Our Yoga & Pilates Teachers
On each of our yoga retreats you’ll be taught by two teachers who have been chosen for their warm personality, qualifications and for the sheer love for what they do. Working with different teachers is a great way to hear new explanations & try different techniques that really help progress your practice.
Below are bio’s for our yoga & pilates teachers but if you’re new to yoga & wondering if you’ll ‘fit in’ please don’t worry. Our retreats always attract a wide variety of abilities and so our teachers are very skilled at tailoring classes so that everyone – keen beginners to advanced students – can participate and feel a sense of achievement. We teach Hatha, Vinyasa Flow and Restoratative Yin yoga styles on our retreats. Morning sessions include simple flowing Vinyasa Yoga style sequences to warm the muscles and open joints whilst we synchronise breath with the postures so that our practice becomes like a calming moving meditation. Evening classes are more restorative where we will hold Hatha and Yin style postures a little longer using the breath to move deeper within, helping you re-connect with your inner peace. Bliss!
If you’d like to read tips on how to boost your yoga practice, take a read of our blog post here.
Our teaching style is relaxed but exact – there’s no pressure to be ‘perfect’. You’ll hear plenty of helpful teaching & alignment cues to help you deepen your practice and understand what and why you are doing what you’re being asked to do! There’s no room for ego as that’s not what we’re about. It doesn’t matter what other people can do around you, just work with what you have. Be patient, keep practicing and your body will open up & let you back in. We promise!
Together with your daily yoga classes, we’ll also sprinkle in some yogic philosophy and spend time exploring Meditation to create space and calmness in the mind and body amidst the daily chaos of life. After all, yoga is more than just the physical postures on a mat.
“What a fantastic yoga break. Every detail was well thought out and exceptional quality. Our hotel couldn’t have been any more relaxing. Nicole is a wonderful yoga teacher and managed both the experienced pupils and the novices (like me) perfectly. A truly inspiring experience that we look forward to repeating.” Richard & Kate
Our Yoga Teachers
Nicole – Yoga Teacher & founder of Yoga Breaks in Spain. Nicole qualified with an “Excellent” grade Diploma following a 2-years of training with FRYOG (Friends of Yoga International). Now with over 15 years teaching experience and further training with some of the most inspiring yoga teachers – Shiva Rea, Claire Missingham, Liz Lark, Godfri Devereux & others who’s names you may not recognise but have been equally enlightening. “Yoga to me is like an incredible secret I want to share with as many people as possible. I love the endless benefits it brings into our life starting with the unlocking of physical tension that has crept into our bodies to the discovery of a source of deep inner peace when we allow ourselves to just stop and simply breathe. Every time I roll out my mat I really feel like I’ve come home.”
Dionne – Yoga Teacher . Shortly after qualifying as a fitness instructor in 1997 and with a keen interest in how the body works, Dionne attended her first ever yoga class and quickly noticed how her regular yoga practice kept her body supple, strong and her mind calm, clear & focused. In 2014 Dionne qualified as a yoga teacher after completing 250 hour Indian Yoga Teacher training (IYT) with Aananda Yoga in Mysore, India (accredited by the Yoga Alliance) where she was tutored by her guru Yogacharya Bharath Shetty.
More recently Dionne returned to her India to complete another 300 hours of training and has now attained the highest yoga teaching qualification possible, RYT500 a Registered Yoga Teacher with 500 hours of training. Dionne’s teaching style is friendly, down to earth & accessible to all. She has a pin pointed focus for proper alignment, breath control and building strength & flexibility for an overall healthier body. Full of instruction and variations, there is something for everyone in Dionne´s classes. With her help and guidance you’ll be encouraged to find your own yoga path.
Natalia – Yoga Teacher. I feel blessed with the opportunity to teach yoga and love seeing students progress and transform on a mental and physical level. I completed my initial teaching training in Hatha yoga in 2008 but, following a trip to India in 2010 to deepen my understanding of yoga, I now practice Ashtanga and Hatha yoga and return to India on a regular basis to continue my studies and to learn from eminent teachers such as Ajay, Vijay Kumar and Kamal Singh with whom I completed a 200 hour teaching training in 2011.
Dina – Yoga Teacher. After finishing a master’s degree and working for several years in the State Government of New Jersey, USA, Dina felt a longing in her heart that she could not explain. She had everything on a material level yet something was missing. This longing was the beginning of a long & extensive journey into the mysteries of the human body, mind and spirit. Following the completion of yoga teacher training at the Power Yoga Works studio in Philadelphia, Dina travelled through India, Italy, Greece, Holland and Brazil where she trained in various healing modalities including Myofascial bodywork, subtle bodies healing, energy work and inner child therapy and taught in Europe, Americas & Asia. In Dina’s classes you’ll be invited to explore the potential of your body and to rediscover the joy of being in your body.
Imogen – Yoga Teacher. During a hugely rewarding 10 years working hard at the famous Abbey Road music Studios in London, Imy realised her love of yoga was growing and she found herself wanting to become a yoga teacher and not tied to a desk. Having trained in the Sivananda method of yoga in 2001 at Grass Valley, California, Imy has never looked back. Her classes are relaxing, deeply intuitive but still challenging. Imy loves the 5 points of Sivananda – a form of Hatha Yoga – which focuses on breathing, physical exercises “asanas”, relaxation and diet – a total mind, body and soul experience. Imy also trained at Sunyoga UK, specialising in yoga for children and was fortunate enough to work a great deal on the popular ‘teenyoga’ classes in London, helping teens to relax during those transition years.
