Why do I practice Yoga, Focusing and why and how do I share it...
My yoga journey began in 2002 and teaching in 2007. It gently crept into my life opening not just my body but a new way of living in, through and from the body. To some degree felt like a homecoming. Wherever I could open my mat I felt home. As if something was waiting on the inside to be recognised, engaged and moved without words, but through simple presence, breath, movement and touch.
"And I said to my body softly: ‘I want to be your friend...’
It took a long breath and replied: ‘I have been waiting my whole life for this' ..."
So, after a few years of practice when my beloved teacher Agnieszka Oleksyn invited to teach in her yoga school, I had a big yes for it, and yoga emerged into the foreground of my daily life. I began with Iyengar Yoga and the value of alignment and clarity but as the teaching began revealing to me our individual differences, I began inviting myself and others to more personal explorations and that brought more meditative and inward oriented practice of Yin Yoga. Since then I dived into many yoga training courses and workshops connecting threads across different traditions (Hatha, Iyengar, Scaravelli, Sivananda, Yin yoga, Restorative yoga, Ayurvedic perspective on yoga) and different perspectives on embodied practices (anatomical/fascial, psychosomatic approaches). Also the beautiful art of skilful touch through the practice of Thai Yoga massage and Myofascial Release work trainings. So rather than attaching myself to one particular perspective, style or tradition I began allowing them to inspire the practice in the belief that all philosophies are useful, all philosophies are incomplete, do not be attached to them.
I was blessed to be able to learn from teachers like Richard Miller, Donna Farhi, Judith Hanson Lasater, David Frawley Alan Finger, Paul Grilley and Angela Farmer who have been influencing my practice and teaching.
In 2008, I opened the YogaTree school here in Rickmansworth, offering weekly classes, workshops, and yoga retreats. And that is being now surrounded by a network of beautiful people joining us here, which I am deeply grateful for.
As for the Focusing practice, it emerged from the meeting between yoga and my background as a psychologist. I realized that through the field of my body, I am in touch with the information that cannot be entered through intellect alone. I wanted to engage with it, to make that felt knowing more palpable, translatable and relevant. Focusing made it possible and pointed to how to let the unclear bodily felt sense "open" into a whole field of intricate detail from which new layers of feeling, seeing, thinking and action emerge. www.focusing.org.uk/member-profile/halinarozensztrauch
TRE (Trauma and Tension Release Exercises) is a new addition to our shared exploration and is a way of waking up, engaging and letting go into body's innate capacity to unwind, shake off and reset the nervous system and body's holding patterns, gradually easing our bodies from the grips of our minds, life circumstances, and life stories.
Yoga Tree offers space to slow down, open up and let go into being here in our bodies and hearts more and as Gendlin says " Once you come into this literal body here then you find a space that is much bigger than your literal body. It's quite clear that's it is not exactly your literal body, but that is where the entrance is" - G. Gendlin
I been practising Yoga for many years and have been to workshops and retreats by a number of well known yoga teachers in London but nothings compares to Halina’s approach which is genuine, authentic, honest and a true representation of what Yoga is for her. She somehow manages to allow us to find our own individual sense of boundaries, limits and alignment whilst still holding us all in a space of acceptance. Thank you so much.
I loved the way you designed the course to move through the chakras, starting with the legs and moving up. The way you paired the questions with the chakras was also great. I loved that they were questions as opposed to statement, and that you gave us several options. Often all three questions worked together for me and helped to open something up. It made for a wonderful movement between the physical/ location in the body to the verbal/ idea level. I also loved the directions you gave about how to redirect the attention to the physical while answering the questions rather than staying in the head. I think I was doing that already, but it reinforced that instinct, confirmed that I was in sync with the underlying values of the course, and I think helped with my partners. Also, as you know, this part of the course was instrumental in the powerful release that happened for me when we were paired together. I also thought the amount was the perfect balance between the yoga/physical and the verbal— at least for me. I wouldn’t have wanted more verbal—- just that little break in between the two yoga sessions was great
The directions you gave during the yoga sessions were illuminating for me personally. First of all, I loved that you explained what the pose was supped to do and then encouraged us to find the position that worked for us individually rather than just directing us to imitate a certain form. It added a sense of playfulness and openness to the yoga. And even beyond that, I’m not sure if I can explain it, but when you talked about the energy lines in different poses, I suddenly felt as if I had an insight into what yoga was all about in a way I had never understood before. I had the sense that it was not only about the physical muscles (or even mostly about the physical muscles), but about using the physical to access the chi or the prana or whatever that energy is that runs through the body and helping to release it when it gets blocked by our experiences and the (mistaken) beliefs we construct from those experiences"
"I've been enjoying Halina's classes regularly for a few years now and I am so glad I found her! Halina has a unique gift which makes everyone who attends her classes feel welcome and nurtured. Whatever your age and ability her style of instruction encourages you to explore the strengths and limitations of your own body in a completely supported and relaxed atmosphere. Thanks to Halina I now understand and respect my body better and feel more supple, energised and also more relaxed than I have ever done. Whatever your reasons for finding yoga I cannot recommend Halina and The Yoga Tree highly enough! Enjoy your journey."
"Halina is a caring, open, genuine, fun and deeply aware teacher and human being! She is a very knowledgable teacher, and is sensitive to the needs of all the members of the group. Having not practised for a couple of years, taking part in her workshop was a wonderful experience. Halina drew attention to the movements and experiences of parts of the body, the breath and the mind, revealing how these entities are inextricably linked and affect one another. She encourages a practice and a relationship with yoga which is compassionate and flexible, facilitating a gentle, yet fully intentioned feeling into and 'being' in each asana in a way that works in your own body. Through this approach, Halina taught me a way not only to listen to, sit with, and be in my body in difficult asanas, but also a way to respond to difficult emotions, thoughts, and sufferings with the same gentle and compassionate awareness.'
"Having dabbled in yoga on and off whilst my children were growing up, along with other more active sports, I am delighted to have found your yoga sessions. I absolutely love both the hatha and yin which I try to get to on a weekly basis. I love the whole ambiance that you create and what you stand for Halina and I feel now that this will be a journey which will be a major part of my life. Lastly, I love and find really helpful, the way that you describe what is going on in our bodies. I can visualise it and make connections when I practice on my own"
"I had tried several other yoga teachers before being recommended to try Halina’s classes. I am so pleased that I had that recommendation. Halina is an excellent teacher, she is very warm and affirming, encouraging you to do what is best for you and your body, rather than in comparison with others. I always feel safe and that Halina is very aware of all of the group members and how we are doing, giving guidance when needed. Alongside this though she does encourage you to challenge yourself (often with humour!) to be ‘ with’ the discomfort (as opposed to pain!) and to try to relax into it . I practice sitting meditation and find that Halina’s classes really fit well with this. I feel physically and emotionally different since being in the classes and am so pleased to have found them"
Senior Yoga Teacher
(SYT Yoga Alliance)
Qualified Yin Yoga Teacher
Qualified Restorative Yoga Teacher
Qualified Sivananda Yoga Teacher
Yoga Therapy Technique Certificate
Qualified Yoga & Ayurveda Consultant
BFA Focusing Practitioner
BFA Focusing Teacher
Clinical Psychology degree
Existential Well being Counselling: A Person - Centred Experiential Approach
Art Therapy diploma
Thai Yoga Massage Practitioner
ITEC Anatomy & Physiology Certificate
Integrated Myofascial Therapy Structural series 1,2,3
Certified Trauma Release Exercise (TRE) provider