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There are so many amazing yoga teachers in London and we believe that, as yogis and yoginis, we connect with different teachers in different ways depending on where we’re at with our practice
These are our favourite teachers, whom we deem heavyweight practitioners with decades of teaching experience.
Do remember that many yoga teachers spend half the year travelling, teaching and studying abroad so it’s worth checking out their websites for updates and the London studios’ websites to get the most up-to-date info on who’s teaching where and when.
Here’s our pick of the best London has to offer.
If you’re an Ashtanga yogi and love the traditional Mysore practice (as we do here at V&S), then Hamish Hendry and his tribe of teachers at Ashtanga Yoga up near Euston is the place to go. It’s no-frills but the atmosphere is deep and true and we’ve frequented it for many years. Hamish is one of the loveliest yogis we’ve ever had the privilege to study and practice with. He has a deep sense of calm driven by many years of practice.
He studied ashtanga vinyasa with his first yoga teacher, Derek Ireland, and practiced daily with him for many years until Derek passed away. In 1995, Hamish began studying under Sri K. Pattabhi Jois (Guruji). He was certified by Guruji in 2001. In 1999, he moved to London where he now lives with his wife, Anna, and daughter, Talia. He continues to teach daily, waking at 1am every morning to do self-practice before teaching others. He returns annually to Mysore, India, to study with Sharath Jois, Guruji’s grandson. Hamish teaches the weekday early morning classes where you can watch your practice bloom under his tutelage. Do sign up early as it’s an incredibly popular spot even at 6am.
We are so happy to announce that Mia has recently moved to London and is building up her roster for teaching at Equinox and Triyoga and other studios. She was recommended to us when we first arrived in LA and hers was the first class we attended – it was impressive and an effective cure for our jetlag. Mia began teaching in 2004 and she places emphasis on detailed alignment so there is an intelligence and a purpose to her sequencing. Once the pose has been established, she encourages you to go beyond it (even in advanced arm balancing poses) which really focuses your determination.
She strongly believes that the asanas (postures) allow you to observe the energy you’re carrying, that they reveal where healing is needed and where transformation can take place. Mia also believes we all have a purpose, a soul journey. We found her classes to be incredibly invigorating and we always left feeling grounded and ready for anything. Mia has a beautiful energy about her and is incredibly attentive. Welcome to London Mia.
Mira Mehta (the original Iyengar queen)
For many years Mira was our ‘go-to’ Iyengar teacher, in fact that’s where we got introduced to Iyengar yoga back in 2000 in a church hall around the corner from Baker Street tube. We’ve never looked back since and this lady is phenomenal. Its old school and it’s the highest level of teaching. She is truly awesome and one of a kind.
Mira Mehta has practised Yoga since childhood. She has a Masters degree in Classical Indian Religion and Sanskrit from Oxford and pursued postgraduate studies of Yoga texts with Professor KS Arjunwafkar. She also has a Diploma in Basic Ayurveda. She holds an Advanced Yoga Teaching Certificate.
Mira began teaching at a young age and is known as a leading expert on Yoga with a rounded proficiency in philosophy, postures, Yoga therapy and teacher training. She has also taught extensively abroad. She founded The Yogic Path in 1999. She is the author of four books on Yoga, all published in many languages: Yoga: The Iyengar Way (with Silva Mehta); How to Use Yoga; Health through Yoga; and Yoga Explained (with KS Arjunwadkar).
Mira, was featured in 1999 on the Government of India stamps commemorating Yoga. Mira was listed in The Best of British Women 1993 for work in the field of alternative health.
Eileen runs the Ashtanga Vinyasa Mysore practice at Triyoga Camden. We met Eileen many years ago when we placed our mat next to hers at a workshop with John Scott down in Cornwall. Her practice blew us away and her understanding of yoga and her desire to experiment has made her a rare gem amongst the London Yogliterrati. Eileen’s yoga practice comes from both a traditional and an experimental background.
