Meet the Teaching Team 

2013 Onwards

Marlene Sinclair April/May 2021 

Venezuelan / Spanish, practitioner of Yoga /Buddhist philosophy, certified in
Hatha Vinyasa 200 hours, Yin, Jivamukti SW and Trauma Yoga. Also certified
in Thai Massage, Reiki I,II,III , and Reflexology. Mother of two Queens and
Grandmother of two Princesses.
I have been practicing Yoga for more than 20 years. This practice has seduced
me and enriched me considerably, both on a
mental, physical and spiritual level. This “union” is manifested in an inner
balance / well-being, flexibility, strength, and a
great awareness of the Being. Due to the great feeling of well-being achieved,
I undoubtedly wanted to spread this technique
and therefore a become a Yoga teacher.
In my classes I combine the meditation, asanas and pranayama. I put a lot of
emphasis on the observation of each student, in
their actions, alignments and the awareness in the breath.
I believe that yoga adapts to one and therefore, each person is unique at all
levels. I embellish all these virtues with a big
smile, remembering that by smiling, both internally and externally, we
turn this practice into a great dance dedicated to the Divine, to our
Being.

 

Tessa Smith May 2021 

I’m a yoga teacher and fitness instructor with a diploma in graphic  design & events management.  

I've been practicing yoga for almost 22-years and arranging events for  over a decade. I'm keen to share my wealth of experience with guests,  as I love to create amazing experiences and events which inspire, lift us  up and help us grow as humans.  

I have been practicing many styles of Yoga over the years, which  has always complimented my sports. (Astanga, Bikram, Hatha, Vinyasa  & more). I started teaching pilates & yoga in 2010 on Cruise Ships, then  went on to qualify as an Aerial yoga teacher, which suited my 'Yang'  personality at the time.  

As years went on, I was seeking more of a balanced approach to life -  more 'Yin', plus I wanted to know more about the spiritual side of Yoga.  I started to visit Goa, India, each year. After 4 years of unofficial  learnings, I participated in a Yoga Alliance - Multi-syle Yoga- course,  which opened my eyes to the deep history and more traditional breath  work.  

Jan Dizon – Collin May/June 2021 team

Jan is a yoga teacher and inner dance facilitator who currently lives in France. Before she discovered the practice of yoga, she was an art teacher, photographer, marketing executive, and Filipino martial arts teacher. 

 

Like many, yoga for Jan began as a purely physical practice. A way to stay fit and active. But that changed at the first yoga teacher training she attended where she was introduced to the “Heart of Yoga” practice from the lineage of Sri Krishnamacharya. She learned the importance of personalizing the experience of yoga for each unique individual even in a group setting. 

 

It was also during this time that she first experienced spontaneous kundalini kriyas which made her body move in ways that she could observe from a detached perspective. This experience led her to dive deeper into the traditional practices of yoga and tantra which inform all her classes and offerings.

 

When she discovered inner dance, a practice from the Philippines that uses sound, and physical and energetic touch, she found it to be the missing link between her asana practice and embodying yoga as union of body, mind, and spirit.

 

To honor her heritage, she has also studied Hilot, the traditional spiritual and healing arts from the Philippines. She was also a teacher and practitioner of the martial art Pekiti Tirsia Kali.

 

Today, her offerings are a blend of asana, mantra, innerdance, music, art, and the intuitive ancestral wisdom of her cultural roots from the Philippines.

 

Jan is a certified yoga teacher (200 and 500 hours), Reiki master, Hilot practitioner, and inner dance facilitator. But more important than any piece of paper, she is a lifelong student of yoga who is passionate about sharing the wisdom that has helped transform her life.

Iva Petranova June/July 2021 

Namaste and hello, I’m Iva, a yogi, dancer, and food-enthusiast from Prague. I am here on planet Earth to share and care, indulge in a bit of traveling, a lot of music, dancing, singing, drawing, healthy food and tons of other things.......and I just love to share all that as much as I possibly can.

As a yoga teacher, I am always tender and a bit goofy. I believe in honest exploring, taking care and being with what is. When we do yoga together, you’ll get that safe space you’ve been craving for, plenty of time to explore, discover, listen, and then really listen, and then take care from the right place. 

