calm the mind, revive the body, awaken the spirit
Gingi founded the Shala as a dedicated ashtanga yoga centre in 1998. 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 India to study and devote himself to the discipline. For two years he apprenticed with the late Derek Ireland, completing a final training course in Goa. He then went to Mysore to continue his studies with Sri Pattabhi Jois and then completed a two-year teacher training course with Graeme Northfield of Australia.
Gingi has hosted many yoga holidays and workshops in this country and abroad, including combined retreats with John and Lucy Scott, and Kristina Ireland. He continues to run regular workshops and retreats, which often include elements of pranayama, meditation and tai chi. He is a well-respected teacher who has remained at the forefront of the ashtanga yoga community. He has taught, trained and inspired many British ashtanga yoga teachers and has played a key role in popularizing ashtanga yoga in the UK. His teaching is characterised by sensitivity, warmth and a deep commitment to the practice. Click here for testimonials.
Michaela began practicing Astanga yoga in 1988 and began teaching in 1996, after completing an intensive training with her first teacher Derek Ireland. Since then she has spent many years teaching yoga at the Life Centre and Triyoga as well as teaching privately in London and abroad. She has also written two books on yoga Ashtanga Yoga for Beginners and Ashtanga Yoga for Women.
Michaela is a highly experienced teacher who enjoyes working with students of all levels. She is known for her skilled adjustments, her infectious enthusiasm and her warm and imaginative teaching style.
Ori-Shemma has been a practitioner of yoga for over 10 years. She first encountered pregnancy yoga whilst carrying her first child, and was overwhelmed by the benefits. Feeling a heartfelt passion that all women should have the opportunity to be empowered physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually during pregnancy and childbirth, she trained with the world renowned Françoise Barbira Freedman of Birthlight to become a perinatal yoga instructor in 2005. After having her second child in 2006, Ori-Shemma trained as a baby yoga instructor and then subsequently she completed a baby massage course. Her classes are engaging, filled with vitality, positivity and joy but always leaving you with a feeling of serenity. Ori-Shemma is also a holistic health therapist with disciplines including: homeopathy, nutrition and massage.
Andy has been practicing yoga since 1991, covering both the Iyenger and ashtanga vinyasa yoga styles. His studies have seen him practice with John Scott, David Williams, Danny Paradise, Rolf and Marci Naurojat, Dena Kingsberg, David and Doug Swenson and Gingi Lee with whom Andy has served a teaching apprenticeship. Andy brings an informed and non-dogmatic approach to his teaching whilst remaining consistent and true to the ashtanga vinyasa yoga system. Students will find his approach both challenging and rewarding. Andy strives to understand the individual needs of each of student and is passionate about the healing power of yoga, something he has experienced first handin his recovery of two spinal injuries. Andy's classes are full of joy which comes from his generosity as a teacher and his natural approach to teach from the heart.
Rachel has been a yoga practitioner since 2001 and teaching full-time since 2006. She teaches yoga with warmth, compassion and humour. She hopes to inspire her students through her own commitment to the practice of Astanga Vinyasa yoga and her passion for yoga and understanding of movement. Rachel continues to be inspired by both the students she teaches and the teachers she practices with. Rachel also has a BTEC Diploma in sport and remedial massage therapy and is undergoing teacher training in sport and remedial massage.
With over 20 years experience of yoga, Kath has incredible knowledge of the yoga practice. This extensive knowledge, combined with her lovely manner and innate humility, makes her teaching particularly special. Her precise sense of alignment comes from years of studying Iyengar yoga. Her formal training includes Iyengar Teachers Training Course, Yoga Therapy Diploma and a three year Teacher Training course with Graeme Northfield. She has also worked with Dona Holleman and Cllive Sheridan, who have greatly influenced her yoga and style of teaching. Kath is now working on the third series in the ashtanga system.
Elinore has received the authorisation level 2 teaching qualification from the K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute in Mysore, South India. She has been practicing yoga since 1996 and teaching since 2004. Early on she trained in the Bihar Yogic Tradition of Northern India at the Banaras School of Yoga and later was captivated by the strength and grace of the Ashtanga form, her daily practice since 2001. She journeys regularly to Mysore to continue her yoga study, as well as attending workshops for yoga and massage with world-renowned practitioners. Visit Elinore's website for more information.
Nikos has been teaching Ashtanga Yoga since 2003. He has studied the system with Hamish Hendry, Roberta Giannotti, Denise Christian and Anna Wise and through his ongoing apprenticeship at Astanga Yoga London he has gained invaluable knowledge and experience in teaching it. He is also a qualified Reiki Master and classical musician.
Ian was first introduced to Astanga Yoga in 2002 and has studied primarily under the guidance of Gingi Lee. In 2013 he completed his Yoga Alliance Teacher Training Programme with world renowned teacher John Scott and then continued his studies and practice at the K. Pattabhi Jois Astanga Yoga Institute in Mysore, India with Sharath Jois. Over the years, he has also studied with Manju Jois, David Keil, Greg Nardi, Dena Kingsberg, Rolf Naujokat and Kristina Ireland. He joined the Shala team as an assistant teacher in 2014 and also assists John Scott on various workshops.
Ian brings with his teaching the dedication and enthusiasm he has within his own practice. He believes that yoga is a deeply personal experience and encourages students to find their own space, in balance with the wisdom of the tradition. Fundamentally though, while yoga can be challenging on many levels, first and foremost it should be a loving, warm and fun experience for all.
