Lucy Tofield is a graduate, associate and friend of the Contemporary Yoga community. We last interviewed her in July 2021 and asked her to join us again because she does fabulous stuff and we wanted her to share her ongoing yoga journey with you.

In this interview she shares her evolution as a teacher and informs us that it does get easier.

Ever the learner - Lucy has plans and new directions … all of which she intends to bring to her Yoga work. Read on ….

Contemporary Yoga (CY): So looking back to your last interview / last couple of years - what has changed/ consolidated/ remained the same about your teaching practice?

Lucy: So much has changed since my first interview, but the foundation of my teaching remains. I’ve become more comfortable teaching a range of people and classes, from fast classes for gym goers, to classes for people receiving treatment for cancer.

I am better able to adapt my approach to meet what people want, at the same time I keep the core elements of the Contemporary approach alive: Giving people time to tune in; paying close attention to my languaging; and, of course, mentioning organs whenever I get the chance!

I have also made huge steps forward in moving past the negative self-talk I used to get into after teaching. I still consider how a class has gone, but I no longer criticize myself or over- analyze what students might think about me.

CY: In a nutshell - describe how Yoga has informed your life over the last few years.

Lucy: I feel like I have a ‘secret weapon’ when it comes to my Yoga and somatic movement practice. Firstly, I am able to go within and be aware of how I’m feeling. From there I have tools I can use to support myself before having to look outside for help.

This morning I did a 30 minute Yoga Nidra practice which made a huge difference to my day. I tuned into how I felt and what I needed and I had the tools and ability to allow rest, something I am extremely grateful for in a world where we are mainly disconnected from our bodies.

My practice has also allowed me to do all the other physical activities which I love in my life. I have recently started training for some long-distance triathlons and I am SO thankful I have my movement practices to lean on, or I think my body would not be coping as well as it is!

Lucy Tofield, Soma-Yoga
Lucy Tofield, Soma-Yoga

CY: You call your approach Soma-Yoga. Can you describe this for our readers who may not have this experience?

Lucy: Since completing my Yoga training I have also completed all 6 levels of the Somatic Movement training with Suds Sutherland and Haidee Stairmand (CY’s cool anatomy teacher). It really complements Yoga in its focus on breath and interiority.

If I were to describe it in a few words - those words would include: releasing, micro-movements, slow and breath-filled. Somatic movement is a huge part of my daily practice now and I will often start classes with a few gentle somatic movements. I have also offered Somatic Movement courses in the past few years.

CY: What revelations / challenges / significant moments in your teaching have informed your current practice?

Lucy: One memory I do have is teaching a class where a student looked annoyed and angry the whole time. I really felt like she wasn’t enjoying it and was having the worst time. At the end however, she specifically came up to me and said ‘that’s just what I needed, thank you so much’. This made me realise that you have NO idea what people are thinking as you teach and not to worry about people’s facial expressions - Yoga generally isn’t a place where people are smiling and laughing the whole time!

Saying that, I have found that adding in some laughs and humour, especially when teaching balancing, is a great way to cut some tension or ‘seriousness’ in a class and people tend to relax a little more when you allow some genuine human interaction as you teach.

CY: What’s on the horizon for you?

Lucy: I am cutting down on my teaching practice to have some more time for further study and to grow my own self practice and enquiry for the rest of the year. I will be starting an introduction to counseling skills course which I’m really excited about. If I enjoy the course, my plan is to do post-grad studies in counselling and, in the long-term, to combine my Yoga teaching, somatic movement, meditation and embodiment experience with counselling so I can offer people holistic counselling and wellbeing sessions. I think that’s where I’d like to be heading!

I would love to offer another Somatic movement workshop this year but I’ll have to see how my time goes with work, study and triathalon training. (Thankfully, I have my movement practices to ensure I don’t burn out!). I will be keeping a few classes going and fully plan to keep doing class cover when possible so I keep adding to my teaching experience.


To connect with Lucy

Lucy’s website is >>
Classes and courses posted on Instagram here >>


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