I got to yoga initially through dancing.  I studied this beautiful art in Los Angeles whilst training to be a professional dancer,  visiting Yoga for dancers classes. During one of these classes we were asked a question „What is truly worth your time?“ and immediately I thought „This. Doing this. Sharing this. This is it.“  and since then, yoga has absolutely turned my life around - my body, head and heart included. 

I returned to LA 3 years ago to study my first Yoga Teacher Training and immediately fell in love with Iyengar and restorative yoga.  I have always been drawn to helping people recover, feel better and find their own way to well-being. Since then, I have trained in India, one multistyle and one focused purely on Yoga Therapy. I have also studied Ayurveda and Trigger Point Therapy. 

Yoga for me is a chance to get closer to our real self. Not the one we would like to be, not the one we're trying to be for someone else, but the true and genuine self that dwells within and connects us all together. Yoga is a practice, a path, a way of life, a tool, and in its deeper sense, it's a very internal experience of connection, rather than the usual illusionary disconnection with everything and everyone around us. I will always be there for you when you go looking for that connection. I will give you that time and space needed for that to happen. 

Flo Smith July 2021

I began practicing yoga whilst working in Theatre with the idea it would help me keep fit. I wasn't prepared for how it would profoundly change my experience of life. I started connecting with the numb parts of my body and the cloud of anxiety I had existed in was clearing. After exploring many styles of yoga and seeking different ways to heal I discovered Ana Forrest's book: Fierce Medicine. It spoke to me so deeply that I found myself in Peterborough on Ana's teacher training just a couple of months later! I went on to complete my training in Yoga4Autism with Yotism, discovering the beauty of making yoga accessible. I then went to India to study Yin & Yoga Nidra at Trimurti fascinated by how this sedentary style had caused huge emotional shifts within me. Yoga continues to help me move from fear to feeling empowered, allowing me to recognise my own strength.

Katie O'Byrne July/Aug 2021

 I did my very first Yoga class 16 years ago, I didn’t know much about the practice only that it made me feel good. For years Yoga was just something I did as a hobby every now and again. 

Almost 10 years ago it all started to change, slowly, so slowly I barely noticed my whole life being turned upside down. It was no coincidence that while all these changes were happening I had started a more dedicated yoga practice. Without noticing, everything I was learning on the mat, had started to seep out into my life. 

In 2016 I decided it was time for more change, so I decided to travel to Rishikesh Yog Peeth, in Northern India, where I received my Hatha Yoga Teaching Certificate, and I made a promise to myself to teach Yoga as a lifestyle, not just to teach Asana (Yoga Postures). I immediately started to share what I had learned by teaching classes, workshops and Retreats.

Working out in Nature is a passion that I satisfy by leading Meditation and Hiking experiences, this has led me to working with the elements. 

I am also a qualified Reiki Practitioner, which has helped me to understand that we are not just a physical body, but we are also an energetic body, and keeping our energies balanced through Yoga can keep us stay healthy and full of life. 

Elena Orth Aug/Sept 2021

I am a yoga teacher, an architect, a shiatsu practitioner. A guide, an observer, an explorer. I am an expert, a newbie, a forever student. 

To my mind, the beauty of the world lies in fusion. An Asana is not just a body posture, but a structure of foundation and push and pull forces. A Yoga class is not just a set of movements, but a journey through flesh, bone, thought and heart. Meditation is not a closed box, but a never ending dialogue between the architecture of your inner world and the resonance reflected from the surfaces of your surroundings. 

I am fascinated by the complexity of the human being and am using movement as the seed that, when consistently nurtured, will grow into any facet of transformation we set our minds to. Always being reminded that we have the capacity to lead our lives by design, rather than by default. 

Marta Saez Perez Sept 2021

My name is Marta, a yogi, psychologist, social worker and a horse lover, I also love swimming and diving. I like to walk and practice yoga in the mountains, I feel that these activities are very powerful and inspiring. I teach yoga because I think changes firstly occur inside, so it is important to cultivate an abundant inner life. 