Ingrid's love for yoga began in 1989 when she took initiation into Kriya Yoga in Varanasi, India. She then trained as a Sivananda Yoga and Birthlight Yoga teacher & tutor and with Donna Farhi. Ingrid is also a qualified Physiotherapist, Public Health Professional, Reflexologist, Reiki-Teacher, Bach Flower Practitioner, Chinese Quantum Method Practitioner and Doula. As a Birthlight Trustee & Tutor she helps to make the Birthlight approach available in English and German speaking countries. She teaches regular classes and workshops in London and runs teacher training courses in England and abroad. Ingrid also works in public health in developing countries and complementary medicine specialising in perinatal and women's health.
Ingrid has worked in Germany, the UK and Central Africa in both, allopathic and complementary medicine for over 20 years. While living in Congo (Central Africa) she was initiated by Aka hunter-gatherer women into their secret knowledge and ancestral rites. It is vital to reconsider ancient knowledge about the unique female power of reproduction & birth if we are to change the current trend towards intervention during pregnancy, labour and birth. The Aka women have allowed Ingrid to share their wisdom with women in the West to help them birth well. Ingrid's aim is to enable women to be in charge of their own bodies, birth in dignity and rejoice in their femininity and motherhood. Visit Ingrid's website for more information or click here for testimonials.
Clare was first introduced to Pilates in 1993 whilst training and performing as a dancer. She then went on to teach dance and work as a personal trainer where she gained an understanding of the body on a deeper level. She discovered an unexpected talent for empathising with people and helping them to improve their bodies. She was, however, searching for an approach to movement that balanced: mind and body, internal and external strength and achieved a physical improvement that was functional and useful. She was drawn back to Pilates.
Since then Clare has gone on to do various teacher qualifications with Body Control Pilates as well as enjoying personal improvement in Pilates, dance, Garuda and yoga classes. She has further qualifications and experience in working with people with injuries and illnesses as well as ante and post natal mothers. Clare’s passion is in seeing her students develop and witnessing how their lives have been helped. The diversity of her experiences help her to connect with her students and a continued desire to keep learning enhances her teaching. Clare’s approach to Pilates is practicing precise movement with an emphasis on openness and freedom. She aims to take you on a journey of understanding and improving your own body and feeling the benefits in your everyday life.
Raluca has been practising yoga since 2004. Since discovering Astanga yoga at the Anahata Yoga Shala in Bucharest, astanga has become her main regular practice. She has been taught by Gingi Lee, Irene Zaarour, Roberta Gianotti and Hamish Hendry and joined the Shala team as an assistant at the start of 2014. Raluca is completing the Yoga Campus teacher training programme (the Life Centre, London), a course that offers a broad foundation from which to teach a wider range of styles. Alongside Astanga, Raluca regularly practices yin yoga with Norman Blair and dynamic vinyasa flow with Susanne Lahusen.
Inna first discovered yoga in London in 2000. With a background in media, she experimented with a variety of yoga paths, before deciding to trade her desk for a yoga mat, and embark on an intensive yoga training course in India. Currently she practices with and assists Hamish Hendry. She has studied with a number of inspiring teachers such as R. Sharath Jois, David Swenson, Rolf Naujokat, Emil Wendel and Norman Blair.
Inna is fascinated by yoga in all its forms, its effects, and the intricate links between physical and mental well-being. She loves helping and watching students develop, and believes yoga is a lifelong learning process: a dedicated, regular – and yet fun – practice can only bring forth increased energy and happiness. Inna is also a freelance writer and loves sharing her passion for yoga, travel and the environment both off the mat and across the globe.
Diveen was introduced to Pilates in 2005 after suffering years of lower back pain. Her Pilates practice cured her back issues and had such a positive effect on her life that she decided to become a qualified Pilates instructor. She went on to train with Body Control Pilates and her existing Pilates teacher, Clare Goodwin, became her mentor. Her talent as a teacher was obvious and her passion for Pilates continued to grow. Diveen has spent many years working as an actress and a drama coach/facilitator. This coupled with her personal experience of pain and her own journey through Pilates gives her a real empathy with her students and the natural ability to communicate with them.
Her effervescent personality means her classes are uplifting, stimulating, full of laughter – and always challenging. Her teaching is guided by precision and focus and she has a genuine desire to help students achieve their own personal goals.
Paola started practicing yoga in Naples, Italy, at the age of 16. Beginning yoga was the start of a journey into a new reality, which led her to study Ayurvedic massage at the age of 19. Having explored various different styles of yoga, Paola decided to join her passion for yoga and her love of working with kids and she undertook both the Radiant Child Yoga Program and the Starchild Yoga Program.
Prior to this, Paola worked as a language teacher in different countries, which enriched her knowledge of different cultures. She also trained in contemporary, modern and ballet dance and holds a dance teaching diploma. She has taught kids and teenagers in Italy, Morocco and Palestine. Currently she is a training practitioner of Thai Yoga Massage.
"I feel that children have an innate knowledge of their inner selves and are naturally connected with life. I would like to help them to nurture this natural ability. Dance and yoga have helped me develop an awareness of my body and its creative possibilities. I am committed to sharing this awareness, by teaching yoga to children".
Olivia Dal Cin
Olivia was first introduced to yoga by her mother as a young child and has undertaken a regular practice for the last ten years. The last five years she has focused on her Astanga Self-Practice, and has just started fourth series with her long-time, inspirational teacher Eileen Gauthier. Olivia's teaching style comes from the heart, she tries to inspire her students with the love and passion she feels for the practice. She keeps a high energy in her classes and pays close attention to the individual student, helping develop the student's understanding of their own full potential, while allowing space for playfulness and fun.
Her desire to develop her teaching and her own practice has taken her on many travels to study with senior teachers around the world for extended periods of time, including Rolf and Marci Naujokat, Louise Ellis, Hamish Hendry, John Scott, Danny Paradise, and David Swenson.