200-hour Course Leader
Luci was immersed in art from a very young age, which manifested in a range of media. Her photography took her all over the world for more than a decade and she currently is Head of the Art Department at a Central London school.
Luci is proof that yoga starts at any age. She began practicing yoga after receiving a book about natural healing on her 40th birthday that included a 12-week Iyengar based course. After a few months of self-practice, she switched to Ashtanga Vinyasa.
A couple of years after that infamous book landed in her lap, Luci travelled in India for 3 months, studying with various teachers. Following that, she taught drawing at Purple Valley as well as at Yoga Plus. After a decade of practicing yoga, she knew she had to pass on the practice that she loves. Within a week she committed to a YogaLondon 1-year course and two years after that, she did an apprenticeship under Rahoul. She’s now the Course Leader on the 1-year 200-hour course.
For Luci, art and yoga fit well together – she finds that drawing from the environment is a meditative process, bringing the present moment into focus. Being taught by Luci is similar to this sensation: outside distractions drop away and an inner stillness takes over.
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200-hour Tutor & 500-hour Tutor
Francesca grew up in Milan where she studied Art and Photography before moving to London. In her mid-20’s, she was invited to the Benetton’s Centre for Communication where she worked with Oliviero Toscani and other artists from around the world. Upon returning to London, she started a multi-media company with her partner called ‘Cacao’. They worked on social documentation and educational projects, including working with young people facing challenging circumstances. In 2005, Francesca was chosen to run the Art & Design department in Abbey Manor College for students outside of mainstream education. She has been teaching there ever since and was nominated as a finalist in the 2010 Teaching Award.
As yoga became a mainstay in her life, she found YogaLondon and undertook the 1-year training course. She then began teaching offering private and local classes in South East London. In Autumn 2014, she trained with TeenYoga in an effort to share yoga with her students and teach them the tools to deal with stress and self-regulation.
In 2015 she embarked on her Advanced Teacher Training journey with YogaLondon completing the Body Module, the Philosophy Module, and the Apprentice Module within two years time. Francesca trained in Yoga Nidra with Uma Dismore-Tuli in 2017 and also with the Satyananda School in 2019. During 2018, she studied yoga philosophy with the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies. She is (clearly!) a keen student, enthusiastic about how much there is to learn in this life.
Francesca’s depth and expanse of knowledge make her a natural 200-hour Course Leader and she excels at teaching the 500-hour Philosophy and Asana Modules. Francesca’s openness about her journey, discoveries and philosophical inquiry appeal to students - her wicked sense of humor is the icing on the cake!
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200-hour Course Leader
Jonathan has a mélange of jobs that appeared on his path before he finally found his calling as a yoga teacher: civil servant, recruitment specialist, actor, the cosmetics counter at Estée Lauder, and making smoothies! His story is a testament that life can be a meandering, curvy and bump path; but no matter how many detours life takes, if you pay attention to the signs and listen internally, you will discover your true path.
He went off to university to study Law, but became a civil service government worker, studying drama and singing on the side. After six years as a civil servant, he left and went into recruitment. The work didn’t suit him, so he enroled to Drama School full-time, working part-time at the cosmetics counter at Estée Lauder.
Meanwhile, yoga became a mainstay in his life; an activity he kept returning to in the background of his life. As he contemplated finding his next job, a friend suggested he become a yoga teacher. His heart cried out ‘Yes Yes Yes’, but his head said ‘No No No’. He followed his heart.
Through a friend of a friend, he found the Sivananda Ashram in the Bahamas and signed up for their Teacher Training Course. It was the best thing he’s ever done. When Jonathan returned to London, without work and low on funds, he couldn’t see the next step.
There’s a gym near Jonathan’s home, and the following day, he walked in and asked if they had openings. It turned out that the yoga teacher had walked out last week, and they needed someone immediately. The manager asked him for a 15-minute demonstration. Following that, she asked him what day he’d like to start.