 

I have been practicing yoga for almost 10 years, mainly Hatha Yoga Style, and I was taught at Anusara Yoga School and Dharma Yoga. Currently, I teach Dharma Yoga following the method of Andrei Ram Om teachings which I consider are at clever and easy adaptation of Yoga to the current way of life. These techniques help us develop simple but powerful practices that allow us to raise our level of consciousness, and have a greater sense of our interconnection with all beings.

Katie Spencer Sept/Oct 2021

 My first love for yoga came from my background in  dance, surfing and my love of travelling.  

When a Yoga studio opened in my hometown I became a regular yogi and loved the community  it brought. After travelling to Australia for the first time in 2015 and staying 5 months in Bali my  passion for yoga grew tremendously. Here I was surfing everyday and yoga was a great way to  relax my body after a long day of physical activity. I then decided I wanted to study yoga in more  depth and did my first 200 hour training at Sampoorna, India.  

This training benefited me in so many different ways. I learnt about all different aspects of Yoga  including Pranayama, Meditation, and different Asanas.  

After doing a mentorship programme at LANO Chichester yoga I taught abroad at Studios and  retreat centres in Bali, Italy, India and the UK.  

In between lifeguarding in the summer months down in Devon and Cornwall, I would teach  classes at LANO studios which gave me so much joy and fulfilment. I really enjoyed the sociability  of the studio and getting to know the students.  

I decided to move to Australia and further my Yoga training in Purna Yoga which is a similar style  to traditional Hatha. This training was one of the best things I have done so far in my yoga career.  It gave me the depth I was wanting out of yoga and meditation, learning fully about the  traditional roots from which yoga came from. This was truly inspirational and I knew I wanted to  share what I had learnt with others. I returned to Bali where I taught in a Mediation and Yoga  retreat centre on a tiny island called Gili Air. Here I expanded my yoga teaching, teaching Yin,  Vinyasa and workshops for beginners and Meditation. I love movement, flowing from one pose to  the other. I believe in a healthy lifestyle, full of self love and self care.  

I want to share my passion for yoga and my aim is to facilitate my students to be happy within  themselves and what their bodies can do, feeling healthy, relaxed, and energised inside and out.  I hope for every student to leave my class feeling a sense of calmness and wellbeing. 

Alison Hawkins

I have been practicing yoga for more than 20 years, at first just in the gym as part of my regular fitness program but Yoga slowly became more and more important to me and I completed my first teacher training in 1999. 

I have spent some time in Mysore, India practicing Ashtanga Vinyasa with Sheshadri, and also back bending with Venkatesh. I believe that continuing study is very important to my teaching and my personal practice so I continue to study with senior teachers including: Simon Low (Yin Yang Yoga), Jonas Westring (Anusara), Paddy McGrath (Dancing Spine), and Yoga Anatomy with Leslie Kaminoff. 

I have lived for many years in Asia with my husband running our own Yoga studios teaching drop-in classes, workshops, retreats and teacher training. During our last year in Asia we trained a group of young Cambodians sponsored by the AZAHAR Foundation to be Yoga teachers and they are now running a successful Yoga studio as well as some outreach programs in the local community. 

My main teaching styles are Vinyasa Flow, Yin Yoga, and Aerial Yoga. My focus being long term functional movement and overall fitness, making Yoga accessible to all body types within an empowering experience. I believe that Yoga can be enjoyable and beneficial to everyone and I endeavour to make all of my classes fully inclusive and accessible. Beginners will not be left behind and the stronger and more flexible among you will still be given a challenge. 

I will be bringing one of my Aerial Yoga swings with me and hope to find a good place to hang it so we can all have a play with it and be able to experience being fully up-side-down without any strain or fear. 

Oskar Nery

My interest in yoga and meditation started in the late 1960s when my mother had me practice Hatha Yoga with her when I got home from school. 

As time went by Astanga Vinyasa became the main focus, followed by an interest in the therapeutic aspects of yoga and meditation. I have studied with many different teachers over the decades and continue to do so. I have spend time in ashrams, and in Buddhist temples practicing with monks.The study of yoga is not only the physical practices, and the inner work but the academic, historical and socio- cultural aspects too. Then, how all that plays out in your own life. It is awareness of more than the self. 

