Teachers and Therapists
Craig has dedicated his life to studying various forms of yoga, meditation and chanting, including Ashtanga, Sivananda, Iyengar, Satyananda, and Forrest styles. He has further deepened his practice and teaching with studies in meditation and chanting as well as in yoga therapy with Yoga Campus and the Yoga Biomedical Trust. He has great love for the traditional in yoga and continues to study Sanskrit and Vedic chanting in London and India.
Craig teaches a practice that challenges, uplifts and heals by allowing us to explore the playing field that is our own body and mind. Being able to see ourselves in a light and humorous way and flirt with our edge is an opportunity to grow from the relationship we have with ourselves.
Before coming to yoga Craig suffered from depression and lack of direction. Yoga and meditation have given him great stability and opened up a journey of growth, insight and joy. His intention is for everyone to experience the healing effects of yoga practice and to create an opportunity for change so that we can all live a life that feels empowered and confident. Craig is one of the founders of Renaissance yoga and wellbeing.
Although practicing many styles of yoga Mickey's experience is mainly from the Ashtanga Vinyasa and Iyengar traditions. He has practiced for 12 years with various teachers and completed his 200hr teacher training with John Scott and Lucy Crawford. He has also studied Yin yoga with Norman blair and continues his study in vortex energy healing.
His approach to teaching is working with people from where they are at what ever their level of experience or ability whilst also keeping the tradition of the practice. A big focus of his is getting people to breathe in a way that brings them more life on and off the mat as well as using it as a focus to bring the attention within and finding a place of stillness. Michele is one of the founders of Renaissance yoga and wellbeing.
Velia always had a strong interest in natural health, even before deciding to make it a profession back in 2014. Before then she used to work in hospitality and loved it. She found the contact with the public inspiring, fun, challenging and energising. In 2012 Velia became a mum and this changed everything. It was time to have a look at the bigger picture.
A visit to Peru exploring the ancient country’s traditions , history and beliefs helped her reconnect with herself, find inspiration and a new purpose in life. Back from her traveling she started her first course in massage at Bodyology School of Massage in London. Graduated in 2015 with a level 4 qualification in holistic massage, anatomy, physiology and pathology, accredited by the Massage Training Institute. She then went on completing a practical and theoretical diploma course of 132 hrs in Traditional Thai Yoga Massage with the London School of Thai Yoga Massage. On-site chair massage qualification with the London School of Massage is what she did next, as well as various workshops and short courses such as: myofascial release skills, lymphatic drainage techniques, massage for dancers and treating a frozen shoulders. Velia is completely in awe of, and utterly fascinated by, the body’s amazing intelligence: its ability to quickly respond to natural therapies and ultimately, regenerate and heal itself. This is why she loves empowering people to make a deep and real connection with their body, to understand it enough to be pro-active in their own healing process. She likes to integrate different techniques into a session as this allows her to treat the receiver as a whole: mind, body and spirit .Tapping into her intuition and combining it with a scientific knowledge of the body she tailors each treatment around the client needs. Velia is one of the founders of Renaissance yoga and wellbeing.
Andrea has been immersed in movement from a young age. She has been practicing Pilates for 19 years and has 13 years of teaching experience, working with people from all walks of life, in London and Sydney.
Her background is in Dance, Yoga, Pilates and Somatic Movement. She continues to study movement and applies it in her teaching practice from a health and fitness perspective. When she is not teaching, she works with movement creatively as a researcher at Kingston university.
Her Pilates classes are versatile, focused on building strength from the inside out, to support the body’s natural movement and function. Classes have the element of a strong classical Pilates alignment focus mixed with fluid sequencing geared towards getting a whole body workout in each class. Classes are suited to all levels of experience and exercises will be adapted for injuries or other needs.
“ You are only as young as your spine” Joseph Pilates
Alessandra discovered yoga over 15 years ago when her physiotherapist recommended she would take on this practice regularly to help her neck injury. When her teacher introduced headstand into the practice, she decided that yoga wasn’t really for her. But after a while, she started missing the fun classes and the rewarding shavasana that followed and made her feel ‘realigned’ with the world. She went back to yoga and not long after, to her surprise, her chronic neck pain healed completely. At the time she wasn’t aware of the profound effect that yoga was going to have on her life and the lifestyle changes she would make once her practice became an important and stable part of her daily life.
Having worked, in the past, in an office environment for many years, Alessandra believes that it’s important to start the class releasing the tension that we all accumulate in our daily life. Then kick off with creative, fun vinyasas - didn’t the Dalai Lama say that 'the very purpose of life is to be happy’? Her aim is to encourage her students to challenge themselves, to surprise themselves about what their own body can achieve, to stop the mind setting limits. It gives her great pleasure when students break through a pose they were not able to master before and with a big smile can say ‘I did it!’
Alessandra is incredibly thankful to her teacher Eileen Gautier for pushing her past her limits, to Mark Khan and Leela Miller for being such inspiring teachers on more than one level. Her teaching is holistic and complete with her energy work and her work as an astrologer - it’s all about balance and alignment, in the body, mind and spirit, between ourselves and the stars.
