James Rafael

Glow Yoga Teacher

James teaches fun and uplifting, flow based classes with a focus on mindfulness of movement, breath, and healthy alignment. Classes aim to encourage a balance between strength and flexibility whilst inviting a sense of wellbeing and playfulness. James’ intention is to share what the practice has brought to him over the years: freedom, strength, and healing.

James came to yoga as a burnt-out-partied-out city professional, needing to find a way to regain balance and peace. He knows firsthand how tough that can be in this beautiful and frustrating city.

Although he’s always had a natural love of movement, he never formally trained in anything other than yoga, so understands deeply that you don't have to have any previous experience to develop your practice. Mindfulness is at the heart of his practice, having practiced daily over the last decade. He takes a pragmatic approach towards meditation, sifting the fact from the fiction to affect positive change.

He continues to be humbled by the power of yoga and mindfulness to transform our lives and the wider world around us.

 

Why did you want to become a yoga teacher?

I became a teacher initially to deepen my own practice. Yoga had this habit of transforming my life, and it got to a point through training that it became impossible not to want to share it with others and teach.

Where did you train?

I did my teacher training through the 2 year Triyoga Teacher Training Diploma. I’m also accredited through the British Wheel of Yoga and Yoga Alliance. My most influential yoga teachers have been Mimi Kuo-Deemer, Jean hall and Eileen Gauthier My most influential meditation/mindfulness teachers have been Mark Coleman, S.N Goenka, and Joko Beck.

How long have you been teaching?

I’ve been teaching formally for nearly 5 years now, prior to that though I couldn’t help working with friends, family and other students because I love sharing the practice so much.

Why should I come to your class?

Chances are you’re busy; you’re trying to juggle loads of things at once, right? I’m the same, and it’s taken me years to figure out how to use my yoga practice to help support balance in my life. If you’re looking to be more mentally present, find better balance and wellbeing, and develop a stronger more mobile body then my classes could be for you. We’ll also have a bit of a laugh and learn not to take it all too seriously!

How will I feel after your class?

Grounded, energised, and with a calm alertness leaving you ready to tackle the rest of your life with confidence.

What changes will I see?

Yoga gives you that healthy glow from the inside out! By getting present in the body, building strength and openness we start to feel a greater sense of wellbeing. That shows on your face! Aside from that, over time your posture improves, the body becomes much more efficient in its movements and we hold less tension. All of that means we move, look, and feel better in ourselves.

What are the benefits?

The benefits are too many to mention and always evolving; but physically you become stronger and more mobile, mentally you become clearer and better able to handle stress, and emotionally you can feel increasingly centred and more uplifted.

I love Good Vibes because…

The whole ethos around our yoga classes is to encourage mindfulness and a curiosity into your own body and how things really feel for you, rather than forcing you into a posture that doesn’t feel good or does damage. Good Vibes teaching is at the forefront of new understanding around the body and practice and isn’t afraid to challenge tradition – I love that! We’re constantly improving together, and there’s a real sense of community here. I also love the emphasis on balancing activity with relaxation as both are essential for our wellbeing.

Tell us something surprising about yourself?

I came to meditation and yoga with crippling anxiety, low self esteem, and a long physical addiction to drugs. The practice gradually changed all of that and I no longer feel trapped by any of those things. I’m pretty contented these days and haven’t drunk alcohol or used drugs for many years now. It’s crazy to think the practice can improve your life so much, but it can and will if you let it. This is why I want to teach; to share what little I’ve learned along the way, and help others trying to find their balance and flow in life.