I have been fortunate to have lived in India, and Cambodia. Teaching yoga, being part of NGO programs using aspects of yoga as life skills training for young people. I have run studios, retreats, workshops, and Yoga Teacher Training Programs. Living in Asia in both Hindu and Buddhist communities has given me a very authentic learning experience to understand how the varied practices of yoga and meditation have been used in daily life, how practice and ritual play out from the mundane to the huge. The practices that help to heal, and unify individuals and communities in understanding and acceptance. How to keep the glow of Compassion and Kindness at the fore front of every action and thought. 

Josie Maya

Hi! I am from Manchester in the UK. I love glitter, orca whales, dancing and human rights law, and of course yoga! I teach yoga because I believe it makes the world a better place. As people are given space to reconnect with themselves, they are able to connect more deeply to others and the world around them.

 

I have practiced yoga for the past 5 years. I always loved the way a class made me feel, but it was only after going through a tough year I slowly awakened to its healing, restorative and life-giving magic! I had never been a particularly active person, always preferring to curl up in the corner with a book, but yoga was different. So, I trained as a teacher to share this gorgeous thing I had found with others. Yoga gives space for a person to be completely and unapologetic-ally themselves whilst working towards a deeper understanding of who that is, having loads of fun along the way!

Rosie Slay 

Rosie started practising yoga 13 years ago with the aim of touching her toes, but when she got there she carried on going, realising that there was more to this than loose hamstrings. Yoga offered her a sense of perspective and peace, and she continues to return to the mat to nurture this. 

 

In 2016 she undertook her first training in dynamic vinyasa flow, which affirmed her desire to share what she had learnt with others. Since then she has taught across London and undertaken additional training in pre-natal, post-natal and restorative yoga. 

 

Rosie teaches a dynamic vinyasa practise, with creative sequencing, long holds and use of props to help us better access each pose in a safe and joyful way. Rosie’s classes are light-hearted and playful, with an invitation to deepen your understanding of your body and find a deeper sense of connection. 

 Katie Napier

 I am a 200 hour Yoga Alliance Certified and Animalia Asana® yoga teacher. I trained in multi-style yoga in 2015, under the guidance and wisdom of Guru Mahinder Prasad at Siddhi Yoga in Dharamsala, India.  In June 2018 I studied with Jenny Mace to become an official Animalia Asana® Yoga teacher.  I teach Vinyasa Flow, restorative hatha-style and Yin yoga. With a keen interest in both yoga and the natural world I love to integrate nature and animal elements into my teachings. The way they fit together is so instinctive, and I feel this is a genuine way to inspire ahimsa - the practice of non-violence. 

Tania Plahay

I started Iyengar Yoga over 16 years ago whilst studying for a degree in Geography at UCL, and found that it had a profound effect on my ability to concentrate and deal with the stresses of balancing full-time study with the care of my terminally ill father. My father passed away during my last year in university and again yoga helped me deal with this grief. Losing someone so close at a relatively young age taught me the value of living for the moment and following your dreams. 

I have continued practicing a variety of styles of yoga over the years including Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Kundalini, Satyananda and Yin Yoga. I’ve also had the opportunity to travel and practice in many countries with teachers such as Simon Borg-Oliver, Bramacharya Rudra Dev, and Dharma Mittra and Simon Low. 

 

After practicing for over 13 years I had a strong feeling it was time for me to start teaching and I took an International Yoga Alliance accredited 200-hour course with Shakti Spirit Yoga in Bali. I also spent a month doing seva (volunteering/service) at a Satyananda Yoga Ashram and undertook a 10 day vipassana (silent meditation) course, thereby deepening my understanding of yogic lifestyles and meditation practices. Since starting teaching in London I have completed my Birthlight pregnancy yoga teacher training and recently returned from India where I undertook a 500-hour teacher training with Emil Wendel and Julie Martin.

 

Yoga (when properly taught) can be a profound practice of self-awareness and learning to manifest our dreams. It is an inclusive practice and there are suitable yoga practices for all people, whether young or old. What really inspires me about yoga is that it can give everyone tools and techniques for self-empowerment.  

