Laurence Mitchell www.laurencefm.co.uk
A senior teacher with the Yoga Alliance Professionals, my journey in yoga was almost accidental. It all started in 2008 on a trip to India with some friends who wanted to go and try out a class. I was initially not so keen on the idea, but let my friends talk me into going. It took just two hours of bending, stretching, and breathing on a wicker mat crawling with ants with some crazy Indian guy (who would become my first teacher), and just like that my fate was sealed & I was in love with the practice. I had for the first time in his life tapped into something special: the present moment. There was an immediate change in my awareness of the world, and I wanted more. This simple experience that I had glimpsed on the yoga mat was a perfect match for my academic studies, in eastern religious philosophy, and it wasn’t very long before I was a dedicated yogi on a mission to learn all that I could about this ancient mystical practice (I’ll let you know once Im finished).
Since then, I have returned to India many times, & I continue to train and learn from teachers in various locations. I have exposure to various styles of yoga, I learnt alignment based Hatha Yoga in the Himalayas in North India. I spent time living in ashrams learning various meditation techniques. I travelled to Mysore in the south of India to experience Ashtanga. Most recently, I studied Ayurvedic Yoga massage techniques. I still remain open to learning and continue to expand my knowledge and practice by experiencing new styles of yoga. This varied background of yoga ‘lineages’ that I have practised has given me a rounded practice and a deep understanding of the subtleties of yoga.
I came to yoga by chance, and it was a life changing experience for me. I continue to explore the potential that yoga has & it still amazes me every time I practise. My body has become stronger and more flexible and still continues to do so. It helped me find confidence, health, and generally become happier within my own skin and life. I want to share this with everyone. Whilst, of course, I cannot and would not guarantee that practising yoga will have the same results for everybody, I do believe that the tools that we have in yoga are very powerful. It is my passion and joy to share these tools so that everyone can have the same opportunity to make lasting positive changes in their life.
I hope to see you on the mat sometime soon.
Brenda Louw www.BrendaLouw.co.uk
I started yoga by accident in the year 2000 while working on a cruise ship, attending classes in Florida and the occasional class at the Sivananda Ashram in Nassau, but back then I was mainly self-taught from books and an Ashtanga DVD. Between then and now I have tried and enjoy a range of classes and styles.
I ran yoga classes and ChillOut Yoga Teacher Training in Aberfoyle, Scotland for 10 years. I moved to Suffolk in 2013, where I set up the Long Melford Yoga Studio, and continued with the Teacher Training, now run by Laurence as East of England Yoga School. I am a senior teacher with Yoga Alliance Professionals, UK, having taught over 6000 hours of yoga since 2007.
I appreciate the diversity of movement and insight yoga offers - and like everything else, my practice and teaching is constantly evolving. My practice and teaching incorporate an understanding of how the body is put together and moves, with the soft, light and stable approach of Scaravelli-inspired Yoga, which can be applied in everyday movement and also any yoga practice - whether that be Ashtanga, Kundalini or a gentler pace.
Meditation is something I cannot describe - it's profound and now I don't think life will be as good without it - perhaps life is this good because of it!
I love everything about nature, gardening, the outdoors, travelling and life in general.
My love of yoga began in my 20s and I am convinced that the practice of yoga back then helped me to have 2 very healthy pregnancies and deliveries.
I dipped in and out of yoga from that point and have always returned to practice during life's challenges.
I started working as a lymphoedema therapist 7 years ago and was interested to learn that yoga was one of the exercises recommended for patients with lymphoedema. The breath and movement of yoga has a direct effect on the lymphatic system and can prevent toxic accumulation and illness.
I decided to start teaching yoga, as I was very keen to learn about the practice and culture of yoga and explore it's hidden depths. I can honestly say that the training with Brenda has given me so much and has helped me to understand myself so much more.
I see yoga as a gift and an opportunity to help others. The current state of physical, spiritual and mental well-being is at an all time low and if we can just allow someone to take time out of their day to focus on themselves and let go I consider that a job well done.
Charlotte Bingham-Wallis www.therapeuticpilates.co.uk
Since 2012 I have been working as a physiotherapist, specialising in rehabilitation. Movement fascinates me and I love to problem solve how to make my clients move better. I have worked with a wide range of movement disorders including but not limited to neurological conditions, sports rehab, orthopaedic surgery, arthritic joints, cardiac and respiratory conditions. During my physiotherapist career, I always found Pilates a great tool to help maintain both my physical health but also to help my clients get back to fitness. I believe in small classes that are designed for my client’s needs so we truly work towards achieving their goals.
Karen Dunnett www.karendunnettyoga.co.uk
I began practicing yoga on and off for about 5 years as a way to relax and unwind from my hectic life, bringing up 2 kids on my own and working full time in a fast paced and sometimes stressful job. Although I had always been very fit and active, going to the gym most days and enjoying long cycle rides at the weekend, at the age of 50, my long commute to work each day and a heavy work schedule began to take their toll on my body and mental wellbeing. I decided that a change in lifestyle was what I needed and yoga had always helped me deal with life's up's and down's and I could see the benefits it brought in helping to keep my body supple. I completed my teacher training at Yoga London in December 2020 specialising in Vinyasa Flow style yoga.
I wanted to share my love of yoga and show how it could benefit others. I completed my training over the year, took redundancy from my job and sold my house in Surrey to move to the beautiful Suffolk countryside to begin a new life with my partner.
My intention is to reach out to the community and share how yoga can benefit the mind, body & soul.
Having good mental health is important to me which is why 10% of all proceeds go to 'Mind' charity to support and give advice to people with mental health problems.
My ethos is 'Accessibility for all'.
Yoga is one of the most welcoming things in my life. I attended my first class when I was 17 and fell in love, I dipped in and out of Yoga for years, attending aerobics, pilates, running, the gym and came back to Yoga.
I have also trained in Children’s yoga and teach students at a local secondary school.
I enjoy connecting with different people, ages and abilities and helping them along their path. It’s so lovely to see their progress and it’s really rewarding to help them get a little more peace in their lives, even if it’s just for one hour a week.
One of the beautiful things about yoga is that anyone could walk through the door, and you would be able to teach them. No matter their level or background, you would be able to teach them a great class.
Áine McGovern www.FunktionalYoga.com
I've always been a fan of movement. I've been an Irish dancer for over 20 years, running my own school for 6 years, and have discovered what our bodies are capable of. I first tried yoga back in 2003 at my local gym and practised on/off for years, using it to supplement my dancing. After a few bumps along the way and spending 6 weeks in Bali - mostly on a yoga mat, I started practising daily and discovered how beneficial yoga can be both mentally and physically.
Yoga has helped me deal with chronic illness and regain mobility in my body. My aim is to help others retain and improve their mobility, to help their mind and body with functional movements - drawing on my experience with a variety of yoga styles, pilates and dance experience, melting them together.