Jonathan began covering for other yoga teachers, and he developed a reputation as a reliable, well-rounded teacher. Through his contacts, he eventually became the lead Course Director for YMCA, a title he held from 2014 - 2017. His greatest lesson has come from learning: ‘when you let go, and allow yourself to be led, doors open.’
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200-hour Course Leader
Jess’ focus, aside from yoga, has been her dedicated work in grassroots community organisations to support some of the most socially disadvantaged people in both Australia and the UK. Her yoga journey began unceremoniously in a gym, where she didn’t instantly feel connected to the practice. However, with a little faith, dedication and patience, eight years later she found herself on a 200-hr teacher training in Bali. Jess has completed two separate 200-hr teacher trainings, one in Hatha Yoga based on T. Krishnamacharya’s approach, and the other with YogaLondon. Jess has also obtained a Pregnancy and Post-Natal Certification with YogaLondon and more recently completed a Yoga for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Training with The Minded Institute, building on her extensive knowledge of working with people who have complex needs. Jess’ own personal story is one of overcoming social disadvantage and adversity. She feels it’s her Dharma to offer the gift of yoga to people who may not have the means to access it otherwise.
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200-hour Course Leader
Marta grew up in Italy, living between Milan and Umbria. She moved to London in 1994 and studied at the University of Westminster, focusing on foreign language and politics. She’s spent time in Germany, Belgium, Russia, Poland, and the Czech Republic studying political systems and federalism. For years she worked for the European Bank in London. Most recently, she spent 14 months in Asia working on environmental and sustainable energy projects. Not your typical yogi! Marta has trained all over the world with YogaLondon, Sri Dharma Mittra, Denise Payne, and the Brahmin Priest Ratu Bagus focusing on the connection between tantra – yantra – mantra. She serves as Course Leader for YogaLondon on the 200-hour course.
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200-hour Course Leader
“I’m Jo... I teach...it's fun!”says Jo, which belies how energetic, fun and knowledgeable she truly is. Jo grew up in Guilford, Surrey, and was introduced to yoga in 6th form. She moved to London when she was 19 to attend Central School of Speech and Drama, transferring later to Exeter Uni. The highlight of her week was always her movement classes.
Back in London after uni, she obtained a day job but quickly signed up for a yoga teacher training with YogaLondon. After completing her teacher training she was hired as assistant director for a show and couldn’t wait for it to be over. Afterward, she switched to yoga full-time.
Jo has done all of her training with YogaLondon, completing her 200-hr and Pregnancy TTC. She teaches 10 classes during the weekdays, Postnatal Courses, as well as being Course Leader on the 200-hr and Pregnancy Training for YogaLondon.
Jo recalls that her YL training felt inclusive and encouraging, something she strives to emulate as Course Leader. She wants to help students gain confidence and courage during their TTC, something she herself experienced.
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200-hour Course Leader
Anaïs grew up in a rural town in the centre of France in the Massif Central region. Though her family’s travels were mostly limited to Spain or the Mediterranean, Anaïs was drawn to other cultures and languages. For university, she went to Clermont Ferrand to study English, Arabic and German. During her time at uni, she had the opportunity to live in Aleppo, Syria for six months. She got an in-depth look into the complexities of Syrian life, both politically and personally. She was moved by their values and extreme generousity.
Anaïs went on to obtain a Master’s degree in Literary Translations and pursued her dream of moving to London. She taught English at French summer camps and became a French assistant in Kent and London. She needed a slightly different fit, which is how she found herself at Sega, translating for the video game maker for five years.
Anaïs first encountered yoga during her Master’s studies. Having been a gymnast and a dancer, stepping onto the mat made complete sense to her. She moved to London and through a small life crisis, created a regular yoga practice. A year later she traveled to India to study and practiced at an ashram in Rishikesh, which challenged and changed her. After her return from India, she was more devoted and a year later graduated from YogaLondon’s 200-hr YTT. She taught yoga at Sega and another corporation, covered for other yoga teachers and took on private clients. She’s been teaching for YogaLondon for three years.
