Meet the teachers
Leigh (Yoga teacher)
My journey with Yoga started at the age of about 11 and was introduced to me by my Mum. I started practising in my teenage years…I loved the way it made me feel physically and mentally.
After years of personal practise I embarked upon a foundation course with the British Wheel of Yoga which in turn led on to a two-year Teacher Training Program with Jeremy Jones from the Yoga College (registered with Independent Yoga Network) and to where I am today – teaching Yoga in the Great Notley, Braintree area.
I have met many wonderful, inspiring teachers over the years and Im influenced by them all in some way. I like the alignment of Iyengar, the strong flow of vinyasa karma, the fluidity of Peter Blackaby and the absolute stillness of Yin. I enjoy my own practise and regulary attend workshops and training to keep me inspired.
I believe we need to experience and be ‘in’ each posture…to enjoy the effects that each posture brings us, notice and observe how it makes us feel. Self enquiry is so important, observing how feel physically, mentally, energetically and emotionally. Noticing how the breaths ‘re-acts’ to the postures…is there ease, steadiness, calmness. I try to teach Ahimsa..non vilonece to yourself physically and mentally, being Kind to yourself and your body…if you ‘feel’ it you are right where you need to be at that present moment…in the moment…the precious present.
My journey is always evolving and growing, I am still a student and always will be but I feel extremely blessed to be able to share my experiences so far with many people. I do firmly believe Yoga is for everyone and every body.
I am pleased to be an actvive member of the Independent Yoga Network who help to keep Yoga free and independent and I would encourage everyone to join them in this mission. http://www.independentyoganetwork.org/
I hope to be able to share my experiences with you on the mat and maybe you can those away with you and experience them OFF the mat.
Marina (Yoga Teacher)
I have been practising Yoga for over twenty years and teaching it part-time for over ten years. In 2000 I was inspired by my yoga teacher at the time to train as a yoga teacher. I spent a year travelling round the world from 2000 to 2001, during which I completed my intensive teacher training at the beautiful Sivananda Ashram in Kerala, India. I have completed further training at The Special Yoga Centre, London with Jo Manuel and Sonia Sumar where I learnt basic yoga therapy techniques and teaching methods to enhance the natural development of infants and children with special needs.
I have also completed courses in and taught Yoga for Children, Yoga in Pregnancy, How to Teach Meditation, Partner Yoga and Vinyasa Flow Yoga with Claire Missingham.
I teach Sivananda yoga: this is a classical Indian Hatha yoga style, which promotes mental balance, relaxation and physical wellbeing.
My classes incorporate the practice of sun salutations and postures, breathing practices and a wonderful deep relaxation at the end of the class.
Natalie (Pilates teacher)
I’ve always had a passion for all things healthy and holistic. After training as a massage therapist and reflexologist I was lucky enough to travel and work around the world for twelve years, exploring many wonderful cultures.
Five years ago, after suffering a whiplash injury from a car accident I discovered Pilates. Learning the slow controlled movements gave me a stronger, healthier and pain free body that lead me to pursue my new path. I trained as an aerobics, then gym instructor, (level 2) moving on to study Mat Pilates (level 3). Since qualifying 3 years ago I’ve undertaken courses and workshops in Pink Ribbon Pilates for breast cancer, Osteoporosis, small equipment and currently studying my level 4 GP referral and lower back injury.
I try to keep my classes fun, relaxed and informative, allowing clients to work at their own pace to achieve their desired goals.
Elaine (Yoga teacher)
My passion for yoga has taken me on a journey, practicing many styles over almost thirteen years, always learning something new and from so many wonderful teachers.
The realisation that letting go within yoga postures could heal my long term sports injuries, picked up after years of high impact workouts by releasing tension held deep within muscles, led me to becoming a Yoga Teacher.
I wanted to be able to help others reduce tension in their bodies and achieve a greater sense of wellbeing. I believe in yoga being accessible to every ‘body’, my students are encouraged to work within their own limitations, regardless of any condition which may not allow most forms of exercise. They are able to take from classes what they need, working at their own pace and I continue to learn as much from them as they do from me.
I believe that yoga is a toolkit that you can take away from class with you, using breathing techniques (pranayama) and physical postures (asana) which can assist in times of stress and helping generally with life’s ups and downs.
My classes are mainly Hatha style, but incorporate ideas and influences that I have enjoyed over the years such as Scaravelli, Vinyasa Krama sequencing and Yin.
With a focus on anatomical alignment and working with gravity, I encourage students to just ‘let go’ which is often more of a challenge than you think!
Yolande (Pilates Teacher)
I first started in the fitness Industry in 1982 and have held a variety of roles within the industry from Freelance Instructor, to Fitness manager, club manager and as a National Trainer, and spent some time working on cruise ships.
I was involved in the early stages of the founding of The Pilates Institute as a teacher training, and designed many of the additional coures. I have been fortunate in being able to present at many conventions in the UK and around Europe and have co-written “Pilates for Pregnancy”, “Pilates the complete body system” and has also personally written “weights for women”.
In my years of teaching I have had the pleasure in working with the Physiotherapy department of Portland Hospital, training the physios in Pilates and exercise for post natal care, taught Pilates at Lords Cricket Ground, and has provided training for Spirto Physiotherapists.
Currently I am member of the Evaluators panel for cpd for the REPS register and also a committee member of the Skillsactive Technical Expert Group.
When not teaching Pilates classes I work part time as a a Lecturer at Braintree College teaching in Sport and Leisure qualifications and apprenticeships.
I am very passionate about Pilates and enabling everyone to particpate, having found Pilates for myself when suffering with a back injury from excessive high impact aerobics, I can personally relate to the huge benefits that Pilates can have on the body, for those who are fit, recovering from injury or just looking to get stronger. I am qualified in Exercise referral and I am qualified level 4 Lower back pain instructor.
My journey with yoga started when I was 13 years old when I watched my Mother practising, which helped her asthma. She inspired me to practise. I became a fitness teacher in my 20’s and taught for many years. After attending an Ashtanga yoga workshop in my early 30’s, with encouragement from my Mother, my heart was completely taken. Soon after I found a wonderful Iyengar yoga class with a teacher I will always be grateful to. I attended her classes for more than 15 years and did one year of Iyengar Teacher Training. After being knocked down by a 4x4 in 2007 it was my yoga practice and my Buddhist practice that helped me rebuild my inner strength, realign my spine and regain the full use of my right leg again. When I attended one of Leigh’s classes I felt a deep connection with myself through movement and breath she took us through and I was re inspired. After over 20 years of practising yoga I decided to do my Teacher Training in India, the Country of my Mother and Fathers birth, and my roots. It was a deeply powerful experience.
Meeting Buddhism over 30 years ago remains a treasured gift that has taken me on a journey of the heart.
The once a month Meditation and Mindfulness, class I will be sharing with you, will embrace some Buddhist chanting, a Mantra I chant everyday. It is a mantra that uplifts, centres, opens and revives, bringing a sense of being centred and a quiet peaceful inner joy. I will take you through some gentle movement to open the heart, and bring awareness to our body. Through gentle breath you will become aware of the present moment and quiet the mind. There will be time to share experiences or ask questions if you wish. I hope together, we can experience a beautiful journey of the heart. Naseem