• In memory of Fred Lock

    Fred was not the first yoga teacher I met, nor the last but, he made the most impression on me and my own style of teaching.

    I was introduced to the class that Fred taught at Beaufort school for Gloscat in the evenings. My mother had attended his class previously and wanted to return when the classes we had attended together changed.

    Those were the days when people often brought sleeping bags to lie on instead of yoga mats. My mother and I had blankets. I do believe Fred had a mat and he tried to encourage people to buy blocks or to roll up the ends of their mats to help them to keep an upright posture when sitting.

    Being young, and thinking I didn't need any help I didn't take these tips on board but I have a greater understanding now and do the same for the students who come to my classes.

    I didn't realise at first that Fred was involved in teaching other yoga teachers, it was only when a new training course was about to start that he mentioned that it was possible to train to teach yoga. That one piece of information was to stay in my mind, until, some years later, I decided that the time was right for me to find out about training to teach yoga. Probably because the Gloscat provision of yoga at Beaufort eventually came to an end and I found it difficult to find out about yoga classes which were held at a time or place, or cost, to suit me.

    I do remember returning to Gloucester, pregnant, and desperate to find a class. I called Fred and he said I could join his class at Upton St Leonards, which I did, for a term. I intended to return once my baby was born but I didn't realise how difficult that would be. When I finally did I was thinking of training myself and Fred encouraged me to try other people's classes.

    There are many things I remember about Fred himself. He had his own uniform of a white polo shirt with a navy tracksuit, that never changed. He explored lots of different methods. He was the first to stop us rolling our necks or exaggerating back bends in cat pose. This was obviously because he had to be up to date with new safety recommendations as a DCT (Diploma Course Tutor). He also introduced us to practises which were not necessarily yoga, Chinese style self massage for hands and feet, Tibetan massage techniques for the face.

    Aside from Fred's appearance and his vast knowledge was the way in which he embodied so much of the yogic philosophy. He was perfectly calm and even tempered when we arrived to find the furniture needed to be moved or the heating wasn't working. He was kind and gentle, never forcing his own opinion or making unwelcome adjustments. His style allowed you to find your own way in understanding. Occasionally I would become so engrossed in a practice to be unaware everyone else had finished and I I did not feel uncomfortable about that in his class. He was accepting and patient, always putting the safety of students first. In this way I for one felt complete trust because he would not say anything which was unnecessary, he meant what he said and believed in what he taught.


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