On the traditional side, she’s been practising Mysore style Ashtanga daily for many years and completed the Advanced A (or 3rd) series with certified teachers, John Scott and Hamish Hendry. On the experimental side, she’s been studying with the Tripsichore Yoga Dance Theatre company since 1999 and has toured and performed internationally as a member of the company since 2002. The Tripsichore practice consists of asana sequences with a strong emphasis on hand balances, handstands and handstands variations.
Eileen founded and ran Sukha Yoga Studio in London from 2002 until 2006 when she left the UK to develop her own yoga studies in Mysore and with inspirational teacher Rolf Naujokat. If you’re keen to develop your practice from beginner and beyond, then we highly recommend trying out Eileen’s classes: she’s a wonder.
Ryan heads up the Ashtanga Vinyasa Mysore practice at Triyoga Chelsea so if you’re based south of Oxford Circus, then it may be easier to practice with him first thing in the morning. Ryan has been practising and teaching yoga for the past three lifetimes. Almost entirely self-taught, he has become an advanced practitioner, completing the Advanced A and B series in the Ashtanga Vinyasa system.
A meditation teacher, a lay scholar and self-confessed geek for authentic spiritual teachings, Ryan has devoted his life to discovering and pushing the boundaries of human potential. As well as teaching yoga, he also leads and organises various groups in London and abroad dedicated to the exploration of consciousness and personal growth.
Alaric has been practising Iyengar yoga since 1983 and teaching Iyengar yoga since 1991 and he teaches at both Triyoga and the Iyengar Institute. He is certificated by the Iyengar Yoga Association (UK) as a Senior Intermediate Level 3 teacher. This is the highest level of qualification awarded by this establishment. He was taught by BKS Iyengar, his son Prashant, his daughter Geeta and senior pupils of Guruji in Britain and Europe.
His initial training was provided by the Mehtas in London. Alaric has a dynamic and flowing teaching style which is both focused and insightful. His extensive experience enables him to give precise individual adjustments and maintain concentrated group focus. He challenges inertia and ignorance with sharpness, compassion and humour. We have attended many of Alaric’s classes and there’s a feeling of being blessed with great knowledge from a man with many years of dedicated Iyengar Practice under his belt. London is so lucky to have him.
Celest is deeply passionate about yoga and wants people to leave her classes surprised by what they have accomplished. Voyage & Soap can definitely vouch for that. We had been going through what can only be termed as ‘yoga fatigue’ back in 2010, when we accidentally attended one of Celest’s classes at what was then Triyoga Primrose Hill.
We arrived, resigned to the fact that we’d fallen out of love with yoga and desperate for inspiration. We’d tried numerous different teachers and classes to get our yoga mojo back but nothing proved effective. Celest’s infectious enthusiasm and undeniable passion really got us out of our head and onto the mat. The mojo returned, and handstands, forearm balances and headstand variations came easily. The postures that had happened effortlessly for so many years and yet had been in hiding for six months, were now once again easy. Celest reignited our excitement for the physicality of yoga and, more importantly, renewed our commitment to the practice for which we are forever grateful.
Celest is a professionally trained dancer and martial artist, so her talents lie in teaching yoga asanas that link and flow, helping one discover the relationship between the poses. She has also completed a BSc in Physiotherapy, lending to an in-depth knowledge of the human body, how it works and what it can do. Her philosophy is: all one needs to do yoga is have a little courage and lots of fun. In her class, expect to work hard. Advanced postures will be woven into the flow and broken down to their most basic form so all levels benefit. Check out her website for where she’s teaching right now.
We first met Claire on a cold autumn afternoon in 2005 at one of her classes at Triyoga. She was such an attentive teacher with a deep understanding of the practice in all its variations and her style of Vinyasa Flow really resonated with us (and continues to do so). She has a passionate, dynamic and inspirational style of teaching that incorporates both the physical and spiritual aspects of the yoga practice. Her classes integrate deep asana with the application of precise alignment, meditation, intention and prayer to enable greater confidence, passion and deep awareness of living a conscious life. She is a regular teacher on YogaGlo online which is handy if you can’t make it to a class.
