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Moving Prayer is the website of Jess Glenny, moving body teacher, facilitator and therapist based in south-east London. I offer astanga vinyasa and yin yoga classes, courses and workshops; Phoenix Rising yoga therapy sessions; individual and group mentoring for yoga teachers; and dance movement individual sessions and workshops.

Moving body practices are ways of putting all of us into motion. Through moving and witnessing, we create opportunities for what our body knows (but our thinking mind may not yet be conscious of) to surface into awareness.
By being present with ourselves in this fluid way, we are able to become gradually more congruent with our experience in each moment, and so to live with increasing spontaneity, fulness and meaning. These practices are an invitation into the unexplored spaces of ourselves, a practical tool for living, a mystical path. Enjoy!

About Jess

For as long as I can remember, moving my body has been an instinctive way for me to know myself and discover what it means to be alive. My formal involvement with movement techniques dates started in 1981, when, at the age of 18, I did my first Iyengar yoga class. At about the same time I began to train in ballet and contemporary dance techniques, and did class daily for the next 18 years.

I continued to do yoga occasionally, trying out different styles. Then, in August 2001, I came across astanga vinyasa and fell in love with it. I became a dedicated practitioner, finding in this intensely physical, moving form of yoga a deep sense of immanence in my body. The discipline of daily engagement with my body has always been a backbone for me. What happens on my mat now tends to be a response to the in-the-moment needs of my body and may not resemble asana (yoga postures) according to any regular understanding; however, astanga vinyasa remains a core practice.

I trained to teach astanga vinyasa initially in 2002 with Abby Daniel, and again in 2003 with Tim Miller. Since then I have been fortunate enough to work with many wonderful teachers; however, my main teacher has always been my own body on the mat. In 2003, I also qualified as a Phoenix Rising yoga therapist, becoming one of a very small number of certified Phoenix Rising practitioners in the UK. I worked with Paul Grilley for the first time in 2006, began teaching yin yoga not long after that, and have since trained as a yin yoga teacher, offering a restorative form of yin. I am registered as a Yoga Teacher Elder with the Independent Yoga Network.

In the summer of 2001, I gave up performance dance techniques and began to explore experientially oriented dance. Over the years I have experimented with forms including including trance dance, contact improvisation and authentic movement, but my ongoing dance practice has been the Five Rhythms of Gabrielle Roth. As Open Floor grew out of the Five Rhythms, I began to practise that too, and am now an Open Floor teacher in training.

I took refuge with the Karma Kagyü lineage of Tibetan Buddhism in 2005 and completed the ngöndro (a traditional series of preparatory practices). I don’t consider myself a Buddhist, but I do find a lot of my own understanding of the world reflected in Buddhist philosophy, and I often work with Buddhist tools.

I teach all sorts of people with all sorts of bodies, but I specialise in working with people with hypermobility. My own relationship with movement practice has been challenged and enriched by Ehlers Danlos / Hypermobility Syndrome. I teach occasional public workshops for hypermobile yogis and (hypermobile and not) yoga teachers, as well as hypermobility units for teacher trainings. I am autistic and welcome other neurodivergent people to my classes – please let me know if you have any special needs around touch, or any sensory issues that it may be possible to address. I have worked extensively with professional dancers and taught yoga on the professional dance programme at Greenwich Dance for many years. I am on the faculty of Embodied Dancer yoga teacher training and of Yoga London’s 500-hour teacher training. I also teach in the queer community.

For me, whatever arises in my body is a potential entry point into fuller being. When we open unconditionally to our physical experience and tune into the body on a subtle level, we become aware that our ‘limitations’, our injuries, difficulties and imbalances, are our greatest opportunities for becoming healthy, whole human beings. We expand into this wholeness through the commitment to stay present to to our experience, as much as we can, without manipulating, editing or suppressing it. Each of our experiences comes to us as the seed of a blessing, as an invitation to wake up to unimagined new possibilities for living. Moving body practices offer us a way to receive that blessing

I feel privileged to be able to pass on the little bit I have learnt of these wonderful transformative practices and hope that you will be as enriched by them as I continue to be.

My writing on yoga and movement practice appears in various places online and in print. You can find it all at http://movingprayer.wordpress.com.

Registration, professional membership and certification

• Yoga Register Teacher (Elder):
Independent Yoga Network
• Certified Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapist: Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy Center
• Member: International Association of Yoga Therapists
Registered Somatic Movement Educator and Therapist: International Somatic Movement Education and Therapy Association
• Student member: International Movement Teachers Association

What people say about practising with Jess

“One of the big things for me is that Jess is so absolutely authentic in her practice and it is an inspiration to know that that integrity underpins all her classes.”—Belinda

“The sense of the presence of spirit makes Jess’s classes very special and different from the normal yoga class. Jess creates a space that feels sacred.”—Tinsel

“Jess is a fantastic teacher ... I am particularly struck by and inspired by her calm, relaxed demeanour. I pretty much relax as soon as she starts speaking at the beginning of the lesson.”—Leah

“Jess is a very gifted teacher and creates a space where one is entirely free from judgement and the soft energy of acceptance is ever present. She encourages deep listening in a very profound way because she is so finely tuned in to the present moment. A class can therefore be full of quiet, gentle surprises and slow awakenings.”—Anne-Marie


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In my wanderings I have visited shrines and many other places of pilgrimage, but I have not seen a shrine as blissful as my own body.—Saraha


Want to practise yoga during the summer holidays?
Wednesday morning Mysore style astanga and Saturday morning counted astanga are happening in Greenwlch throughout the summer.

Moving Laboratory

Explore some movement principles from the Open Floor. All welcome. Happening 2 August, Greenwich.

Dancing in the Urban Wild
Another opportunity to dance together with others in the urban wild of south-east London. Happening 23 August, Greenwich.

July and September Mysore-style astanga in Greenwich: early bird booking now
Mysore-style is the traditional way to learn astanga vinyasa. All are welcome, from beginners to experienced astangi’s. Expect a dynamic practice in which you will work hard and stretch.

September restorative yin yoga at Blackheath Standard: early bird booking now
Blankets, bolsters, deep stretch, deep relaxation. This is an opportunity to slow down and spend time with yourself

Reductions for dance students and professional dancers
If you’re a full-time dance student or a dancer on a low income, you can do a drop-in class for £5 or a course for £24. More information on the link below.

Yoga beginner? Confused?
There are lots of options for you to start yoga. Please get in touch and I can help you choose one that’s appropriate for you.


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