original art meditation

Original Artwork by Shannon Roberts, USA.

Sascha Aurora Akhtar has been studying contemplative practice for over 15 years.

She has practiced and trained in Yoga, Mindfulness, Sufi Practices and Butoh, finding the Butoh philosophy deeply relevant as a thing in itself, not just a dance form. She once was an apprentice teacher at an Ashtanga Mysore-style practice in North London, called the London School of Yoga.

I loved doing that. There was a beautiful atmosphere, bathed in candle-light. The energy of so many people doing self-practice and being able to assist them in it, was really inspiring“.

She studied on a year and a half long course with British Wheel of Yoga on the Foundation teacher training.  My “Viniyoga” or old school KYM yoga core with its emphasis on Vedic chanting comes from working with absolutely amazing teachers like David Charlton.

“Yoga Junction at Finsbury park was a beautiful place to learn in. I exchanged free reception for yoga classes and as a result got to work with Nigel Jones (Ashtanga Level II & III), Tara Fraser and Tarik Dervish on a Yoga for Ayurveda course in addition to the teacher training”.

She completed a course called Meditation for Depression at the London Buddhist Centre in Bethnal Green which incorporated MBCT techniques and it was there she was introduced to mindfulness practice.

This about ten years ago, when I first started actively inviting meditation into my life.I have been struggling with depression since I was 15, and I decided I needed to work on myself more. Mindfulness was an entry point, that allowed me to view the situation in a different way.

She also spent time learning meditation in a few different Tibetan Buddhist centres in London.

I had no idea what the Metta Bhavana ( Loving Kindness Practice) was at the time. The idea of consciously wishing myself well, was actually quite difficult for me.Its taken a very long time to be able to give that meditation the energy needed“.

She is now a Yoga Alliance certified meditation teacher and also has a career as a poet. Her second collection of poetry was published January 2016.