In the last year, Anaïs has added all three core modules to her training. During this time, she also brought a small baby boy into the world. Anaïs’ tireless and insatiable curiousity is part of what makes her an exceptional yoga teacher – she helps students find what makes their body come alive through yoga.
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200-hour Course Leader
Having spent ten years in Rome exploring her Italian roots, and childhood summers in Germany with her mother’s family, Sandra seems to have taken the best bits from every culture and combined them into the enviable character traits of a vibrant, cultured yogi blessed with insatiable curiousity.
When Sandra was quite young, she found her calling as an actress. She pursued this dream with every ounce of her being. As a testament to her unfailing tenacity, it took her five years of applying until she was rewarded with a spot in her school of choice. Her training and time at drama school allowed her to continue acting with vigor.
After her father’s passing in 2000, she decided to take three months and live in Italy, certain she’d hate it. She ended up living in Rome for ten years.
While in Rome, she continued her yoga practice and her acting, landing roles in various productions and a Ridley Scott film, in addition to her own theatre company. But after ten years, and with her life partner ready to move back, she returned to London.
Over the next years, she slowly determined that the entertainment industry no longer served her. Deciding a new direction for her life meant letting go of her identity as an actress and listening closely to her innermost voice.
She took a six-month foundation course with the British Wheel of Yoga and an intensive 200-hour course with YogaLondon. Combining her genuine nature with years of technique meant that her teaching resonated with students. Sandra’s love of learning and willingness to say “I don’t know” is an inspiring characteristic. In the yoga community, it’s easy to think the teacher knows everything. Sandra’s joy in discovering what she doesn’t know communicates that first and foremost, everyone is learning and everyone has the power to change.
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Kriya is originally from Johannesburg, South Africa and married an Englishman when she was in her early 20’s. Her first career was as a television and film producer, first in South Africa and later in London. During her career, she was offered the opportunity to produce something called “Reality Television.” She looked down at her 2-year old and breastfeeding baby and had to choose… she chose them.
Kriya began a regular yoga practice when she was pregnant. In the early 90’s, she did her first teacher training with no intention to teach - yet at the end of her training she easily started teaching, even as her third child was only 3-months old.
Kriya remained close to her children by enrolling them in the London Waldorf School and working as a school administrator for over 10 years. When her children were launched, she opened her own yoga studio, just before the 2008 financial crisis, which was followed by the dissolution of her marriage. She needed a change, so she returned to school, choosing a Masters Programme in Ayurveda.
In the middle of her training, she had a health crisis. Through her school and five months of clinical training in India, she healed herself through Ayurveda. She came back to England in January, at which point her son was diagnosed with cancer. She put her dissertation on hold and using her Ayurvedic training, alongside the guidance of her supervisor, her son recovered and has been in remission for the last three years.
Throughout her own health crisis and with her son’s cancer, Kriya’s learning deepened. She began her own Ayurveda practice under the guidance of her supervisor, Dr Vijay Murthy, who runs the YogaLondon Ayurveda programme.
Kriya completed her yoga training with the British Wheel of Yoga and the Satyananda Yoga UK. She teaches 6 – 8 regular weekly and private classes, practices Ayurveda two days a week and runs her own clinic in Sussex. She is a source of light, inspiration and endless encouragement.
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Philosophy & Sanskrit Tutor
Gabriella first came into contact with Sanskrit as a little girl hearing it from her parents. She went on to study it at school, at the University of Oxford, and continues her learning to this day both in London and with yearly visits to her teachers in India. The study of Sanskrit enriches her life, through the wealth of its magnificent scriptural texts and the sounds of the language. Gabriella sounds Sanskrit daily and credits this with helping her navigate the vicissitudes of existence!
Alongside Sanskrit, Gabriella sings, teaches Alexander Technique and Yoga, and leads monthly Vedic Chanting / Kirtan sessions in London and beyond.
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