ABOUT PAULA HOLLINGS
I first came across Alexander Technique from my guitar teacher who was concerned about my wearied posture. Straightaway I became intrigued, not just by the physical benefits, but also by the psychological uplift I experienced. Inspired to become a teacher, I completed a three year training course recognised by the Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique (STAT) in 1988, leading to the qualification of Member of the Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique (MSTAT). I have since taught in a number of diverse locations, including the USA, where I gave group workshops to students at the New England Consvervatory of Music, Boston, as well as private lessons to individuals. Now well settled again in the UK, I give one-to-one lessons in Tufnell Park/Holloway, North London.
People come to me for a wide range of reasons, from a varied mix such as office workers with RSI, a child with dyspraxia, scoliosis, actors, musicians, dancers, and those of all ages with bad backs or aching necks. I try to bring to my work the qualities of patience, humour and contemplative stillness which many years of travel and meditation have given me.
In 2003 I was first introduced to Kundalini Yoga in the UK by my wonderfully inspiring teacher, Guru Dharam Singh Khalsa. Those early lessons with Guru Dharam were revelatory and life-changing. His quietly commanding and one-pointed presence, coupled with his warmth and delightful humour, opened the gateways to higher consciousness. Practicing under his guidance I could feel the stress energy of crazy London life melt out of my body, and perceived clear light shining into the darkest corners of my psyche. I had practiced other forms of yoga on and off over the years, but had never experienced so strongly from them this spiritual cleansing and connectivity. I fell in love with Kundalini Yoga and it was only a question of time before I succumbed to the inevitable and trained to teach it.
First though I trained as a Kundalini Yoga Therapist with Guru Dharam in Sweden in 2009. This course made instant good sense to me as a perfect addition to my Alexander Technique teaching skills, for even though I still marvel at the transition Alexander Technique has made to my life and its potential to transform others' lives, sometimes we need to do some really vigorous energetic work on ourselves to throw off stress energy. It is the build-up of this stress energy which eventually leads to illness - if it isn't driven out of the body it is driven in and stored there. Alexander Technique is my bedrock, a marvellous set of tools which heighten my conscious awareness of how to take care of myself and maintain balanced alignment; Kundalini Yoga is ultimately the complete shedding, letting go into vastness. We need both and I remain abundantly grateful for receiving both, and the opportunity to help others integrate these practices into their lives.