Meet the Teaching Team 

2013 to 2020

Many of our teachers with have been collaborating with since RR opened in 2014
our team has a plethora of skills and qualifications in other areas. From NLP to physiotherapy.
 The teachers design the workshop programs, making each retreat unique
Our teaching assistants are either in a training program or newly trained 
Price per person

The Hatha retreat costs €579 per person, including all meals, yoga, workshops & equipment. Not including flights or transfers.


Reserve your place today with just €140 deposit.

Iva Petranova 

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. 

Zazou teaching assistant

Hi, my name is Zuzana, but you can also call me Zazou :-) 

I'm from Prague, but for nearly 10 years I was living in Greece and Cyprus, where I've experienced my very first yoga class on the rocks by the sea. It felt like I found a missing piece (and peace) and since then I've (almost) never looked back. 

Apart from yoga I'm interested in neuroscience, self development and hypnotherapy. I'm an early riser and my favorite time of the day is the magical 5AM, when I usually salute the sun, write in my journal and read a book.

 I absolutely cannot wait to meet you all in person on the mat!


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. 

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. 


Iris teaching assistant

I trained and taught in jazz dance as a teenager and then added yoga in my early twenties. As my work involves a lot of travel, I have worked with many different teachers, mostly with an ashtanga focus. Whilst on the road working with online classes, I have long been a fan of Rodney Yee’s approach. I further worked on my self-practice, including both meditation and astanas, with the guidance of Oska Nery at Rustic Retreats in 2019. I continue to combine dance training with yoga and am looking for ways to go back to teaching. I also love long-distance walking/trekking.


Katie O'Byrne

 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. 

Ellen teaching assistant

My yoga journey started in 2013, a few months after I moved to Dublin from my hometown of Sao Paulo Brazil.

Following my relocation I was going through some difficult  times and everything changed when I was introduced to Sudarshan Kriya Yoga. SKY was the entry door to my yoga practice, it was the beginning of so many amazing  experiences , so looking forward to meeting you all.

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. 

Anna Bennett

Hello and welcome! My name is Anna, I am a certified Vinyasa Flow Yoga teacher and a neuro-physiotherapist.

Like many others before me I discovered yoga in a gym but unlike any other gym class this stretched far beyond a physical workout; it was a magical discovery of yumminess! I left my first class in a delicious bubble of contentment, contemplating what yoga really was and how it had made me feel that way after just 90 minutes! Since then I have travelled the world, sometimes for yoga and other times to immerse myself in the wilderness. Yoga and nature in harmony have awoken me and as cheesy as it might sound I am a different person now; my soul is happier and I have the yoga path and beautiful Mother Earth to thank for that.


In India, I spent a lot of time practising yoga with Hatha and Ashtanga masters. In an ashram in Rishikesh, the home of yoga, a town running along the great River Ganga, I lived and breathed yoga and meditation. Living a simple life of purity and tranquillity I sampled as many styles of yoga as I could sometimes dedicating my whole day to practise. With that breadth of experience, it soon became apparent that I enjoyed most the creative flows and playfulness of Vinyasa Yoga.


Becoming a Vinyasa Yoga teacher felt like a natural progression for me and now I am honoured to be sharing my passion and the beauty of yoga with so many others. I trained with Frog Lotus Yoga International at Suryalila with Vidya Heisel and since then I have been offering well-structured, dynamic and playful Vinyasa Flow classes which I believe have the best balance of Indian traditions with the Western world’s demands; namely ‘the exercise part’!


As a physiotherapist, I also have an interest in the therapeutic benefits of yoga and my background places me in a fantastic position to guide those with disabilities and injuries through their practice. I have been a practising physiotherapist since 2007 and even before that I was a fitness instructor, exercise to music teacher and a swimming instructor. Helping people learn about their bodies, discover its capabilities and breakthrough barriers has been and always will be my passion.


I’m kind, super-supportive and friendly so come and join me on the mat and leave feeling rejuvenated, physically fitter, calmer, happier and in love with yoga!


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’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.


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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