 

I seek to take my students on an inner journey to the core of their being. In my classes, I usually start slowly with inner reflection and then move on to some core breathwork. We then flow through a series of graceful asanas, often working towards a certain pose or outcome i.e. heart opening, or balancing. My classes usefully finish with some breathing techniques and meditation. I aim to cultivate in my students a sense of quiet self-awareness, but also offer practical facts and information about the body, the asanas and breathing techniques I am teaching. 

 
 
Laura Kuhlmann

I got to know to Yoga in a very subtle way, practicing Yoga without explicitly knowing it was ‘Yoga’. 

During the years of my first amateur and then professional dance education I got to learn about many styles and variations on Yoga, either involved in my dance classes or then also as ‘Yoga’ as a singular supplementary subject within the schedule.

 

Over the years I got to notice that whenever it came to implying elements of Yoga, I magically started to feel calming down, eased, connecting to my breath and my body and in some natural way coming to peace with myself, which I often had a hard time with within my busy and ambitious dance practice. 

 

In this way, Yoga more and more became my nourishing ground accompanying my daily training, a powerful tool to prepare my body and mind for performances and a realm of relaxation and (re-)connection with my body, mind and soul. 

 

I started researching into more different styles and established my Yoga and meditation practice as a for me natural and suiting way to soothe my active, otherwise never-resting mind, to strengthen and balance my body and to empower me in many aspects of my life while increasing my overall perception of happiness.

 

Already having been teaching Yoga in youth camps during summer, I completed my teacher certification as a ‘Hot’ (at 40 degrees temperature) Vinyasa and Vinyasa Flow teacher and finally started sharing my passion for Yoga with more students of diverse backgrounds and realized the beauty of inspiring and empowering them by sharing my understanding, knowledge and passion for movement in connection with our mind and eventually soul. 

Emma Corkery

I first started practicing yoga in 2004 and was initially attracted to the physical health benefits and the inner space created through meditation. My interest in both yoga and meditation grew steadily from that point on and really started to flourish when I was studying for my degree. This was probably the busiest time of my life so far juggling studying, working and becoming a mother but all the time I kept up a dedicated practice and felt grounded, ready and full of energy. I love that these practices change with us presenting new opportunities for growth when we are ready for them. In 2010 I started teaching children’s yoga and working with new parents and their babies. I found this so fulfilling and a lot of fun! It inspired me to train as a school teacher and share my other passions for art and creativity. I completed my 200 hour Ashtanga and Vinyasa Flow yoga training in India and now enjoy spending my time creating fun and accessible classes for a wide range of ages and abilities. My style of teaching is gentle and fun, I love to teach wearing a smile and encourage everyone to enjoy the process without grasping at the result. I love helping people find space, access their creativity and most of all have fun with yoga.

Alix 

Alix’s love for yoga started in 2002 as a way of dealing with back pain, a result of an arthritic condition.

In discovering the benefits of yoga, Alix travelled to India to further explore this ancient practice and she became further inspired to begin teacher training.  This began with a 200HR Vinyasa teacher training with Frog Lotus in Spain and then Prenatal Yoga teacher training with Bliss Baby Yoga in Byron Bay Australia.

With continuous training and workshops she has developed the capacity to weave a vibrant energetic thread through her dynamic vinyasa classes.

She has an extensive understanding of yoga philosophy and mediation having studied the Bhagavad Gita with Mauire Earls and Vipassana mediation in Puna which has given her the backbone to embrace ancient yoga wisdom to lead a more peaceful modern life.

Jenny 

I love to interweave quotes and poetry into my yoga sessions and value the philosophical aspects of yoga very highly too. I emphasise the experience and insights that a posture can offer you, encouraging you to go deeper mentally, emotionally and spiritually – ultimately, to that special place inside yourself. Unbeknown to me, my yoga journey began in my teens when I became passionate about ethical living and more and more enveloped in a spiritual outlook on life. I was also already passionate about the power of movement and the use of voice too, so it was a eureka moment when, in a low point in my life, I learnt how yoga combines all these things together into an ultra-powerful practice. Since beginning teaching in early 2014, I’ve not looked back and teach several classes a week in Eastbourne (UK), travel further afield to deliver workshops and teach at Rustic Retreats! I have founded Animal Yoga™ and now specialise in exploring the animal element within yoga.

© 2013 by Rustic Retreats. No animals were harmed in the making of this site.

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