Caroline came to Yoga from a background in Fine Art and Contemporary Dance. She worked as a dance lecturer, and choreographer for film. In 1994 she first trained in Ashtanga vinyasa and was a student of John Scott and in India of Sri K Pattabhi Jois. She draws from her many and varied influences and training, from the work of Feldenkrais, Alexander technique, Ashtanga vinyasa, and the work of Tom Myers.She is also trained in the gentle work of neuro dermo modulation. She travels yearly to Kadermo in Finland to practise with KPJ level 2 authorised Stefan Engstrom. Also a trained bodyworker, somatic movement coach, and meditation teacher she weaves the language of embodiment and conscious awareness into her creative flowing style of practice. With over 25 years of teaching experience she brings a sensitive and compassionate approach, combining precise verbal cues with sensitive hands on touch. She works individually with therapeutic bodywork, as well as teaching small groups, retreats and teacher training with her colleague Lucy Crawford.
Jean originally qualified as a Iyengar yoga teacher in 1995 and since then she has
continued to study different forms of yoga and movement practices with many great teachers from many diverse backgrounds such as Geeta Iyengar and Rajmani Tigunait, as well as being self taught and working with more unconventional teachers, most noticeably Miranda Tufnell and the late Gill Clarke.
Jean teaches a somatic style of flow (vinyasa) yoga and movement that stems from a deep listening within, so that the body’s wisdom and knowing can be heard, felt and valued. Her approach is both traditional and innovative, inspired by creative and fun sequencing that unfolds into dynamic flows, to help draw students and teachers safely beyond perceived limitations and closer to true potential and confidence.
John stumbled across yoga in 2000 while living and working in America. When a friend suggested getting up at 6am to practise yoga in a garage, a bleary-eyed John agreed… and has never looked back. Over the years, John has seen the multitude of benefits yoga has brought – focus, health, determination, a real knowledge of the self, strength of mind as well as body, and a profound connection with others. “I think yoga is quite literally, magic” says John.
Practising and then training with Stewart Gilchrist and The Power Yoga Company was the next step in John’s yoga journey and one of the best decisions he ever made. “I love yoga and teaching it. I will be forever grateful to all the people who have taught me and everyone I’ve had the privilege to practise with. My aim is to teach an authentic, challenging yoga class with good humour, love and a cracking playlist”
Kathy has been teaching Pilates privately and to groups for 20 years and has had a dedicated yoga practice for nearly as long. Encouraging efficient, easy, breath-led, whole body movement is the focus of her classes. Her recent Slings training with Art of Motion, (a repertoire of fascia based movement which draws from a variety of disciplines) has added a whole new dimension to her classes.
Using classical as well as evolved Pilates repertoire, either in flowing sequences or exercises that target specific movement patterns, good alignment and a dynamic, strong and flexible core are challenged.
Expect to strengthen, lengthen, roll, mobilize and move toward increasing your overall body and postural awareness both on and off your mat.
Kathy is a senior member of the Body Control Pilates Teacher Training team. She delivers on their basic Mat work and Conversion courses, as well as Continuing Education courses for teachers in the UK and internationally.
Kathy would particularly like to encourage yogis and those from other movement practices to her classes. She can speak from many year’s personal experience, that the more & different ways through which one can find ease of movement, the better!.
‘I still remember my very first Iyengar yoga class … taught to university students by a lecturer who was also a yoga teacher with a passion to pass yoga on to his students. The way Iyengar yoga was taught immersed me from this first class – disciplined, precise, challenging and demanding mental focus - a combination that gives both physical and mental benefits and for me a deep sense of steadiness. Iyengar yoga continues to be an integral part of my life’
Marion is an experienced intermediate level Iyengar yoga teacher who teaches at the Iyengar Yoga Institute of South London. Like her first yoga teacher she loves passing on the practice of yoga - which has so much real wealth to offer to anyone who is prepared to get on a yoga mat and start trying to learn with an open mind. She is a clear teacher who makes her classes both challenging and caring.
Nathalie has been practicing yoga since 2000 and teaching full time since 2010. Having received early training in many disciplines including ballet and rhythmic gymnastics she has always considered it a complete privilege to share every bit of knowledge she has acquired along the way with every student no matter what their level of experience,
For the last 5 years, she has practiced Iyengar yoga under the guidance of Senior Teacher Alaric Newcombe. This rigorous method with its focus on integration. embodiment and extension has radically informed her teaching and practice and her focus now is on delivering a teaching method that empowers students with the tools to sustain their practice throughout their lifespan with patience, compassion, and devotion to all
Self-taught as a teenager (thanks to the books borrowed from the local library!) Sarah's approach is deeply rooted in the therapeutic teachings of T.K.V. Desikachar and the viniyoga tradition. Her primary focus as a teacher is to encourage her students to find balance, ease and comfort in their bodies and in their yoga practice. She teaches movement focused on the individual, and aims to create a safe, inclusive, non- competitive environment where students can fully explore themselves and inquire within. Sarah particularly enjoys teaching beginners; helping her students to build confidence, in body and mind, in the first steps of their yoga journey. She also has a strong interest in yoga for the female body, and the role yoga can play at different stages of the female life-cycle.
Having always had an affinity towards the way of thinking about the world as presented within Daoism, it took Tom over a decade of Yoga practice to be introduced to the meditative movement practices of Qigong (Chee Gung), which draws heavily from Daoism.
This introduction came in the form of a Vinyasa, Qigong workshop lead by Tom's, now, teacher Mimi Kuo Deemer. Numerous lightbulb moments within these few hours of blending traditions ignited an ongoing love affair with the Daoist arts.
Now Tom infuses the Yogic Asana with flavours from further East and loves to offer Qigong in it's pure form as a healing salve for many of today's stressors, while also drawing from many other traditions and healing modalities.