Every time we’ve came away from Jeff’s class, we’ve felt stronger and much more grounded. Jeff Phenix has been practicing yoga and meditation for almost 20 years, has received the Yoga Alliance’s highest level of certification (E-RYT 500/Senior Teacher) and trains yoga teachers on Triyoga’s teacher training programme. He has a seriously playful, mindful and unique teaching style. It’s varied, creative and influenced by a wide range of different yoga schools featuring a heavy emphasis on breath and movement of Vinyasa flow.
Jeff is also very into the precision of Iyengar, the heart-orientated grace of Anusara, the individualised aspect of Viniyoga, the traditional philosophy and spirituality of the Jivamukti and Satyananda schools and his own on-going meditation and pranayama practice. He was a contributing writer to the publication Everyone Try Yoga and teaches workshops, yoga weekends and retreats both in the UK and abroad.
Robin started practising yoga at university in 1988 and fell in love with it instantly. After pursuing a career in the music industry for several years, he and his wife Emma decided to opt for a more balanced lifestyle, so they trained to practise massage and reflexology and spent three years backpacking around the world from 1996 to 1999. They completed their yoga teacher training in South India in 1997 and spent several months in Mysore learning Ashtanga vinyasa yoga from the world master, Sri K Pattabhi Jois.
For the last twelve years, Robin has been practising Iyengar yoga regularly under the guidance of Alaric Newcombe. This method focuses on precise alignment, attention to detail and a sophisticated understanding of physical and mental movement, balancing strength, flexibility and endurance.
Robin runs Breathe Yoga, which supplies Private Yoga and Pilates teachers to clients across London. He also runs community classes at Triyoga Camden. We love Robin, his sense of humour, his lightness and the fact that he’s a die-hard football fan who still DJs at Reggae Heaven at the weekends makes him a firm V&S favourite.
With his thick Scottish accent and unruly hair, Stewart certainly looks the part of bona fide yogi. We love his classes at Triyoga Chelsea and Indaba Studio; they’re not for the faint-hearted (or beginners, really). They’re super-challenging and require 100% pure focus.
But with every yang there has to be a yin, and Stewart encapsulates this beautifully sometimes reciting poetry or playing snippets from Radio 4 to his class to remind them of the softness and grace that personifies yoga. His knowledge is impressive, particularly around the more philosophical esoteric stuff which helps to smooth out the hard physical work being done in his class. He’s in possession of a dynamic style, moving across the room adjusting and encouraging students at just the right moment.
Stewart discovered yoga following a severe back injury.He experienced an amazing recovery through intensive Astanga Vinyasa Mysore yoga practice and credits Hamish Hendry (Astanga London), Sri K Patthabi Jois, (Sri Shreshadree (Mysore), and David Life and Sharon Gannon (Jivamukti Yoga) with contributing to his recovery. Stewart is a senior registered yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance.
Inspired by AcroYoga, Jivamukti and Dharma Mittra, Anna’s classes are challenging, dynamic and fast-paced. They mirror her passion for backbends, arm balances and inversions. With a background of classical ballet and modern dance spanning thirteen years, Anna has always been an avid athlete. She discovered Yoga at the age of fifteen, following a serious hip injury (a result of gruelling marathon training in Cyprus).
While simultaneously studying for her law degree, she embarked on the journey to become a certified yoga teacher and soon became a certified AcroYoga teacher (making her the youngest certified AcroYoga teacher ever at the time). Anna has international teaching and training experience and has studied with many gifted teachers like Dharma Mittra, Elena Voyce, Jason Nemer, Jenny Sauer-Klein, Sharon Gannon and David Life. She currently teaches the hugely popular Acro Yoga class at Indaba Yoga Studio.
Mark’s advanced physical practice is a wonder and his commitment to the spiritual path of yoga is an inspiration. He was the first certified Dharma Yoga teacher in the UK and had the great honour of mentoring and teaching on the Dharma teacher training programmes. After practising various forms of yoga over the years, Mark became a Sivananda Yoga teacher in 2006. That year he met his guru, Sri Dharma Mittra, to whom he has been a devoted student ever since. In his physically absorbing class, Mark challenges his students while encouraging them to experience the practice as an active form of meditation. Providing an exploration of the spiritual aspects of yoga which can, in turn, be used to underpin daily life. Mark’s classes are strong so if you’re a beginner then go to one of his Introduction to Dharma Yoga sessions at Indaba Yoga Studio first.
