and central to my well being.
I have attended Lorraine’s yoga course in London over the past 3 months as a complete beginner. It would have been easy to drop out after a couple of classes given the pressures of everyday life. However something about Lorraine kept me coming back week after week.
Having reflected on what it is about Lorraine’s skillset, the best way to sum it up is that she is someone who is operating at the very top of her field. Her words connect, her intuition is unique and she is capable of deeply connecting in the same class with novices like myself and students with 10+ years yoga experience.
The key question to ask of a yoga instructor is whether he/she has the ability to connect with their students and fire them up so they want to enjoy a lifetime of yoga. Lorraine has that quality in abundance.
Having only ever done one or two random yoga classes in my twenties and never particularly taken to it, my introduction to Iyengar yoga through Lorraine at Ulpotha – a magical retreat in the jungle in Sri Lanka – couldn’t have been better. I arrived tired, anxious, with aches and bad posture as a result of months of working too many hours and not getting any exercise. Lorraine promised she would fix me. I thought that was optimistic and that I’d be lucky if I could just switch off for a bit but she really did fix me!
Being the only one on the course to not actually practice yoga was a bit daunting but Lorraine made me feel completely included in the class by effortlessly tailoring bits of it for me and helping me through all the new and trickier asanas. That she managed to give classes to a group whose experience levels ranged so dramatically from zero (my case) to professionals whilst making everyone feel challenged and imparting new insights is a testament to her ability as a teacher and deep understanding of Iyengar yoga. I continue to attend Lorraine’s workshops in London as I am now totally convinced of its healing and strengthening effects.
Ulpotha provided me with the most perfect setting in which to start my journey with yoga practice and to re-energise. The daily yoga and swimming in the lake, the proximity to nature, the delicious organic and fresh vegetarian food, the Ayurvedic treatments as well as the company of warm and interesting people from all over the world – including the Ulpotha residents – made this the perfect retreat for the body and soul. It was just what I needed and I can’t wait to go back next year for a booster.