England’s highest yoga class
The man who went up a mountain and came down a yoga teacher
Agroup of yogis from Lancashire and Cumbria recently scaled the heights of Helvellyn, England’s third highest mountain, for an awe-inspiring summit yoga session in aid of charity CALM (thecalmzone.net).
The class – which could well be England’s highest-ever yoga class – was the idea of David Cowburn, a keen fell runner, chartered surveyor, and recently-graduated yoga teacher.
At the summit – some 950 metres above sea level, reached after a lengthy 2.5 miles ascent – he taught his first-ever class after qualification from his yoga teacher training with Studio One Yoga (studiooneyoga.co.uk), a well-known centre in the north-west.
“It’s amazing to feel the wind in your face as you stand in Mountain pose, grounding through the feet, eyes closed,” he said. “Then you blink them open and you are facing mountains. Wow!”
Some 23 students took part in the class, a large enough group to teach in a studio let alone on top of one of the country’s highest peaks, especially for a newbie instructor.
“I love the mountains and I love yoga – so I wanted to teach
England’s highest yoga class. Coming up with this idea and then designing the class has been an amazing experience. I am so lucky to have had so many students wishing to practice with me. There will definitely be more mountain, fell and hill-based yoga to come.”
Of course, there were plenty of challenges along the way: the realities of doing anything in the mountains (rain, uneven ground, pinning yoga mats down with rocks in the high winds) meant this was always going to be a big test for a new instructor.
But Michelle Almond, Studio One Yoga founder, said her students are a hardy bunch and that her newly-qualified graduate passed with flying colours.
“Our students love a challenge so when David approached me with the idea it was an automatic ‘yes’! The community spirit across both our Standish and Leyland studios is strong so I’m not surprised the event was a success, made even more special by having one of our own teacher trainers lead the class.”
Find David Cowburn on Instagram @davidrunyoga