Here are our Urban Yogis UK founding team members…
Helen practises and teaches Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga in Dorset, where she is director of ‘Yoga at the Space’ in the beautiful Purbecks. There she runs the morning Mysore programme as well as teaching Yoga for Pregnancy and running regular retreats and workshops. She has practised yoga for 25 years and owes huge gratitude to her main teachers John Scott and Lucy Crawford. Helen brings a mindful and gentle approach to sharing this practice and the powerful tool which it can be for everyday life. She is also passionate about the importance of building community. Her own practice and exploration of yoga is ongoing as she continues to learn not just from her own teachers but also from all the people that she has the privilege of sharing yoga with. As a mother of two grown up daughters the involvement with the Urban Yogis UK project which looks to share this practice with young people is very close to her heart.
Scott Johnson is the director and senior yoga teacher at Stillpoint Yoga London, a successful ashtanga yoga studio in London Bridge. Scott co-founded SYL in 2009 and has attracted hundreds of dedicated students since it opened, with it’s yoga community growing year on year. Scott has been teaching ashtanga yoga since 2003 after being inspired by renowned ashtanga yoga teacher John Scott. He is passionate about how the ashtanga yoga practice can unfold through a personal relationship with students and seeing the bigger picture of how practice can move into daily life. It is this insight that compelled him in 2012 to practice and study mindfulness, leading to qualification as a level 2 graduate with Clear Mind Institute in 2014. CMI has just received acceptance into the UK Mindfulness Network.
Scott sees the practice of yoga and mindfulness as a way of beginning to truly getting to know yourself and the understanding that getting to know yourself allows you to create true choice in your life.
I first discovered Astanga yoga in 2009. It wasn’t long before I was clear that it made a big difference to my life. I started feeling better not just in my body, but in my mind. I felt more comfortable in my own skin. My mind was calmer. It was as if the more I practised, the more space I had inside of myself, and the more easily I could deal with whatever life threw up. I soon started a daily practise, 6 days a week, and have never looked back. I am immensely grateful to continue studying with my teacher, Hamish Hendry, who I am inspired by on a daily basis.
I am further grateful for my trips to Mysore to study with my teacher Sharath Jois.
In 2010 I was given the opportunity to assist Sarai Harvey-Smith in Triyoga, Soho. I have since assisted Roberta Gianotti, Zephyr Lily May and Tom Norrington-Davis, who teach at Astanga Yoga London. Their time and energy in teaching me how to share this practise with others has been a huge gift.
I occasionally cover the Astanga Mysore programmes at Astanga Yoga Covent Garden, the West London Buddhist Centre, and YogaPlace E2.
In 2014 I qualified as an Integrative Arts Psychotherapist (M.A., HCPC) and Environmental Arts Therapist. I spent the past 6 years working for Kids Company, where the young people that I worked with made it a transformative and enlivening experience. I have also worked as an Honorary Psychotherapist for the NHS. Above all else, my experience as a therapist has reinstated my belief in the need for yoga.
I am excited and honoured to be part of the Urban Yogis Project.
Katia co-runs Yoga Reading, an ashtanga yoga centre in Reading. She found yoga in 2006 whilst working full time at CfBT Education Trust (now Education Development Trust) – a not for profit company that works with governments to develop and deliver education solutions. Her yoga practice stayed as a constant through the pressures of working in the education sector both in the UK and the Middle East. Having long been a sport enthusiast, Katia was blown away by the extra dimension her yoga practice brought to her life – providing not just a feeling of health but also mental wellbeing that supported her through the working week. Katia trained to teach in 2014 and hasn’t looked back since! She is passionate about bringing this tool to others in accessible and fun ways and is honoured to be able to use her programme management skills in the set up and development on Urban Yogis UK.