Leo is a Prana Kriya Yoga teacher and a Gong Bath (a form of sound therapy where the gong is played in a therapeutic way to bring about healing) facilitator from Switzerland. He has trained with Yogi Ashokananda and learned the way of the Gong with Don Conreaux. We’ve been to many of Leo’s Gong Baths which never fail to transport us to another place. We’re confident you’ll feel the same. They run periodically so check out his classes when you’re in town. It really is an otherworldly experience and we’re very fortunate to have him here with us in London.
Nadia is best known for her pregnancy yoga classes that, without fail, are almost always packed out so book early to get your place. She teaches yoga to everyone, from professional athletes to absolute beginners, adapting the practice to the individual’s needs and abilities. She has been teaching since 1996 and is one of Triyoga’s original and best-loved teachers, having taught there since it first opened. Nadia holds the highest level certification with YA (500SYT) and continually expands her knowledge of yoga and pregnancy yoga, studying with world-renowned yoga and Buddhist meditation teachers.
With his vast experience of many different forms of meditation, Yogi Ashokananda teaches some of the most simple and effective techniques designed to help us accept, transform and embrace the material and spiritual aspects of ourselves. These include: the Science of Relaxation Meditation, Rising Sap & Atma Meditation, Kriyashakti, Tantra and Kundalini meditations. Raised in India, Yogi has been practising yoga since early childhood (his grandfather was his first teacher) and is considered one of the true masters of yoga and meditation.
Yogi has developed his teaching, experience and education under some of the great remote Indian masters: he has preached the teachings of the Bihar School of Yoga, the Sivananda Ashram and the Shri Ved Niketan Ashram. Now, as a yoga and meditation master, he shares a number of his own profound teachings, insights and disciplines which have their roots in ancient Indian tradition. Himalayan Hatha Yoga, Power Yoga and Kriya Yoga are among the styles of yoga he teaches, all of which are based on traditional principles.
Ashokananda’s yoga is strong yet supportive and works through the entire body, cleansing and revitalising through special sequencing with a combination of sukshyam vyayam (subtle energy body exercise). We adore his classes and we’re not the only ones: book early.
We love Gingi’s strong presence and his well-timed adjustments. Co-director of The Shala, Gingi founded one of London’s first dedicated ashtanga yoga studios in 1997 in Battersea Rise and now has opened the new centre in West Norwood. He has been teaching yoga for over 20 years and is one of the country’s most established ashtanga yoga teachers. Gingi began studying and teaching martial arts in the 1980s with his father, Sensei Richard Taibong Lee.
During an early trip to India, Gingi came into contact with yoga and spent many years returning to study and devote himself to the discipline. For two years, he apprenticed with the late Derek Ireland after completing a teacher training course in Goa and then travelled to Mysore to continue his studies with Sri K Pattabhi Jois which culminated in attending a two-year teacher training course with Australian teacher Graeme Northfield. Do check out The Shala: it’s a true labour of love and there are many workshops and classes worth going to in this beautiful studio.
Edward Clarke is behind Tripsichore – a company devoted to creating full-length dance narratives –which was founded in 1979. They explored a variety of stylistic forms including punk ballet, conventional modern dance and strict neo-classical technique. They used masks, performed with rock bands and did pop videos. While yoga was always a part of their training, it wasn’t until 1992 that they realised the expressive potential and choreographic viability of yoga postures. Once they began to devise works using yoga asanas, their extraordinary artistic logic became evident.
Surprisingly, it would seem that there has been no orthodox tradition for using yoga technique to create dance in the 5000-year history of the discipline. The postures intrinsically possess a sumptuous beauty and fluidity and are the ideal vehicle to express the themes of harmony, balance, spirituality, ecstasy, bliss and mysticism. They are now many years into this experiment and each day brings new discoveries. Attending one of Ed’s classes is for the experienced practitioner only but if you want to experiment and love being upside down, then one of his intensives would be right up your street.
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