Our Pilates Teachers
Evelin. STOTT Pilates. Coming from a weight training background and through the whole Aerobic hype, training quality was always an issue for me. Pilates, for first time, clearly pointed out the importance of body awareness and correct biomechanics for profound results. Now the Pilates Basic Principles are reference guidelines used in every sport. Total body integration for me is an important key as it teaches us to move intelligently, healthily and efficiently throughout every movement we make so that our bodies become re-aligned, stronger and life becomes so much more fun! I love to encourage my clients to reach high and then discover that they reached even higher! You’ll meet Evelin on our Yoga & Pilates Holidays.
Graciela studied ballet from a very young age, becoming the Principal ballerina in many notable ballet companies across the World for many years. During rehabilitation for a serious knee injury, Graciela discovered the power of Pilates and noticed how old and young dancers, actors, musicians and house wives all benefited from a regular Pilates practice. In 1988 Graciela retrained as a Pilates teacher & opened her own studio. Now with over 14 years teaching experience, Graciela is skilled in treating a variety of physical conditions including back problems, knee injuries, neck & shoulder pain, postural re-education, post-op recovery and injury rehabilitation whilst developing a special interest in Pilates and osteoporosis.
Lorraine has a Masters Degree in Sports Science and is a qualified Pilates Teacher with many years experience working in various roles within the UK fitness industry. Currently, Lorraine is Director of a Pilates Training School where she ensures her instructors have the best Pilates qualifications available to them.
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Summary of Yoga Styles
Ananda Yoga uses Hatha asana and pranayama to awaken, experience, and control the subtle chakra energies. Its object is to use those energies to harmonize body, mind, and emotions, and attune with higher levels of awareness. One feature of this system is the use of silent affirmations while in the asanas as a means of working more directly and consciously with the subtle energies to achieve this attunement. Ananda Yoga is a relatively gentle, inward experience not an athletic or aerobic practice. It was developed by Swami Kriyananda, a direct disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda, author of the spiritual classic, Autobiography of a Yogi.
Ansura Yoga® founded by John Friend in 1997 is a powerful hatha yoga system that unifies a Tantric philosophy of intrinsic Goodness with Universal Principles of Alignment. Anusara embodies an uplifting philosophy, epitomized by a “celebration of the heart,” that looks for the good in all people and all things. Consequently, students of all levels of ability and yoga experience are honored for their unique differences, limitations, and talents.
Ashtanga Yoga developed by K. Pattabhi Jois. Ashtanga is physically demanding. Participants move through a series of flows, jumping from one posture to another in order to build strength, flexibility and stamina. It is not for beginners or anyone who’s been taking a leisurely approach to fitness. Ashtanga involves challenging sequence of poses with Ujjayi Breathing and vinyasas (a flow of postures). This Yoga Style uses a system based on six series of increasing difficulty.
Bikram Yoga is named after the founder – Bikram Choudhury. Yoga is practiced in a room with a temperature of up to 100 degrees fahrenheit, thus be prepared to sweat a lot. Bikram Yoga enthusiasts perform a series of 26 Asanas, each posture is usually performed twice and held for a certain period of time.
Integral Yoga puts equal emphasis on Pranayama (Breathing Control), on Meditation, and on the Asanas (Physical Poses). This Style of Yoga was developed by Swami Satchidananda. The practice of Integral Yoga revolves around eight main goals: 1. Physical Health and strength; 2. control over all senses; 3. clear, calm and well-disciplined mind; 4. higher level of intellect; 5. strong and pliable will; 6. love and compassion; 7. purer ego, and; 8. ultimate peace and joy.
Iyengar Yoga named after B.K.S. Iyengar who is one of the best-known Yoga teachers. Iyengar’s style is noted for great attention to detail and precise alignment of postures, he also popularized the use of yoga props such as blocks and belts. This great attention to detail, posture, and alignment has also become the notable characteristics of Iyengar Yoga.
Kripalu Yoga puts great emphasis on Proper Breath, alignment, coordination of breath and movement, and “honoring the wisdom of the body” — you work according to the limits of your individual flexibility and strength. Students learn to focus on the physical and psychological reactions caused by various postures to develop their awareness of mind, body, emotion and spirit. There are three stages in Kripalu. Stage One focuses on learning the postures, proper breathing, and exploring your body’s abilities. Stage Two involves holding the postures for an extended time, developing concentration and awareness of your thoughts and emotions. Stage Three is like meditation in motion in which the movement from one posture to another arises unconsciously and spontaneously while you are in a meditative state.
Kundalini Yoga was brought to the West by Yogi Bhajan in 1969. It focuses on the controlled release of the Kundalini (serpent power) energy which is found at the base of your spine. The practice of Kundalini Yoga involves classic poses, chanting, coordination of breath and movement and Meditation. The emphasis however, is not on the Yoga Poses but on the Chanting and Breathing. Kundalini rewards Yogis with spiritual transformation and unity consciousness.
Sivananda Yoga was developed by Vishnu-devananda who wrote one of the contemporary Yoga classics, “The Complete Illustrated Book of Yoga”. This Style of Yoga focuses on the Pranayama, classic Asanas, and relaxation. It also centres on diet and positive thinking and Meditation. Sivananda Yoga practice consist twelve basic Yoga Poses that seeks to increase strength, flexibility, Proper Breathing, and Meditation.
Viniyoga is rooted from the principle practiced by Sri. T. Krishnamacharya – that is to develop practices for individual conditions and purposes. Viniyoga makes use of modified Yoga Poses that are designed to meet the specific needs of an individual and to enhance healing, flexibility and strength of joints. Viniyoga poses also intend to promote the feeling of well-being and strength.