Meet Paul Collins
(IYN) Registered Yoga Elder
Certified iRest® Yoga Nidra Meditation Teacher and Supervisor
I have trained and studied Yoga, meditation, breathwork, Systemic Constellation and dance practices with renowned teachers from all around the world.
My workshops and one to one sessions integrate the principles of iRest® Yoga Nidra non-dual meditation protocol.
I have used Yoga and meditation to transform a once stress filled, chaotic life to find peace and contentment.
I now share from my experience of more than 20 years of self-enquiry, practicing Yoga and meditation daily, and work with anyone suffering or struggling with life, including those in prison, military veterans, rehabs and the addiction recovery community.
My purpose is to share from my experience of healing the effects of trauma and physical, mental and emotional pain and to help other people find freedom and peace within themselves.
I experienced a dramatic change in my lifestyle that started in 1999 which led me to find a completely new direction in my life after years of working in the business world.
Since my first Yoga teacher training in 2002, where I had some transformative experiences with a Kriya Yoga breath practice I have been fully committed and dedicated to a Yogic way of life, with a consistent daily personal practice and a life of self-exploration supported by numerous teachers, courses and workshops.
As a former Royal Marine Commando, I had regularly practiced different forms of physical fitness over the years to stay healthy. Yoga came into my life as I was looking for something different, I wasn’t sure what, but knew I had to change as I was barely surviving in a busy, chaotic, corporate lifestyle. I was chasing external happiness and fixes that were making my life completely unmanageable and eventually brought me to my knees.
The foundation of my physical body movement work came from working weekly under the guidance of John Stirk for 8 years and certifying as an iRest® Yoga Nidra meditation teacher after training with Richard Miller PhD. I now supervise and mentor students going through the iRest® certification process, and I integrate these principles and teachings into my own body sensing asana practice and daily life.
I have been fascinated at the power of meditation and Yoga as a healing modality due to my own experiences of exploring things that were distressing me and causing me to suffer. I’ve tried numerous therapies and healing processes which have played their part, but in the end I have found that some things cannot be fixed and changed and just need to be accepted.
This is where these practices are deeply therapeutic when we can welcome life as it is and accept what it’s presenting. From there we find the right actions to be able to feel ok with it, even if we are not ok with it.
I want to share my experiences of finding some peace and contentment with life by working this way. I wish to help others work through the hurt, pain and trauma that may be causing them to suffer and to make peace with it, this is incredibly beautiful and rewarding.
My practice and work has been influenced by many inspirational teachers from around the world. After spending time studying breathwork and my first teacher training at the Relational Yoga Mandarim, I have travelled the world furthering my studies.
I have trained with Swami Dharmananda at the International Vishwaguru Institute (Rishikesh, India), Dr David Beales as a Breath Practitioner, Shiva Rea for Yoga Trance Dance, Richard Miller PhD – iRest® Yoga Nidra, breathwork with Bill Feaney, intensive physical asana work with Ellen Lee at the Bushey school of Yoga and in-depth work with John Stirk, a Psoas Core awareness and somatic movement course with Liz Koch and a Yoga and mental health course with Satyananda UK. I also attended Brighton College to study Reflexology and Thai Yoga Massage at the Metta College, as well as numerous other regular classes, courses, seminars and retreats.
My Way Of Working
Beyond Yoga is about the union gained through a mindful movement body-based Yoga practice.
It is not to just stretch the body to get somewhere, but to integrate the whole being – the mental, emotional and physical aspects of ourselves.
It is to feel and listen to what the body wants and needs and how to move, or not, and also connect to something greater than our personalised small self that has the awareness of all aspects of ourselves.
Yoga took time to grow on me with a lot of resistance initially, but something inside was calling and kept me going. Something deep inside of me knew it was what I needed, which I now believe to be the spiritual connection available through a deep self-enquiry, incorporating the physical body, mental and emotional aspects, the complete union and integration with a body sensing Yoga practice.
Even though I struggled with meditation in the early the years it’s now fundamental to my life.
The same principles and way of working are taken into my Constellation Shadow work.
Slow subtle movements are used where participants are invited to listen to the body’s intelligence, rather than react from the conditioned mind.
Here I integrate my Yoga and meditation practice with my training as a Systemic Family Constellation facilitator.
Workshops and one to one sessions are offered in the ‘Shadow’ meditation work, using slow movements which are required when working with the reintegration of trauma, rather than trying to force or think one’s way to healing.
I trained in the art of facilitating Constellation work with various teachers and trainers; firstly with Vivian Brougton and Barbara Morgan, then Svagito Leibermeister. I have also done a ‘Fundamental Principles and Practice of Systemic Organisational’ course with Caroline Ward. Working with Vivian introduced me to trauma work within Constellations, while I’ve also done a specialist trauma course with Svagito. Along with the iRest® training and some of the Warriors at Ease programme and my daily meditation and Yoga body sensing practice to experience it myself, I have the tools to work with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), which I now combine in the ‘Shadow’ meditation workshops.
“Paul is without doubt one of life’s great treasures. He combines wisdom with great love and intuition with genuine compassion. If you are looking for someone to guide you through the process of coming to terms with past trauma or to understand destructive patterns of behaviour, I could not recommend Paul more highly. He is incredibly skilful at holding a space where difficult issues can be explored and has the rare ability to facilitate the exposure of deeply held emotions whilst always being kind, gentle, considerate and non-prescriptive. If you have the courage to want to understand and work with the patterns of behaviour, thinking and emotional states that may have held you back for so long, you can be assured that Paul will be there supporting you every step of the way. Working with Paul has been possibly the most profoundly moving and transformational experience of my life and with his guidance I have been able to begin healing and to become more whole. No longer do I have to live in the shadow of fear and in the grip of limiting beliefs about myself and others and for this I am deeply and eternally grateful to Paul” – Sarah G