Principles of FG with Michele Pernetta

By 12 October 2015News
Michele Pernetta, Fierce Grace Brixton teacher

We thought you’d like to know a little more about Michele Pernetta and the principles behind FG.

What was it about hot yoga that made you realise you wanted to create a brand around it?

“Having introduced Bikram Yoga to the UK in 1994, I have been teaching yoga in a heated room for over 20 years. After teaching over 200,000 people and opening four studios, I decided I wanted to teach in different ways, to a wider audience, and also vary the temperature of the room in order to provide both Warm and Hot classes.

I love a heated room for yoga, it relaxes the muscles, as well as the mind, and you are not stiff the next day if you do yoga in a hot room as opposed to a cool room. The sweating is cathartic, and the body and mind feel open and receptive. So although I now offer Warm Yoga, as well as Hot (our heat is moderate not overwhelming) I do still feel being nice and warm really does support the process.”

Are you a hot yoga devotee? What are its best selling points? Why should people try it?

“After 23 years in the hot room, I guess you would say I was a devotee yes! I am a Fierce Grace devotee not a “hot” yoga devotee as not all hot yoga is create equal.

Fierce Grace builds incredible strength, endurance, fitness, flexibility and vitality. It promotes weight loss and healthy toned muscle, as well as fluid flexibility and a full range of movement. Super-charged fitness, postural alignment, flexibility, strength, slimming, toning, stress release, mood lifting, oxygenation of the body which is reported to be a disease preventative, detoxification through sweating and we are also learning self discipline, self motivation, focus, concentration, and determination.

However I am not a fan of overheating, it’s not conducive to a great class if you are just struggling to survive the heat. Its best selling points are that it prevents injury by allowing the muscles and joints to operate at their optimal working temperature, it aids detoxification through sweating and it makes stretching easier.

It also means you do not feel sore or stiff the next day. People find the sweating cathartic and find it helps them get into their own zone.”

Fierce Grace has five types of classes: how did you decide on these?

“It was a long process that took may years of study, practise, research, trial and workshopping sequences with groups of students and teachers. It took many years.

It was based on my having taught so many people over such a long time and seeing what their bodies needed, their minds, their energy. Asking them, seeing what weaknesses certain poses addressed, or didn’t. What kind of classes relaxed people or fired them up. It has taken me 15 years of going to every class I could, studying with different teachers and experimenting.

I feel my Fierce Grace system allows our different energies to be addressed, and the over 150 poses in the system allow us to move the body in every different way and bring out its different possibilities energetically.

Without sounding too strange, this means that we need different classes to express ourselves fully:

  • a slow relaxing stretch class to get connected and sensitive,
  • a fiery energetic class to ignite our energy and stamina,
  • a pleasurable, easy going, flowing class to help us become relaxed, graceful and opened on every level, and
  • a linear more disciplined alignment class to bring power and form.

I felt the human body was too complicated to be sentenced to one way of moving, and that people deserved a choice of classes to cater to their changing needs. But also that were all based in the same core poses so they would always be progressing, safe and have a foundation structure to build on. So it wouldn’t matter which class they chose, they would always be working within a familiar and safe foundation.”

How is Fierce Grace settling into Brixton?

“I will leave Katie and Nigel to answer that! My students and teachers that have gone there say its a welcome addition to the fun, down to earth vibe of Brixton and that our no-nonsense approach and welcoming atmosphere fit in well with the community feeling of Brixton.”